Death-proof cars? Study finds nine models with zero driver fatalities

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Death-proof cars? Study finds nine models with zero driver fatalities

Justin Hyde

from MOTORAMIC By Justin Hyde21 1-30-2015

More than 30,000 people a year still die on American roads, and while that toll has been steadily declining for a decade, it still represents a massive, unending tragedy. Around the world, those figures are climbing, as more people spend more time behind the wheel. Nothing drives advocates of tech such as driverless cars like the potential for sharply reducing the cost in human lives of driving.

Today came a piece of good news in that fight: We are closer than we thought to cars that could prevent all their drivers from dying in a wreck. The bad news? There’s still decades of work ahead.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the research arm of the nation’s auto insurance companies, studied driver deaths between 2009 and 2012 for mass-market vehicles. (It did not examine passenger deaths due to unreliable data.) Overall, it found that new models with newer technology, especially stability control, had cut the overall death rate in vehicles by a third in the three years since it had last run the numbers. Had vehicle tech been frozen at 1985 levels, the IIHS estimates by 2012 an additional 7,700 people would have died in crashes.

Vehicle

Deaths per million registered vehicle years

Multi-vehicle crashes Single-vehicle crashes Rollovers
Audi A4 4WD 0 0 0 0
Honda Odyssey 0 0 0 0
Kia Sorento 2WD 0 0 0 0
Lexus RX 350 4WD 0 0 0 0
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class 4WD 0 0 0 0
Subaru Legacy 4WD 0 0 0 0
Toyota Highlander hybrid 4WD 0 0 0 0
Toyota Sequoia 4WD 0 0 0 0
Volvo XC90 4WD 0 0 0 0
Honda Pilot 4WD 2 0 2 0
Mercedes-Benz M-Class 4WD 3 3 0 0
Ford Crown Victoria 4 4 0 0
GMC Yukon 4WD 4 0 4 0
Acura TL 2WD 5 5 0 0
Chevrolet Equinox 2WD 5 3 2 0
Chevrolet Equinox 4WD 5 5 0 0
Ford Expedition 4WD 5 5 0 0
Ford Flex 2WD 5 0 5 0
Mazda CX-9 4WD 5 0 5 5

The IIHS calculates its death rate per years registered of a particular model; the industry average is 28 deaths per one million registered years for 2011 models in 2012; in 2008, the rate was 48. When it dug deeper, the IIHS found nine 2011 models that had no recorded deaths of drivers — the first time the group had found any such vehicles. Six of them were SUVs; overall, SUVs had the lowest death rates of any vehicle type, mostly due to the mandate of electronic stability controls and the physics of larger vehicles offering more protection from the forces of a crash than smaller ones. (Compared to 2004 models, SUVs from the 2011 model-year on have a rollover rate that’s 75 percent less.)

But the IIHS also gave out a warning that the gap betwen the best and the worst cars at preventing fatal crashes had widened. The rates in the IIHS study are corrected for demographics (young drivers who typically buy smaller vehicles tend to crash more frequently) but even after that adjustment, small cars dominate the most lethal list:

Vehicle Deaths per million registered vehicle years Multi-vehicle crashes Single-vehicle crashes Rollovers
Kia Rio 149 96 54 15
Nissan Versa sedan 130 44 87 51
Hyundai Accent 120 65 53 16
Chevrolet Aveo 99 65 31 10
Hyundai Accent 86 43 48 20
Chevrolet Camaro coupe 80 19 60 25
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew 4WD 79 40 36 17
Honda Civic 76 46 29 10
Nissan Versa hatchback 71 37 33 20
Ford Focus 70 55 13 5
Nissan Cube 66 38 29 6
Chevrolet HHR 61 34 25 9
Chevrolet Suburban 1500 2WD 60 31 28 9
Chevrolet Aveo 58 58 0 0
Mercury Grand Marquis 57 33 25 0
Jeep Patriot 2WD 57 44 9 3
Mazda 6 54 34 17 3
Dodge Nitro 2WD 51 7 50 40
Honda Civic 49 28 21 8

“The complete elimination of traffic deaths is still many decades away, and, along with vehicle improvements, getting there will require changes in road design and public policy that can help protect all road users,” said David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer.”Still, the rise in the number of vehicles with zero driver deaths shows what’s possible.”

The newest vehicles have gone well beyond stability control to include tricks like automatic emergency braking and radar-based cruise control to slow down the vehicle automatically in traffic. The safety benefits of those technologies have not yet been fully measured, but their real benefit may not become visible until they’re available outside luxury models — especially the small cars that still pose the greatest risk.

 

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Motor Trend names the Volkswagen Golf/GTI its 2015 Car of the Year

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important 2015 Car of the Year news!

Motor Trend names the Volkswagen Golf/GTI its 2015 Car of the Year

Volkswagen Golf and GTI
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Since 1949, the scribes at Motor Trend have chosen a Car of the Year, often times to great tumult and dissent from the community at large. (I still recall puzzling over the Chevy Caprice Classic LTZ pick from 1991.) This morning, the magazine announced its winner for 2015, naming not just one car but several: the Volkswagen Golf family, including the VW GTI and the e-Golf EV.

The editors at Motor Trend made their pick from 23 new 2015 models, saying the Golf was a “near-unanimous choice,” adding: “No matter which Golf variant we jumped into, we emerged with smiles on our faces.” It’s the first time the Golf family has been chosen by Motor Trend; the 1985 VW GTI built in Pennsylvania won its year, back when the magazine still segregated awards for domestic and import vehicles.

The announcement makes Volkswagen two-for-two, as we made the VW GTI our pick for 2015 Yahoo Autos Car of the Year. The big one that remains is the North American Car of the Year, where the Golf/GTI is once again a finalist against vehicles such as the Ford Mustang, Audi A3, and Toyota Camry. I don’t think Vegas is taking bets, but if it were, the Golf would be the odds-on favorite.

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5 best luxury cars under $40,000

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important 5 best luxury cars under $40,000

5 best luxury cars under $40,000

TheStreet.com

Audi A5

Audi A5

In the darkest days of the recession, flaunting one’s income or wealth through conspicuous spending was considered ill-advised, if not outright dangerous.

At the very least, it was unsympathetic.

Even as the economy creaks toward recovery, outward displays of wealth just about anywhere outside of Silicon Valley are still greeted with a measure of scorn. In the Valley and San Francisco themselves, there are entire sites devoted to shaming that sort of behavior.

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That hasn’t stopped the haves from treating themselves in somewhat less obvious ways. Why back up a Tesla to the nearest supermarket charging station or pull your Mercedes-Benz E-Class into some grimy parking lot when you can go somewhat incognito? That’s what “entry level” cars are there for. Presumably offered to give aspiring spendthrifts a leg up into the world of luxury vehicles, entry-class cars are also a nice little means of fading into the background.

Every luxury marque has the “cheap” version: The one anyone willing to be locked into a super-sized lease can pick up and drive off the lot at will. The one that appears in slightly less tony locales and is equally at home in both the Safeway and Whole Foods’ parking lots.

For some, it’s an aspirational purchase. For others, it’s the “everyday” car that’s a step above what the help uses to drive around the grounds but not quite as nice as the garage-kept vehicles reserved for top-down cruising or quiet evenings out.

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In either case, they’re selling. Luxury car sales rose by roughly 13% in 2013, according to MotorIntelligence. Among those automakers seeing the biggest bumps are Mercedes-Benz (14%), Audi (13%) and BMW (11%). All have dabbled in vehicles with starting prices flirting with $30,000, and just about all have been rewarded for it. With help from the folks at Kelly Blue Book we found not only a handful of great luxury cars for less than $40,000, but the best vehicles you can buy for that price.

5. 2014 Infiniti Q50
MSRP: $37,050

Though meant to replace the venerable G37, the Q50 isn’t just some overhauled version of an old Nissan luxury sedan.

A 3.7-liter, 328-horsepower engine produces a ton of kick, but still eats up only 30 miles per gallon on the highway. Adaptive steering and all-wheel drive give the person behind the wheel a bit more control, while a lane departure feature helps drifting drivers stay on the straight and narrow. In fact, backup and blind-spot safety features will also hit the brakes or stop a lane change if it feels a crash is imminent.

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While that’s all lovely and terribly practical, a lot of the more luxurious elements are reserved for the car’s tech offerings. Infiniti inTouch stocks a dual-touchscreen entertainment and information console with apps including Facebook and Pandora while its Infiniti Connection service keeps tabs on your car’s location through your mobile device and can even make dinner reservations through its Personal Assistant service. While drivers can also lock and unlock their vehicle’s doors through a smartphone, safety features including Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Alarm Notification all come in handy as well.

Again, all this comes in an entry-level vehicle.

4. 2014 Lexus IS
MSRP: $35,950

There’s a lot of wiggle room in this model for folks who want to keep it below or around $40,000.

That starting MSRP is for the base IS 250, which comes with with rear-wheel drive, heated mirrors, dual-zone climate control, power moonroof and base tech perks. For $38,000, they’ll throw in all-wheel drive and heated front seats. For $39,000, the rear-wheel-drive sports package kicks in a digital instrument panel, bolstered and heated front seats, a leather shifting knob and aluminum pedals.

For $39,500, the IS 350 takes the 250’s 204 horsepower and 30 miles per gallon on the highway and boosts it to 300 horsepower and a slightly pokier 28 MPG. What about the Enform entertainment, navigation and emergency assistance system? Well, let’s just say Toyota is a little more tight-fisted with perks than its luxury competitors.

3. 2014 Audi A5
MSRP: $39,000

Audi and its parent company Volkswagen really know how to load up a car, and the base A5 is no exception.

For the entry price, drivers get a 220-horsepower engine, 32 miles per gallon on the highway and all-wheel drive. Inside, there’s three-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, Bluetooth wireless capability and an MP3 hard drive with voice command.

Granted, this price range denies buyers some of the A5’s cooler features, such as Drive Select, which lets drivers adjust engine noise, set adaptive cruise control that adjusts speed by locating cars through radar and activate blind-spot warning lights when cars are in adjacent lanes. They also miss out on a tech package featuring a rearview camera and navigation system built around Google Earth. Still, you’re getting the same engine, performance and basics as those shelling out more, so enjoy.

2. 2014 BMW 3 Series
MSRP: $39,000

To be more specific, you’re getting a member of the 328 family for this price, but that’s not exactly upsetting news. The BMW 3 Series isn’t so much the “cheap BMW” as it is the sought-after Beemer that just happens to come in at that price.

Packed with great features including a heads-up display projected onto the windshield, blind-spot detectors in the rearview mirrors and a freestanding iDrive screen for communication, navigation, entertainment and apps, the 3 series doesn’t exactly come up short on perks. In fact, it piles them on with features including a pushbutton starter that shuts the engine off when idling, a 240-horsepower engine that gets 34 miles per gallon on the highway, adaptive all-wheel drive and hands-free trunk access.

Know what else squeaks into the 328 series? A turbodiesel model that gets a mild-mannered 180 horsepower, but boosts fuel efficiency to 45 miles per gallon on the highway. Those are a lot of options at a price that’s supposed to offer luxury car buyers very little.

1. 2014 Cadillac ATS
MSRP: $33,000

When Mercedes offered its CLA coupe in the U.S. for just under $30,000, it became a race to see which high-rolling automakers could go lowest with their prices.

Cadillac was at the front of the pack, mostly because it had to be. Its CTS, while popular and less expensive than many of the cars on this list, was a lot bigger, heavier and less efficient. Though General Motors felt it was giving drivers more for their money, it turns out luxury buyers pay for very specific size, performance and options.

Though the base model offers a 2.5-liter, 321-horsepower V6, the ATS also comes with a 2.0-liter turbo engine that puts up an impressive 272-horsepower while keeping the starting price at roughly $35,000. That bumps up to $37,000 when you opt for all-wheel drive, but even those base models come with a Bose seven-speaker sound system, OnStar communications and assistance, dual-zone climate control and leather steering wheel. While it still lacks a bunch of the basic luxuries its competitors consider standard, there’s enough leeway with that base price to add a few options packages without breaking the bank.

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how to Get a tire quote FREE New Jersey

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important news on how to Get a tire quote FREE New Jersey

CLICK HERE TO Get a tire quote FREE New Jersey

 

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US Journalist Got Ebola While Cleaning Infected Car

WITH THE SPREAD OF EBOLA VIRUS THROUGH INFECTED CAR INTERIOR … ARE YOU AWARE OF BACTERIA WITHIN YOUR CAR? There are 40 HAZARDOUS air pollutants traveling through YOUR CAR? We offer air PURIFICATION system for autos. Replace Your Cabin Air Filter Every 12,000 Miles.

THIS FROM ABC NEWS!

US Journalist Believes He Got Ebola While Cleaning Infected Car
Oct 6, 2014, 1:23 PM ET

By

MEGHAN KENEALLY
Digital Reporter

via GOOD MORNING AMERICA

The American journalist with Ebola who arrived at a Nebraska hospital today believes that he may have gotten infected when he got splashed while spray-washing a vehicle where someone had died from the disease.

Ashoka Mukpo arrived at the Nebraska Medical Center this morning after being flown directly from Liberia.

“He’s strong and his symptoms are not more advanced then when he talked to us before he left which is a relief,” his father Dr. Mitchell Levy said at a news conference today. He said his son has a fever and slight nausea.

“Likely he will go into the next phase where his symptoms will be more severe,” Levy said.

Levy said that his son is “not certain” when he got the disease, but believes that he could have gotten infected by some of the spray back that came when he was using chlorine to disinfect a car.

“It was a vehicle that somebody had died in,” Levy said.

Mukpo, 33, had been hired as a freelance cameraman by the NBC News crew earlier last week before testing positive for the disease on Thursday.

“He was around the [Ebola] clinic. He was filming inside the clinic,” Levy said.

Levy and his wife, Diana Mukpo, arrived in Omaha Sunday night ahead of their son’s arrival this morning, and they said that he appears to be in good spirits.

Mukpo had spent two years in Liberia working for an NGO before returning to the United States in May. When he told his parents that he felt compelled to return in September, they tried their best to dissuade him.

“I told him I thought he was crazy,” Levy said at the press conference held at the Nebraska Medical Center.

“And I begged him from a mother’s perspective saying ‘Please don’t go.’ But there was nothing I could do. He was determined to go,” Diana Mukpo said.

Levy recalled his son’s reaction being diagnosed with Ebola.

“His first reaction was I’m sorry I put myself in this situation for you guys… But I think, of course he’s of two minds. He has some regrets, but he’s still proud of what he’s doing and I’m sure he’ll go back to doing things just like this,” Levy said.

Mukpo is the second American to be treated at the facility. The Nebraska hospital treated Dr. Richard Sacra last month after he also contracted the disease in Liberia.

The Nebraska Medical Center is one of only four biocontainment units throughout the United States. There is another unit at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, one in Missoula, Montana, and a third at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which is where Dr. Kent Brantley and nurse Nancy Writebol, the first two Americans to catch the disease, were treated.

Rosanna Morris, the chief nursing officer and chief operating officer at the Nebraska Medical Center, said that there will be two nurses with Mukpo at all times and they will be tasked with checking his temperature every hour or two, and running lab tests upwards of three times a day.

“We’re really happy that his symptoms are not extreme yet,” Levy said. “We’re still in a process of discussing with his physicians and the team here what medications they’re going to give him.”

Mukpo’s mother told ABC News affiliate WLNE-TV earlier that the family has been coordinating with the State Department.

According to his mother, Ashoka Mukpo had spent two years working for a Liberian NGO before returning to the United States earlier this summer.

Ashoka Mukpo contributed to reports for various news outlets before getting sick, but also shared emotional updates on his personal Facebook page.

“Man oh man I have seen some bad things in the last two weeks of my life,” he wrote in one such post on Sept. 18, two weeks before testing positive for the disease. “How unpredictable and fraught with danger life can be. How in some parts of the world, basic levels of help and assistance that we take for granted completely don’t exist for many people.”

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Deadmau5 to Get Rid of His Purrari 458

Brake-O-Rama likes to share funny car news sometimes. This is a funny Ferrari story!
Boldride
By Nicole WakelinAugust 29, 2014
Ferrari Tells Deadmau5 to Get Rid of His Purrari 458
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View photo

Ferrari Tells Deadmau5 to Get Rid of His Purrari 458

Earlier this year, Deadmau5 (aka Joel Zimmerman), decided to give his Ferrari 458 Italia a unique wrap. It entailed turning the whole car into a tribute to the Nyan Cat. It seems that adorning a Ferrari with a cat with a Pop-Tart body that flies through space leaving a rainbow trail in its wake did not amuse Ferrari one bit.

PHOTOS: See More of the 2013 Ferrari 458 Italia

The customization didn’t end with just the over-the-top wrap. It extended to custom badges and floor mats with a Purrari logo, and that seems to be what set Ferrari over the edge. They decided this was not acceptable and sent Deadmau5 a cease and desist letter to have it all removed. Guess the Italians aren’t fans of Pop Tarts. Or cats.

Now, the Ferrari 458 Italia is just a Ferrari 458 Italia without anything at all to distinguish it from its brothers. It is very vanilla, truly, because the car hiding underneath that bright blue wrap and flying Pop-Tart cat was just white.

PHOTOS: See More of the 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am

Deadmau5 didn’t say if the reason he removed everything was because of the cease and desist or because he’s getting ready to sell it, but either way, poor Nyan cat is a goner.

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September 11: The Ford Pinto arrives

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this timely article on September 11, 1970!

September 11: The Ford Pinto arrives on this date in 1970

By Justin Hyde for Motorama 

It was this week in 1970 when Detroit began to fight back against Japanese imports in earnest, rolling out their own compact models designed from scratch rather than adapting European cars. The Ford Pinto’s unveiling today was a watershed moment for the company; at $1,830, it was the cheapest car Ford had built in 20 years. While it wouldn’t get great reviews, the Pinto’s real problems didn’t emerge until a couple of years later, when a string of high-profile accidents and a Mother Jones investigation revealed flaws in Ford’s engineering that left the Pinto prone to fires in rear-end accidents — something Michigan owner Patty Ramge addressed in her own way in 1978 when her Ford dealer proved unresponsive.

Ford eventually recalled the Pinto to lessen the risk that bolts in the rear axle would puncture the gas tank upon impact, but the debate over the case raged for decades after, with a 1991 paper arguing Ford was railroaded and that the Pinto was no more dangerous than other cars of its era. That’s not a high bar, and Ford’s mistakes in dealing with the Pinto would change auto safety laws and lawsuits for decades to come.

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NJ AUTO NEWS FOR The 10 worst used vehicles to buy!

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important news for 10 worst used vehicles to buy!!

A car dealer’s scientific guide to the 10 worst used vehicles

Motoramic

Quality is something we all want when it comes to cars, especially older used ones. But how do we get it?

I have been studying this question in one form or another for nearly 14 years now. I began my automotive career as a car dealer, buying and selling hundreds of vehicles a year. As time went on, I became an auto auctioneer, a remarketing manager and a part-owner of a wholesale auto auction.
final.buy4.tiresales.2

I saw thousands of cars come and go through the auction block during the course of each year, and as my worked changed, so did my understanding of quality. The overwhelming majority of the time, cars and trucks considered reliable in their early days would draw the strongest bids. But it wasn’t always true; I observed some models experience costly transmission failure just as the odometer rolled past the 100,000-mile mark, while others would exhibit everything from blown head gaskets, to chronic rust issues to inoperative battery packs for hybrid vehicles.

Well-respected publications such as Consumer Reports and J.D. Power & Associates do an outstanding job finding defect trends among new and slightly used vehicles. However, once that specific vehicle is sold by the survey participant, there’s no access to the history of the vehicle. As the average car owner over the last decade has typically kept their vehicle for approximately five to six years, a lot of data has disappeared.

 

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Because there is no tracking service covering the problems in these vehicles, the 10-year-old vehicle that everyone assumed had great reliability will at times have terrible issues. Who knew? No one really. Consumer Reports’ database goes back 10 years, but the average car and truck is now 11.4 years old.

So I decided to test my guesses about used vehicles by using data from auto auctions and the problems dealers themselves disclose. As a frequent buyer and seller, I started my study with what I consider the key quality question for most car owners: “At what point does my car become so undesirable that I am willing to accept a wholesale used price for my vehicle?”

Trade-ins are a great measurement of that emotional question. Most consumers who trade their vehicle will get a price hundreds to thousands of dollars less than retail. Car dealers not only know the wholesale market, they know the retail market as well, and are often able to get cars repaired for a lot less than most car owners.

This isn’t always the case. Clean cars can sometimes be traded-in at a retail price, and then financed to a sub-prime car buyer for even more money. Dealers who specialize in a given car brand are usually more effective in marketing and selling that specific name, and they also get a greater share of trade-ins from the brand — along with a better selection of clean vehicles.

To remove this bias, I decided to gather data on trade-ins sent to wholesale auctions by large used-car retailers and other regional used-car retailers that don’t cater to a single automaker. This way there wouldn’t be an over-representation of a given brand. I also employed the help of Nick Lariviere, a statistician capable of creating visuals that would make all this real-world used car data easy to understand.

One year and nearly 300,000 vehicles later, we have developed a new quality index that you can findhere. For now, we are focusing on brands and models. As the study continues to pool more vehicles, we’ll gradually introduce specific model year data, and even powertrain combinations, so that used car buyers can figure out where to find that older used vehicle that has truly earned its quality reputation.

So what out there is truly low quality? As far as those cars with the highest defect level at trade-in time, here are the 10 worst:

10. Volkswagen New Beetle (automatic transmission issues and cheap interior components; diesel models with 5-speed manuals are by far the best powertrain option.)

9. Mazda 626 (automatic transmission issues, all models.)

8. Lincoln Aviator (a gussied-up, unpopular Ford Explorer that had unique sensor and software issues which negatively impacted the overall powertrain and electronics.)

7. Jaguar S-Type (Extensive transmission and engine issues on all V-6 and V-8 models. Along with Limited edition models with ungodly replacement costs.)

6. Lincoln LS (Same basic powertrain as the Jaguar S-Type with nearly identical results.)

5. Mazda Millenia (Engine issues, transmission issues and cheap interiors that just don’t wear well.)

4. Land Rover Discovery (Expensive parts. Expensive powertrains. Electronics that are apparently the spawn of Beelzebub.)

3. Mini Cooper (Bad transmissions that are unusually expensive to replace. Cheap interior parts. Cheap hydraulics.)

2. Land Rover Freelander (A cost-cutting exercise that went way past the bone.)

And a true shocker, the single worst used vehicle at the wholesale auctions when it comes to overall defect rate at trade-in time is….

1. Mazda CX-7 (Engine issues on these vehicles are legion with nearly a third of these vehicles sold with “Engine needs service” announcements at the auctions.)

No list can be perfect, and it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t offer at least a couple of important caveats here. There are cars out there that are worth so little money now that they go straight to the junkyards instead of the wholesale auctions: Older Chryslers with defective 2.7-liter engines, older Suzukis and Kias, and the aquatic late ’90’s Ford Tauruses sometimes fall straight into the crusher once a major problem takes hold.

Also, if the vehicle appeared to have reliability issues, but didn’t have enough of a sample size at this point (for example: Mercury Mystique, Isuzu Axiom, Suzuki Forenza), I have kept it off the list for right now.

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NJ USED AUTO NEWS: 9 popular used cars with dubious reliability

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important news for 9 popular used cars with dubious reliability!

By Steven LangJuly 18, 2014 12:43 PMMotoramic

You did everything right when buying your car: Consumer Reports, enthusiast magazines, the big automotive online sites. You even went through the trouble of visiting enthusiast forums that specialized in the exact same car that ended up on your driveway.

So how did you wind up on a first-name basis with your mechanic? This happens more than you might think. Most car buyers will spend anywhere from weeks to several months trying to find a nice daily driver — only to find out that their cherished chariot has turned out to be as rough as a worn-out mop.

New? Used? It doesn’t matter. Over time, quality always manages to reveal itself. The tough part for you is that most automotive publications will only test the new stuff, and most quality studies are only focused on first owners and short-term results.

Manufacturers use all of these sources as marketing tools, and some of the most popularized studies are not sound indicators of durability. Long-term reliability studies do a far better job, but they also have an Achilles’ heel: Most of them are either captive to their subscribers, or only have the means to survey first owners. This creates a more challenging issue called ownership bias.

Plenty of us have ridden in cars that were barely hanging on for their dear mechanical life thanks to an owner who just didn’t know anything about cars. Neglect, abuse, wear issues, and the owner’s rose-colored glasses manage to make these surveys flawed.

That’s why we decided to do something different: Measure failure. Specifically, nearly 450,000 cases of it. We co-developed a study that focuses on the exact point where the owner says, “No more!” — when they’re willing to just throw up their hands and trade in that retail product for a cheap wholesale price.

All of these vehicles were independently inspected and appraised by professional car buyers who are trained to detect mechanical and structural issues, which can be overlooked or unreported by the owners in other industry studies, and are recorded by those who have no owner bias.

What we discovered is that many of the most popular vehicles in today’s used-car market have severe long-term reliability issues when it comes to specific powertrains. One engine and transmission combination may do an outstanding job, while another may be truly abysmal.

Which popular cars have specific reliability issues? Here are several surprises.

Honda Accord: The Accord carries a stiff price premium in today’s used car market due in large part due to its reputation for reliability. Yet, the flies in the ointment are automatic transmissions for their older six-cylinder models. Honda recalled over a million vehicles way back in 2004. However, there are reports that transmission issues for those recall vehicles still persist, and our survey shows that this issue remains chronic enough to make the Honda Accord just below average in terms of long-term reliability.

Nissan Altima: Nissan Altimas with four-cylinder engines built between 2002 and 2006 experienced excessive oil consumption as a result of improper performance of the piston rings. Catalytic converters on these models also tend to break down during this same period, which scores the cylinder walls of the engine.

Mini Cooper: The Mini Cooper is one of the ten worst vehicles in our survey due to improper shifting of their continuously variable transmissions for the 2002 thru 2006 Mini Cooper and the 2005 thru 2008 Mini Convertible. BMW has recently settled a class action lawsuit, but our survey shows that this issue remains chronic for traded-in vehicles around the country during the last two years.

2008 Ford F-1502008 Ford F-150

Ford F-150: Spark plugs that either blow out of the engine entirely, or break off on Ford F-150 models equipped with the 5.4-liter V-8 engine, have created an extreme spike in trade-ins that exhibit these serious engine problems. Model years 2004 thru 2008 appear to be the primary ones to avoid. However, there is also a recently settled class action lawsuit related to the 6-liter Powerstroke diesel due to engine performance and stalling issues. We believe both engines should be avoided.

Dodge Caliber: The Caliber models equipped with the CVT transmission have chronic shifting issues. This transmission is also shared with the Nissan Altima, and Nissan decided to double the warranty coverage on all model year 2003 to 2010 Nissans with the CVT. This transmission was also shared with the Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, and Mitsubishi Outlander. A few of these models were given lifetime guarantees by Chrysler but unfortunately, they are not transferable to new owners.

Nissan Maxima: In one of the more extreme cases, between model years 2004 and 2006, Nissan coupled the CVT with an engine that offered over 260 hp. This resulted in an extreme spike of defective transmissions and led to the Nissan Maxima becoming the least reliable Nissan product in our study. Manual transmissions and non-CVT models are perfectly fine. However, we would avoid CVT models.

Mazda CX-7: Severe engine issues with the Mazda CX-7 — namely turbos and engine timing chains — has led to a shockingly high defect rate in our study. As with many of the other vehicles already mentioned, the problems have been widespread enough for several CX-7 owners to attempt a class-action lawsuit.

Honda Odyssey: Until recently the Honda Odyssey was the gold standard in the minivan market. Not anymore. From 1999 thru 2006 the Honda Odyssey experienced very high transmission rate failures, and despite earlier attempts to fix the problem, we’re finding that the problems are chronic for these model years. The Odyseey is now the worst-performing Honda-built vehicle in our study.

Volkswagens: Specifically, any VW or Audi model that came with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo. Engine sludge issues, defective coil packs and inaccurate timing belts all conspired to make a long list of models into paperweights, including the Volkswagen Passat, Beetle, Jetta, and GTI along with the Audi A4, S3 and TT models. (VW settled a class-action over engine sludge in 2011.) Transmission issues are also common for most of these models. However, there is an alternative: If you find one with the 1.9-liter turbodiesel TDI engine and a manual transmission, go for it. Those models have outstanding long-term reliability — so long as you maintain them properly.

 

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NJ important AUTO news for 10 best used vehicles 2014!

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important news for 10 best used vehicles 2014!

By Steven LangJanuary 27, 2014 1:18 PMMotoramic

Consumers often agonize about what vehicle should be their next car. When it comes to older used cars in particular, I have always offered buyers three ironclad pieces of advice:

• Your footwear is going to have a greater impact on your life than the car you drive.

• The driving and maintenance habits of the prior owner will have a far greater effect on a used car’s longevity than the brand. So whatever you choose, make sure you have it inspected before you buy.

The first gets people to laugh. The second gets them to think. But it’s my third tip that’s most important for those looking to buy an older used car:

• Don’t believe the hype.

Cars from prestige brands (especially European ones) don’t necessarily last longer or work better. In fact, they now represent many of the most costly and least reliable vehicles in the used-car marketplace. The exact opposite is true for certain unpopular brands and models. Defunct automakers such as SaturnSaab, and Pontiac have certain specific models that can equal — or exceed — the quality of the so-called market leaders.

For well over a year now, myself and a statistician named Nick Larivere have developed a long-term reliability study that you can find here. We now have nearly 300,000 vehicles from across the entire United States, and recently, we highlighted those low quality vehicles that were found to be most defective at trade-in time. You can read about those findings here.

Now, that same data also reveals the most durable cars and trucks over several years, and with results that defy popular wisdom.

To give you a grasp of how divergent our findings have become versus the usual stereotypes, theChevrolet Cavalier, a car not generally associated with quality, has registered more trade-ins with over 180,000 miles, and fewer defect issues, than the entire Volkswagenline-up. Other models that are no longer sold as new cars, such as the Buick Park Avenue and Saturn L200, are apparently capable of matching the overall quality of their classes’ top-tier vehicles for thousands of dollars less.

There are plenty of good used vehicles out there that are capable of offering the highest levels of long-term quality and owner satisfaction. However, since manufacturers often sell multiple vehicles over the same platform, to increase reliability and lower cost, for this study we have decided to broaden the field a bit and highlight the ten most successful platforms. This way those less popular models in our study don’t get overlooked.

 

 

1. Lexus LX470/Toyota Land Cruiser

These vehicles are the automotive version of granite. They are heavy as hell, don’t age and will most assuredly squash whatever vehicular bugs and cockroaches are on the road should the Zombie Apocalypse ever take place. The Land Cruiser and LX470 are the best on our list.

2. Ford E-Series

While GM only offered a mild redesign of their full-sized vans back in 1995, and Dodge left the segment entirely, Ford decided to double down by improving the vehicle’s interior design several times over, and then sticking with three engines that Ford has collectively put into over 10 million vehicles (the 4.6-liter V-8, the Trition 5.4-liter V-8, and the 6.8-liter V-10).

The end result is the best-selling full-sized van in today’s market, and one whose durability has been earned the hard way. A true workhorse that is kept instead of curbed.

3. Lexus LS

The LS400, LS430 and LS460 are among the only ultra high-end luxury models that buck the trend of having dubious reliability and maintenance issues upon trade-in. No luxury car in our study, on average, is driven longer with more miles on the odometer, and fewer defects, than the Lexus LS series.

4. Chevy/GMC full-sized trucks and SUV’s

Toyota and Lexus finished first and second in the Manufacturer Quality Index Rating. But guess who finished third? GMC.

With GMC only selling trucks and SUVs, all of which are also sold by Chevrolet, the two have combined to offer outstanding quality and durability that few others can match, which is one of the main reasons why GM trucks have remained so dominant. SuburbansSilveradosTahoesYukonsand a long list of other makes and models are all part of the GMT platform which has remained at the forefront of vehicle longevity.

 

5. Ford full-sized trucks (V-8 and V-10 models)

 

While Dodge remains a distant third, and Toyota and Nissan have barely made a dent in the full-size truck business, Ford has become Chevy’s equal in the segment, and in certain cases, now the superior choice. The now defunct Ford Excursion holds the title as the third most reliable full-sized SUV in our study (the Land Cruiser and LX are first and second). Meanwhile the Ford F-Series is based on the P-platform which regularly yields that V-8, rear-wheel drive, body-on-frame combination that has made the F-150 the best selling vehicle in America for 32 years running.

6. Toyota Camry / Lexus ES / Toyota Avalon

We found in our year-long study that the Honda Accord has experienced a rash of transmission issues with V-6 models, and the Nissan Altima had severe oil consumption issues with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The Toyota Camry is the only midsized vehicle to remain consistently well above average for the last twenty years (click the chart here.) The mid-’90s to mid-2000s Lexus ES and Toyota Avalons are based on the Camry XV platform which laid the foundation for other standouts from this era, including the Toyota Solara and Sienna. The Avalon is the second-highest ranked car in our study.

7. Toyota 4Runner / Lexus GX470

We should mention that there have been two major platforms for older 4Runners. The older 4Runner was based on the Toyota truck and then later, an overseas model known as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. In 2003, Toyota decided to offer the North American only 4Runner with it’s very own platform and added a Lexus variant. Both 4Runners are a cut above in terms of long-term reliability. The 4Runner and GX470 are ranked 5th and 8th respectfully while the older Toyota truck rounds off the top ten.

8. Honda S2000

Only 65,000 S2000s were built over a ten year period, and yet they remain neck-and-neck with the Mazda MX-5 Miata as the most popular roadster of the past decade. The S2000 has the distinct honor of being among the few on our list that are exceptionally reliable and fun to drive.

 

9. Toyota Prius

 

While the S2000 has served as a fun car for the enthusiast, the Prius has become the car of choice for planet-lovers and hipsters. Fewer than 4 percent of Prii that are traded-in exhibit any type of serious mechanical issue, and that includes problems with the hybrid battery. While the older Honda Civic Hybrid and Accord hybrid have all experienced substantial battery wear, the Prius remains among the most reliable vehicles in the marketplace by any standard.

10. Lexus GS

It was our hope to make this list a bit more diverse by incorporating platforms instead of single models, since Toyota has so far managed to nail down eight of the top ten slots in our long-term reliability study.

The good news is that this platform based list offers over 40 distinct models to choose from, both imports and domestic, and certain popular media favorites such as the Honda Accord and Toyota RAV4 can no longer obscure major mechanical defects that don’t take hold until after most first owners sell their vehicles. The bad news for Toyota haters, however, is that yet another Toyota product —the Lexus GS — rounds off the list. The GS was based on the Japan-only Toyota Crown and Toyota Aristo for most of it’s life, and it’s the seventh rear-wheel-drive platform to land in the top ten in our list of best long-term reliability.

These rankings will gradually change over time as we are scheduled to get over 600,000 vehicles into our reliability study by the end of 2014, and well over a million by 2015. So feel free to click herefor a model by model breakdown. But as it stands today, if you’re looking to buy a used car, a Toyota will likely have the most life left.

 

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Tesla, Lexus triumph in Consumer Reports’ annual rankings

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important news for The Consumer Reports’ annual rankings!

By Justin HydeFebruary 25, 2014 12:45 PMMotoramic
  • Last year, Consumer Reports made news with its annual rankings of new cars and trucks by choosing foreign-branded vehicles for all of its top picks, upsetting some Detroit fans. This year, Consumer Reports changed course dramatically, naming an American built and designed car the best overall vehicle for sale today, an honor it hasn’t used in four years.

But it’s not made in Detroit.

The Tesla Model S took top honors based on the magazine’s own testing and reliability surveys drawn from its 8 million readers. Foreign brands once again dominate the brand rankings and individual top picks, with LexusAcura and Audi in the lead. And while there were a few bright spots for the traditional domestic makers — with the Ram full-size pickup scoring Chrysler‘s first top pick in 16 years — they still trail the competition due to reliability scores.

 

 

While reliability for the $90,000 Tesla has been average in Consumer Reports’ surveys, the all-electric luxury sedan scored a 99 out of 100 in its driving tests, with the magazine calling it “a glimpse into a future where cars and computers coexist in seamless harmony.” The last car to win the accolade was the Lexus LS 460L in 2010. Among the other nine top picks, Honda and Subaru claimed two apiece, with Toyota, Audi, Ram, BMW and Hyundaitaking the rest.

Consumer Reports automotive editor Rik Paul said the brand rankings often reflect how well an automaker has designed its electronic systems. Lexus, Acura and Audi “all have full-featured cars, and they are reliable systems that don’t have a lot of problems,” Paul said. Subaru, Toyota, Hondaand Mazda followed close behind.

[See Consumer Reports’ Top Picks for 2014 here]

 

Among Detroit brands, Buick and GMC posted the highest scores, with General Motors as a whole generally performing better than Ford or Chrysler, whose Jeep brand scored lowest among those ranked. Paul said while many individual Detroit models performed well — the Cadillac CTS, the new Chevy Silverado pickup — the magazine either lacked reliability data or the reports it had were discouraging.

For example, the Ford Fusion was one of the magazine’s top-scoring family sedans, and Paul said Ford vehicles on average “outscore Toyota in our testing and are similar to Honda. But what drags Ford down is reliability ratings,” especially with its MyFordTouch in-dash entertainment system.

The survey does have a few blind spots. Several brands — FiatJaguarLand RoverLincolnMini,MitsubishiPorsche, Ram, Scion and Smart — weren’t ranked because Consumer Reports didn’t have enough data to measure their reliability, although the magazine does rate their individual models. Automakers have long said no single ranking has more sway with customers than Consumer Reports, but Jeep‘s status as the lowest-performing brand for a few years running hasn’t hurt its sales, with the WranglerGrand Cherokee and new Cherokee all moving off dealer lots swiftly. Given that Tesla is selling every car it can build, the magazine’s honor can’t increase sales much, but it certainly won’t hurt.

 

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Toyota tops Consumers Reports’ 2014 car-brand perception survey

The auto repair specialists in our Brake-O-Rama Orange NJ location have GREAT INFORMATION ABOUT HOW NEW JERSEY DRIVERS Toyota tops Consumers Reports’ 2014 car-brand perception survey

ConsumerReports.org

By Consumer Reports StaffFebruary 5, 2014 10:00 AM

Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Chevrolet continue to top the rankings in Consumer Reports’ annual Car-Brand Perception Survey, standing out as the leading brands in consumers’ minds. These perennial leaders have a significant advantage in overall score, but several other brands—including Tesla—are moving up the rankings.

These scores reflect how consumers perceive each brand in seven categories: quality, safety, performance, value, fuel economy, design/style, and technology/innovation. Combining those factors gives us the total brand-perception score. While the scores reflect a brand’s image, they do not reflect the actual qualities of any brand’s vehicles. The key word here is “perception,” as influenced by word-of-mouth, marketing, and hands-on experience.

 

For 2014, Toyota has a 25-point advantage over second-place Ford, reflecting a five-point gain over the previous year for Toyota and a three-point improvement for Ford. It could be interpreted that the safety concerns that saw the Toyota score stumble a few years ago have faded, returning the brand to its position as the perceived industry leader.

Honda lost 16 points this year, while Chevrolet seemed to find them, increasing its score by 13 points. The brand to watch is Tesla Motors, which jumped from 47 points last year, to fifth position and 88 points this year. That the remainder of the Top 10 all score 73 or higher is notable; last year there was a wider points spread among the high-ranking brands.

Overall brand perception
Best Worst
Brand Score Brand Score
Toyota 145 Land Rover 4
Ford 120 Maserati 8
Honda 109 Jaguar 9
Chevrolet 105 Rolls-Royce 11
Tesla Motors 88 Scion 17
Subaru 87 Ram 17
Mercedes-Benz 82 Mini 21
Volvo 80 Mitsubishi 21
Cadillac 78 Infiniti 22
BMW 73 Jeep 23

How the scores were calculated
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a random, nationwide telephone survey from Dec. 6 to 15, 2013, and collected survey data from 1,578 adults in households that had at least one car.

Overall brand perception is an index calculated as the total number of times that a particular make was mentioned as exemplar across seven categories, weighted by category importance, and divided by the total unaided awareness of the brand. (Interview subjects were asked what brands exemplified the traits, instead of being read a list of brands.) That approach compensates for awareness level, ensuring that every brand has an equal chance of leading a category, not just the best-selling or most well-known brands.

Category scores reflect the number of times that the particular make was mentioned as a leader for the particular attribute, again corrected for awareness.

Important factors in buying a new car
This list ranks the seven key factors by how important they are to consumers when buying a new car. The percentage is based on the number of respondents who said the factor was among their top three priorities. For comparison, we’ve included last year’s figures.

Factor 2014 2013
Quality 90 90
Safety 88 88
Performance 83 82
Value 82 83
Fuel economy 81 81
Design/style 70 65
Technology/innovation 68 65

Bottom line
Automakers continue to vie for consumer mindshare and dollars by developing compelling new models engineered to drive sales and profits. As a smart shopper, the key is to look beyond the hype to the virtues that matter most to you and ensure you’re buying a product that truly excels based on real-world tests, rather than merely perceptions or empty marketing slogans.

Copyright © 2006-2013 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

 

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2014 New Jersey Auto News, GM recalls an additional 2.7 million vehicles

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important information to make before buying a car

GM recalls an additional 2.7 million vehicles, reveals more sins of the past

Motoramic
5-15-2014

Nearly four months after first revealing it neglected safety problems in millions of older models, General Motors announced today another massive batch of recalls — five in total, covering eight models built over a decade and affecting 2.7 million vehicles. While GM says none of the safety issues it’s fixing today have lead to deaths, some had been the source of injuries and hundreds of complaints — and in one case, GM had issued a partial fix and recall already, raising new questions about why it waited several years to repair all cars affected.

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So far this year, GM has recalled more than 10 million cars and trucks, part of a shakeout stemming from the ignition defects linked to at least 13 deaths and years of foot-dragging by the company. The automaker said today’s recalls would add $200 million to the $1.3 billion it spent fixing old vehicles in the first quarter.

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The bulk of those affected by today’s recalls: 2.4 million 2004-2012 Chevrolet Malibus, 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxxes, 2005-2010 Pontiac G6s and 2007-2010 Saturn Auras. GM says a bad control module could cause the tail lights to either fail to turn on when the brakes are applied or turn on by themselves; the same issue could also cause problems with “cruise control, traction control, electronic stability control and panic braking assist.”

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It’s a problem that had generated more than 1,000 complaints from owners and reports of three injuries from crashes. GM had even recalled about 8,000 Pontiac G5s for the problem back in January 2009 — and yet, also told dealers how to fix the problem in all other affected models without a recall. After receiving more than 300 complaints on its own in the years since, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a new investigation into the problem last year.

The other recalls GM announced today include:

— 111,889 2005-2007 model year Chevrolet Corvettes, whose low-beam headlamps can intermittently fail due to a bent wire. Newer models that suffer from the same problem will get covered by an extended warranty. This too was the focus of a NHTSA defect probe.

— 140,067 Chevrolet Malibus from the 2014 model year with 2.5L engines and stop/start technology, where the brake can suddenly require far more force to engage. Four complaints, no injuries.

— 19,225 Cadillac CTS cars from the 2013-2014 model year, where the windshield wiper motor could break if a car’s jump-started while the wipers are blocked by ice or snow.

— And 477 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light duty pickups and 2015 model year Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs, whose owners are being told to not only stop driving their trucks but have them towed via flat-bed to dealers. GM says it discovered a manufacturing defect at the factory that could cause the front tie rod and steering gear to fail, leading to a crash.

GM’s new safety and recall chief, Jeff Boyer, has said the automaker would move faster to spot and repair problems under his tenure; a similar shake-out of long-simmering issues happened at Toyota following its floor-mat debacle a few years back, when it also called back millions of vehicles. And there are still other lingering problems — like the rusted brake lines in millions of GM pickups — where the automaker remains under investigation by federal safety officials. NHTSA still has four other defect probes open involving GM vehicles. Today’s announcements may be the biggest for now, but they likely won’t be the last.

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A car dealer’s scientific guide to the 10 best used vehicles

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important information to make before buying a car

A car dealer’s scientific guide to the 10 best used vehicles
By Steven Lang January 27, 2014 Motoramic

 

 

Consumers often agonize about what vehicle should be their next car. When it comes to older used cars in particular, I have always offered buyers three ironclad pieces of advice:

• Your footwear is going to have a greater impact on your life than the car you drive.

• The driving and maintenance habits of the prior owner will have a far greater effect on a used car’s longevity than the brand. So whatever you choose, make sure you have it inspected before you buy.

The first gets people to laugh. The second gets them to think. But it’s my third tip that’s most important for those looking to buy an older used car:

• Don’t believe the hype.

Cars from prestige brands (especially European ones) don’t necessarily last longer or work better. In fact, they now represent many of the most costly and least reliable vehicles in the used-car marketplace. The exact opposite is true for certain unpopular brands and models. Defunct automakers such as SaturnSaab, andPontiac have certain specific models that can equal — or exceed — the quality of the so-called market leaders.

For well over a year now, myself and a statistician named Nick Larivere have developed a long-term reliability study that you can find here. We now have nearly 300,000 vehicles from across the entire United States, and recently, we highlighted those low quality vehicles that were found to be most defective at trade-in time. You can read about those findingshere.

Now, that same data also reveals the most durable cars and trucks over several years, and with results that defy popular wisdom.

To give you a grasp of how divergent our findings have become versus the usual stereotypes, the Chevrolet Cavalier, a car not generally associated with quality, has registered more trade-ins with over 180,000 miles, and fewer defect issues, than the entire Volkswagen line-up. Other models that are no longer sold as new cars, such as the Buick Park Avenue and Saturn L200, are apparently capable of matching the overall quality of their classes’ top-tier vehicles for thousands of dollars less.

There are plenty of good used vehicles out there that are capable of offering the highest levels of long-term quality and owner satisfaction. However, since manufacturers often sell multiple vehicles over the same platform, to increase reliability and lower cost, for this study we have decided to broaden the field a bit and highlight the ten most successful platforms. This way those less popular models in our study don’t get overlooked.

 

 

1. Lexus LX470/Toyota Land Cruiser

These vehicles are the automotive version of granite. They are heavy as hell, don’t age and will most assuredly squash whatever vehicular bugs and cockroaches are on the road should the Zombie Apocalypse ever take place. The Land Cruiser and LX470 are the best on our list.

2. Ford E-Series

While GM only offered a mild redesign of their full-sized vans back in 1995, and Dodge left the segment entirely, Ford decided to double down by improving the vehicle’s interior design several times over, and then sticking with three engines that Ford has collectively put into over 10 million vehicles (the 4.6-liter V-8, the Trition 5.4-liter V-8, and the 6.8-liter V-10).

The end result is the best-selling full-sized van in today’s market, and one whose durability has been earned the hard way. A true workhorse that is kept instead of curbed.

3. Lexus LS

The LS400, LS430 and LS460 are among the only ultra high-end luxury models that buck the trend of having dubious reliability and maintenance issues upon trade-in. No luxury car in our study, on average, is driven longer with more miles on the odometer, and fewer defects, than the Lexus LS series.

4. Chevy/GMC full-sized trucks and SUV’s

Toyota and Lexus finished first and second in the Manufacturer Quality Index Rating. But guess who finished third? GMC.

With GMC only selling trucks and SUVs, all of which are also sold by Chevrolet, the two have combined to offer outstanding quality and durability that few others can match, which is one of the main reasons why GM trucks have remained so dominant. SuburbansSilveradosTahoesYukons and a long list of other makes and modelsare all part of the GMT platform which has remained at the forefront of vehicle longevity.

 

5. Ford full-sized trucks (V-8 and V-10 models)

 

While Dodge remains a distant third, and Toyota and Nissan have barely made a dent in the full-size truck business, Ford has become Chevy’s equal in the segment, and in certain cases, now the superior choice. The now defunct Ford Excursion holds the title as the third most reliable full-sized SUV in our study (the Land Cruiser and LX are first and second). Meanwhile the Ford F-Series is based on the P-platform which regularly yields that V-8, rear-wheel drive, body-on-frame combination that has made the F-150 the best selling vehicle in America for 32 years running.

6. Toyota Camry / Lexus ES / Toyota Avalon

We found in our year-long study that the Honda Accord has experienced a rash of transmission issues with V-6 models, and the Nissan Altima had severe oil consumption issues with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The Toyota Camry is the only midsized vehicle to remain consistently well above average for the last twenty years (click the chart here.) The mid-’90s to mid-2000s Lexus ES and Toyota Avalons are based on the Camry XV platform which laid the foundation for other standouts from this era, including the Toyota Solara and Sienna. The Avalon is the second-highest ranked car in our study.

7. Toyota 4Runner / Lexus GX470

We should mention that there have been two major platforms for older 4Runners. The older 4Runner was based on the Toyota truck and then later, an overseas model known as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. In 2003, Toyota decided to offer the North American only 4Runner with it’s very own platform and added a Lexus variant. Both 4Runners are a cut above in terms of long-term reliability. The 4Runner and GX470 are ranked 5th and 8th respectfully while the older Toyota truck rounds off the top ten.

8. Honda S2000

Only 65,000 S2000s were built over a ten year period, and yet they remain neck-and-neck with the Mazda MX-5 Miata as the most popular roadster of the past decade. The S2000 has the distinct honor of being among the few on our list that are exceptionally reliable and fun to drive.

 

9. Toyota Prius

 

While the S2000 has served as a fun car for the enthusiast, the Prius has become the car of choice for planet-lovers and hipsters. Fewer than 4 percent of Prii that are traded-in exhibit any type of serious mechanical issue, and that includes problems with the hybrid battery. While the older Honda Civic Hybrid and Accord hybrid have all experienced substantial battery wear, the Prius remains among the most reliable vehicles in the marketplace by any standard.

10. Lexus GS

It was our hope to make this list a bit more diverse by incorporating platforms instead of single models, since Toyota has so far managed to nail down eight of the top ten slots in our long-term reliability study.

The good news is that this platform based list offers over 40 distinct models to choose from, both imports and domestic, and certain popular media favorites such as the Honda Accord and Toyota RAV4 can no longer obscure major mechanical defects that don’t take hold until after most first owners sell their vehicles. The bad news for Toyota haters, however, is that yet another Toyota product —the Lexus GS — rounds off the list. The GS was based on the Japan-only Toyota Crown and Toyota Aristo for most of it’s life, and it’s the seventh rear-wheel-drive platform to land in the top ten in our list of best long-term reliability.

These rankings will gradually change over time as we are scheduled to get over 600,000 vehicles into our reliability study by the end of 2014, and well over a million by 2015. So feel free to click here for a model by model breakdown. But as it stands today, if you’re looking to buy a used car, a Toyota will likely have the most life left.

 

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10 safety checks to make before buying a car

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important news for 10 safety checks to make before buying a car

10 safety checks to make before buying a car

ConsumerReports.org 

By Jeff BartlettJanuary 27, 2014

You need to consider several factors when evaluating a vehicle’s overall safety. They range from how it performs in an emergency-handling situation and how it protects its occupants in a collision to how easy it is to secure a child seat. When comparing vehicles, it’s important to look at all the appropriate variables, including safety-related ratings and features. Below, we list 10 safety checks that are worth reviewing before you make your final buying decision.

1. Insurance-industry crash-test ratings
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a safety-research group that conducts its own series of crash tests. In its frontal-offset crash, the IIHS runs a vehicle at 40 mph into a deformable barrier. Instead of engaging the whole width of the car’s front end, the barrier covers just the 40 percent of the car in front of the driver.

Using a deformable barrier simulates a car-to-car, driver’s-side-to-driver’s-side collision, which is a common form of fatal crash. By focusing the crash on only a portion of the car’s front, this test severely stresses the car’s structural integrity and its ability to protect the area around the driver without collapsing.

The IIHS scores its frontal-crash results as Good, Acceptable, Marginal, or Poor. You can find ratings for all tested vehicles on the IIHS website.

2. Government crash-test ratings
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts two types of crash tests: full frontal and side impact. Each is scored on a five-star scale, with fewer stars indicating a greater likelihood of serious injury. You can check the scores for all crash-tested vehicles online at www.safercar.gov.

Both the NHTSA and IIHS frontal crash-test results are comparable only to vehicles within the same weight class as the tested car. If vehicle weights are very dissimilar, the results could be very different.

3. Electronic stability control (ESC)
Electronic stability control (ESC) is designed to keep the vehicle under control and on its intended path during cornering, and prevent it from sliding or skidding. If a vehicle begins to go out of control, the system selectively applies brakes to one or more wheels and cuts engine power to keep the vehicle on course. On SUVs, stability control can help prevent a rollover. The IIHS estimates that 10,000 lives per year would be saved if all cars had ESC. NHTSA required ESC as standard from the 2012 model year.

4. Rollover resistance

(Photo: Matthew Fern | Flickr) 

Taller vehicles such as SUVs and pickups have a high center of gravity, which makes them more likely to roll over than passenger cars. (According to the IIHS, SUVs have a rollover rate that is two to three times higher.)

We believe that vehicles that tip up in NHTSA’s test have a potential stability problem and CR will not recommend them, regardless of their star rating. In order for an SUV or pickup to be recommended, it must either have been included in NHTSA’s test and have not tipped up or, if it has not been tested, it must offer electronic stability control.

5. Antilock brake system (ABS)
CR’s auto experts highly recommend getting an antilock brake system (ABS), which is available as standard or optional equipment on nearly all vehicles. ABS prevents the wheels from locking up during a hard stop, something that can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. ABS almost always provides shorter stops, but, even more importantly, the system helps keep the vehicle straight and allows the driver to maneuver during a panic stop.

6. Accident avoidance
A vehicle’s ability to help you avoid an accident is just as important as its crashworthiness. Key factors to consider are braking and emergency handling, although acceleration, visibility, driving position, and even seat comfort (which affects driver fatigue) also play a role. Consumer Reports evaluates these factors on every vehicle it tests.

7. Air bags
By law, every new passenger vehicle comes equipped with dual front air bags. But the sophistication of the systems can vary. Most upscale vehicles and many others now have some version of a “smart” air-bag system, which gauges several variables to tailor the deployment of the vehicle’s front and side air bags. Side air bags are now common for front occupants, and Consumer Reports highly recommends head-protection side air bags where they’re available.

8. Safety-belt features
Three-point lap-and-shoulder belts provide the most protection in a crash, and most vehicles now have them in all seating positions. A few, however, still have only a lap belt in the center-rear position, which allows the upper part of the body to move forward in a crash or panic stop. The comfort of the belts is also important, because some people won’t wear them if they’re uncomfortable.

Many vehicles also include safety-belt pretensioners and force-limiters. Pretensioners automatically take up the slack in the seat belt during a frontal crash, while force-limiters relax the safety-belt tension following the initial impact to prevent chest and internal injuries caused by the belt itself.

9. Head restraints
Head restraints are vital for guarding against the whiplash neck injuries that often accompany a rear-end collision. Restraints need to be tall enough to cushion the head above the top of the spine. Many cars’ head restraints adjust for height. Look for those that lock in the raised position—a legal requirement for cars made since September, 2009. Those that do not can be forced down in a crash, losing effectiveness. Many cars’ rear restraints are too low to do much good, which Consumer Reports notes in its road test reports. The IIHS websiteprovides head-restraint or rear-crash ratings for many models.

10. Child safety

Car baby seat from 1962 (Photo: RichardBH | Flickr) 

Child-safety seats save lives and should be used until a child is big enough to use the vehicle’s regular safety belt. Often, incompatibilities between the car’s seat and the child seat make a good, tight fit difficult and sometimes impossible to achieve.

For some years all new vehicles had a universal system called LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) that made the attachment easier and more secure. But the system doesn’t work equally well in all vehicles. The key is to try out a new car seat in your existing vehicle, or try out your existing car seat in a new vehicle before you buy either.

Power-window switches: Children have accidentally activated a power window while leaning out and have been killed or injured by the window closing on them. The easiest types to inadvertently trigger are horizontal rocker and toggle switches on the door’s armrest, which raise the window when pushed down or to the side. Lever-type switches, which are flush with the surrounding trim and only raise the window when pulled up, are a safer design.

 

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BEST Guide for 10 best used vehicles!

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important news for The Guide 10 best used vehicles!

Motoramic

Consumers often agonize about what vehicle should be their next car. When it comes to older used cars in particular, I have always offered buyers three ironclad pieces of advice:

• Your footwear is going to have a greater impact on your life than the car you drive.

• The driving and maintenance habits of the prior owner will have a far greater effect on a used car’s longevity than the brand. So whatever you choose, make sure you have it inspected before you buy.

The first gets people to laugh. The second gets them to think. But it’s my third tip that’s most important for those looking to buy an older used car:

• Don’t believe the hype.

Cars from prestige brands (especially European ones) don’t necessarily last longer or work better. In fact, they now represent many of the most costly and least reliable vehicles in the used-car marketplace. The exact opposite is true for certain unpopular brands and models. Defunct automakers such as SaturnSaab, andPontiac have certain specific models that can equal — or exceed — the quality of the so-called market leaders.

For well over a year now, myself and a statistician named Nick Larivere have developed a long-term reliability study that you can find here. We now have nearly 300,000 vehicles from across the entire United States, and recently, we highlighted those low quality vehicles that were found to be most defective at trade-in time. You can read about those findings here.

Now, that same data also reveals the most durable cars and trucks over several years, and with results that defy popular wisdom.

To give you a grasp of how divergent our findings have become versus the usual stereotypes, the Chevrolet Cavalier, a car not generally associated with quality, has registered more trade-ins with over 180,000 miles, and fewer defect issues, than the entire Volkswagen line-up. Other models that are no longer sold as new cars, such as the Buick Park Avenue and Saturn L200, are apparently capable of matching the overall quality of their classes’ top-tier vehicles for thousands of dollars less.

There are plenty of good used vehicles out there that are capable of offering the highest levels of long-term quality and owner satisfaction. However, since manufacturers often sell multiple vehicles over the same platform, to increase reliability and lower cost, for this study we have decided to broaden the field a bit and highlight the ten most successful platforms. This way those less popular models in our study don’t get overlooked.

 

 

1. Lexus LX470/Toyota Land Cruiser

These vehicles are the automotive version of granite. They are heavy as hell, don’t age and will most assuredly squash whatever vehicular bugs and cockroaches are on the road should the Zombie Apocalypse ever take place. The Land Cruiser and LX470 are the best on our list.

2. Ford E-Series

While GM only offered a mild redesign of their full-sized vans back in 1995, and Dodge left the segment entirely, Ford decided to double down by improving the vehicle’s interior design several times over, and then sticking with three engines that Ford has collectively put into over 10 million vehicles (the 4.6-liter V-8, the Trition 5.4-liter V-8, and the 6.8-liter V-10).

The end result is the best-selling full-sized van in today’s market, and one whose durability has been earned the hard way. A true workhorse that is kept instead of curbed.

3. Lexus LS

The LS400, LS430 and LS460 are among the only ultra high-end luxury models that buck the trend of having dubious reliability and maintenance issues upon trade-in. No luxury car in our study, on average, is driven longer with more miles on the odometer, and fewer defects, than the Lexus LS series.

4. Chevy/GMC full-sized trucks and SUV’s

Toyota and Lexus finished first and second in the Manufacturer Quality Index Rating. But guess who finished third? GMC.

With GMC only selling trucks and SUVs, all of which are also sold by Chevrolet, the two have combined to offer outstanding quality and durability that few others can match, which is one of the main reasons why GM trucks have remained so dominant. SuburbansSilveradosTahoesYukons and a long list of other makes and models are all part of the GMT platform which has remained at the forefront of vehicle longevity.

 

5. Ford full-sized trucks (V-8 and V-10 models)

 

While Dodge remains a distant third, and Toyota and Nissan have barely made a dent in the full-size truck business, Ford has become Chevy’s equal in the segment, and in certain cases, now the superior choice. The now defunct Ford Excursion holds the title as the third most reliable full-sized SUV in our study (the Land Cruiser and LX are first and second). Meanwhile the Ford F-Series is based on the P-platform which regularly yields that V-8, rear-wheel drive, body-on-frame combination that has made the F-150 the best selling vehicle in America for 32 years running.

6. Toyota Camry / Lexus ES / Toyota Avalon

We found in our year-long study that the Honda Accord has experienced a rash of transmission issues with V-6 models, and the Nissan Altima had severe oil consumption issues with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The Toyota Camry is the only midsized vehicle to remain consistently well above average for the last twenty years (click the chart here.) The mid-’90s to mid-2000s Lexus ES and Toyota Avalons are based on the Camry XV platform which laid the foundation for other standouts from this era, including the Toyota Solara and Sienna. The Avalon is the second-highest ranked car in our study.

7. Toyota 4Runner / Lexus GX470

We should mention that there have been two major platforms for older 4Runners. The older 4Runner was based on the Toyota truck and then later, an overseas model known as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. In 2003, Toyota decided to offer the North American only 4Runner with it’s very own platform and added a Lexus variant. Both 4Runners are a cut above in terms of long-term reliability. The 4Runner and GX470 are ranked 5th and 8th respectfully while the older Toyota truck rounds off the top ten.

8. Honda S2000

Only 65,000 S2000s were built over a ten year period, and yet they remain neck-and-neck with the Mazda MX-5 Miata as the most popular roadster of the past decade. The S2000 has the distinct honor of being among the few on our list that are exceptionally reliable and fun to drive.

 

9. Toyota Prius

 

While the S2000 has served as a fun car for the enthusiast, the Prius has become the car of choice for planet-lovers and hipsters. Fewer than 4 percent of Prii that are traded-in exhibit any type of serious mechanical issue, and that includes problems with the hybrid battery. While the older Honda Civic Hybrid and Accord hybrid have all experienced substantial battery wear, the Prius remains among the most reliable vehicles in the marketplace by any standard.

10. Lexus GS

It was our hope to make this list a bit more diverse by incorporating platforms instead of single models, since Toyota has so far managed to nail down eight of the top ten slots in our long-term reliability study.

The good news is that this platform based list offers over 40 distinct models to choose from, both imports and domestic, and certain popular media favorites such as the Honda Accord and Toyota RAV4 can no longer obscure major mechanical defects that don’t take hold until after most first owners sell their vehicles. The bad news for Toyota haters, however, is that yet another Toyota product —the Lexus GS — rounds off the list. The GS was based on the Japan-only Toyota Crown and Toyota Aristo for most of it’s life, and it’s the seventh rear-wheel-drive platform to land in the top ten in our list of best long-term reliability.

These rankings will gradually change over time as we are scheduled to get over 600,000 vehicles into our reliability study by the end of 2014, and well over a million by 2015. So feel free to click here for a model by model breakdown. But as it stands today, if you’re looking to buy a used car, a Toyota will likely have the most life left

 

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What Are New Jerseys’ Biggest car-buying gripes!

Biggest car-buying gripes

ConsumerReports.org

By Jim Travers3 2-28-2014
Biggest car-buying gripes

.View photo
Listen up, car dealers: When we asked our Facebook followers about what annoys them most when buying a car, we got an earful. And across the board, their biggest complaint was how they were treated at dealerships. By an overwhelming margin, respondents said it was a sales representative who made the experience an unhappy one, followed by the sales or finance manager. Many also complained about having to haggle, about the amount of time it took to close a deal, and about feeling like pawns in a time-consuming game. (See our car-buying advice.)

Here’s a representative sample of their feedback.

Charles: “Why do they still do that ‘get-up-and-go-check-on-something’ rigmarole?”

Jim: “The worst part for me is to do all the homework and have the facts and figures
with me, and still have a sales/finance manager talk to me like I’m stupid!”

Dianne: “Because I am a woman, most dealerships suffer from ‘dumb-broad syndrome’
and assume I know squat. I surprised a few salesmen by knowing more than they did about the car.”

Kelly: “Don’t ever ask me ‘if I am the sole decision-maker’ in my household if I am the
only person at the dealership test-driving the vehicle. No sale for that salesperson!”

Stephen: “Getting the runaround on the phone when calling with an offer based on
Internet pricing. They always say that you really need to come in to talk price, which is a huge time dump.”

The most positive comments came from buyers who did their homework. “I researched the real price of the car,” Kevin said. “Coming from a position of strength and knowledge helped a great deal. And be willing to walk out, and make it clear you will.”

Several also reported good experiences by avoiding the haggling experience entirely, by either buying at a fixed-price location such as CarMax or Costco, or by getting up-front dealer pricing information from a service such as TrueCar or the Consumer Reports Build & Buy service.

This article also appears in the April 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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Obama Tells EPA To Set Next Heavy-Duty Truck Fuel-Efficiency Rule

Not all U.S. vehicles that burn gasoline or diesel fuel are passenger car and light trucks.

Medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks make up a small percentage of the traffic on U.S. roads, but they cover more miles and have far worse fuel efficiency than passenger cars.

winter.13That’s why trucks are the focus of the latest environmental initiative by President Barack Obama.

Speaking Tuesday at a Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Obama instructed Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to develop stricter fuel-economy standards for large trucks.

 

Cummins and Peterbilt 'SuperTruck'Cummins and Peterbilt ‘SuperTruck’

 

Proposal by March 2015

He said the Department of Transportation and EPA will consult with truck manufacturers, large shippers, and other stakeholders to produce a set of proposed rules by March of next year.

The call for additional rules follows Obama’s promise in his State of the Union Address to use executive power to implement his administration’s policies, rather than rely on a combative Congress.

The new rules will follow fuel-economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks passed in 2011.

Those regulations take effect this year, and call for a 10- to 20-percent increase in fuel economy by 2018, depending on the class of vehicle.

 

Semi trailerSemi trailer

 

The next round of regulations will run from 2019 through 2025, bringing large trucks into line with the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rules for passenger vehicles, which now run through 2025 as well..

Small improvements, big savings

Such relatively small increments can have a large impact.

Trucks rack up far more miles than passenger vehicles–with far worse fuel economy–so they produce a disproportionate amount of emissions.

In his speech, Obama noted that heavy-duty trucks make up 4 percent of traffic on U.S. roads, but account for 20 percent of the carbon pollution from the transportation sector.

Even an improvement from 4 to 6 mpg could result in a savings of 8 gallons of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.

 

AirFlow BulletTruck (Images: AirFlow Truck Company)AirFlow BulletTruck (Images: AirFlow Truck Company)

 

Diesel industry on board

Thus far, makers of diesel engines appear optimistic that they will be able to produce more fuel-efficient trucks that comply with any new regulations.

The Diesel Technology Forum–which represents diesel-engine manufacturers–said in a statement that the industry has already made great improvements to diesel efficiency, and should be able to keep pace with the Obama Administration’s plans.

Over the past decade, the group says, strict new emissions limits have cut emissions from the latest large-truck engines by 99 percent for nitrogen oxides and 98 percent for particulates.

Whether truckers themselves approve of the new measures remains to be seen; many long-haul truckers opposed transferring oversight of heavy-truck fuel efficiency from the DoT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to the EPA back in 2010.

They asked the DOT to intervene and save them from the EPA, which had drafted the proposal for the regulations that take effect this year, because they feared it would raise the cost of new trucks.

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SAFE WINTER DRIVING TIPS FOR 2014 FROM BRAKEORAMA

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Check out this important news for WINTER DRIVING TIPS FOR 2014!

SLUSH.DRIVING

10 Tips for Driving in Slippery, Slushy, Snowy Road Conditions
A Primer on Winter Driving Techniques

To avoid an accident, here are 10 driving techniques that should be employed when driving in rain, snow, sleet, or hail:

1. Reduce your speed. Wet and snowy roads require you to better control the vehicle, so reduce your speed to where you feel comfortable. Don’t worry if your speed is considerably less than the posted speed limits of the road. Those limits are based on ideal road conditions. It’s best to pace your driving to avoid the need for sudden stops on wet and icy road conditions.

Most importantly, you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that your four-wheel drive or heavy vehicle can properly handle the slippery or wet roads at normal speed. Often times, these are the vehicles that you see along the side of the road as a result of a spinout. While SUVs, four-wheel drive vehicles and trucks are better in handling various road conditions, you still need to reduce your speed to achieve this performance.

2. Increase the distance length between other vehicles. Tailgating or leaving only one car length distance between you and the car in front of you does not leave ample space for you to react to wet or slippery road conditions. Experts recommend increasing your following distance to four car lengths in rain or snow conditions. In addition to giving you more time to react to you car’s slipping or spinning, it will also help to keep your windshield clear of flying spray or ice from the car in front of you.

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3. Familiarize yourself with how your anti-lock brakes function in slippery conditions. Read your vehicle manual and get comfortable with how you should brake on wet, icy and snowy roads.

4. Gradually accelerate, brake and turn. If you do these things suddenly on a wet or slippery road, you lose traction and could end up losing control of your vehicle.

5. Lift your foot off the accelerator a bit when going under bridges or on overpasses. There could be shady spots where ice and snow may still be present, causing you to spin out.

6. Drive slowly when snowplows are behind or around you. Often times, snow plow operators have to make sudden stops or maneuvers to avoid vehicles stranded in the road or obstacles blocking the road, like fallen tree limbs or telephone wires. And never pass a snowplow that is working in tandem with other snowplows.

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7. Be extra careful driving in very windy conditions. Blowing snow can cause white-out conditions, even during the daytime. Don’t try to continue driving it you can’t see. Pull over to the side of the road until weather conditions improve.

8. Avoid using your vehicle’s cruise control function in snowy, icy, or rainy weather. For safety purposes, you need to manually control the acceleration of your vehicle.

9. Avoid talking on your cell phone when driving during inclement weather. This could distract from focusing all your attention on your driving.

10. Stay as far away as possible from vehicles whose drivers failed to clear the snow from the roof. This could end up flying onto other vehicles, especially windshields, when driving. Remember to clear snow away from your car’s hood and roof to avoid flying blocks of snow.

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Toyota issues stop sale on 6 key models over seat fabrics; recall possible?

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web.

2014 Toyota Corolla

2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla

By Brandon TurkusRSS feedGoogle+

Posted Jan 30th 2014

Toyota has issued a stop-sale order on six of its core models due to concerns about the flammability of certain seat fabrics. The issue rests not with the cloth and leather covers themselves, but with a piece of seat heater beneath them that fails to meet US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for flame retardancy.

There have been no reports of fires or injuries from the affected cars, which include some of Toyota’s biggest volume sellers. 2013 and 2014 CamryCamry HybridAvalonand Sienna models equipped with heated seats are included in the stop-sale, as are 2014 Tundra pickups and Corolla sedans. The exact number of vehicles with the non-compliant materials are still being tabulated, according to The Detroit Free Press.

According to a Toyota spokesman, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been notified, although it remains to be seen if a recall will be issued. Outside of a full recall, though, it’s unclear how Toyota will deal with vehicles equipped with the flammable materials that have already found homes.

In the meantime, Toyota is reportedly developing a fix for those vehicle still sitting on dealer lots.

UPDATE: John Hanson, National Manager, Environmental, Quality, and Safety Communications for Lexus, has confirmed to Autoblog that no Lexus models are affected by this seat fabric issue. We have not yet heard back from Scion, but we’ll update this post as soon as we do.

 

 

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1 in 5 motorists name their car, do you?

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. This is a funny article about how people name there autos!

1 in 5 motorists name their car, do you?

By Noah JosephRSS feed YAHOO AUTOS

Posted Jan 15th 2014

We all know someone who’s named their car. And chances are – let’s face it – that person is probably a girl. We’re not being sexist here: we’re just looking at the numbers presented by a new study from DMEautomotive.

The industry research group conducted a study that indicates that one in five American car owners have named their vehicles. But that one in five is likely to be female and between the ages of 18 and 24. The study upsets certain notions of men being more attached to their cars than women, and millennials not caring about cars: at 23 percent, women proved more likely to personify their vehicle than men (at 18 percent), and car owners in their late teens or early twenties are the four times more likely to name their cars than someone over 55.

Because most women (by far) view their car as female and men are pretty evenly split, there’s about twice as many “female” cars on the road as “male” ones (those identities having been ascribed by the vehicles’ owners). But this part had us scratching our heads the most: apparently one in four cars that have names, have names that begin with the letter B: as the tidy infographic above shows, Baby, Betsy, Bessie and Betty (along with Black Beauty) rank among the most popular names for cars in America.

Of course some cars may be more susceptible to being named than others, though the study (whose findings you can read below) doesn’t get into that. As our friends at Road & Track discovered, Mini dealers have devised a simple way of figuring out whether an owner may be interested in trading in: if they’ve named their Mini, chances are slim that they’ll be willing to part with it.

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Auto News 2014 Volkswagen boosts Passat fuel economy with two-cylinder engine mode

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. For Volkswagen owners this is great news! Volkswagen boosts Passat fuel economy!

 Volkswagen boosts Passat fuel economy with two-cylinder engine mode

By Justin Hyde, 1-8-2014 Motoramic

 

The drive for inexpensive ways to boost the fuel economy of gasoline cars has led automakers to some strange places, from car shutters to transmissions with as many speeds as your bicycle. Most have shrunk their engines and added turbos to regain lost power; a few automakers have experimented with tiny three-cylinder engines.

But today, Volkswagen reached a new realm in fuel efficiency, revealing a concept version of its midsize Passat sedan capable of 42 mpg on the highway, the high mark for a car that size running a non-hybrid gasoline engine. Its secret? Running on just two cylinders as often as possible.

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Cylinder deactivation — using electronics to shut off fuel and close the valves to a few cylinders, turning them into air springs — has been around for years in V-8s; the new Corvette Stingray turns into a V-4 at highway speed. Honda uses cylinder deactivation in versions of the V-6 Accord sedan, boosting its efficiency to 34 mpg.

But cutting off half of an inline four-cylinder poses some technical challenges. In a V-engine, it’s easier to balance the loads; here, VW shuts off the inside two pistons. The 1.4-liter engine also uses turbocharging, direct injection and a stop-start system to further save fuel. While VW calls it a concept for now, it’s likely to see production as fuel economy standards rise.

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Brake-O-Rama Shows The Safest New Cars 2014

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. This holiday season  Brake-O-Rama Shows The Safest New Cars 2014

2014 Top Safety Pick Award Recognizes The Safest New Cars

ConsumerReports.org

By Liza Barth  12-19, 2013

Under tough new criteria, 22 vehicles earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ award for high-level protection in crashes and the availability of front crash prevention technology. Seventeen models earn the less-stringent Top Safety Pick Award.

IIHS recently changed its criteria for its awards to up the ante on vehicle safety, and it is clear from how automakers are making improvements that this effort is bringing improved crash protection to consumers.

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In 2013, 130 vehicles took home either award, but for 2014, just 39 earn one of the awards. Now, vehicles need to earn a score of Good in four of five IIHS crash tests and Good or Acceptable in the fifth test to qualify for the Top Safety Pick. The tests include moderate overlap front, small overlap front, side, rollover, and rear crash tests. For the Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles only with a Basic, Advanced, or Superior rating in front crash prevention are eligible. Vehicles that have fallen off the list have less than Acceptable ratings for small overlap protection or they haven’t been tested yet.

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Consumer Reports factors results from all IIHS crash tests into our ratings. Our longstanding criteria for recommending vehicles stipulates that a model score well in our testing, have average or better reliability, and perform adequately if included in crash tests performed by the government and/or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The models that earn the Top Safety Pick+ award have optional systems that can prevent or mitigate front-to-rear crashes through a warning and can autonomously brake if a driver doesn’t slow or stop in time to avoid a rear-end crash.

The Pick+ models

Small cars: Honda Civic HybridMazda3 (built after October 2013), and Toyota Prius (built after November 2013)

Midsized cars: Ford FusionHonda Accord (2- and 4-door), Mazda6Subaru Legacy, and Subaru Outback

Midsized luxury cars: Infiniti Q50Lincoln MKZ, and Volvo S60

Large luxury cars: Acura RLX and Volvo S80

Small SUVs: Mazda CX-5 (built after October 2013), Mitsubishi Outlander, and Subaru Forester

Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander

Luxury SUVs: Acura MDXMercedes-Benz M-Class (built after August 2013), and Volvo XC60

Minivan: Honda Odyssey

Models that earn the Top Safety Pick include the Acura TLChevrolet SparkChrysler 200Dodge Avenger,Dodge DartFord FocusHonda Civic coupeHyundai ElantraKia OptimaMitsubishi Outlander SportNissan AltimaScion tCSubaru ImprezaSubaru XV CrosstrekToyota Camry (built after November 2013),Volkswagen Passat, and Volvo XC90.

Honda/Acura has the most winners of any automaker, with six models earning the Top Safety Pick+ award and two named Top Safety Picks.

Underscoring the need for increased occupant protection, 33,561 people died in vehicle fatalities in 2012, representing a 3 percent increase from the year before. Front, side, and rollover crashes make up a large part of the deaths. While rear-end crashes typically aren’t fatal, they result in a large portion of injuries and insurance claims.

The Insurance Institute’s crash test evaluations are an important tool to help consumers choose a safe vehicle that can help reduce the risk of death from vehicle crashes. For a full list of the 2014 winners and to see a list of past winners dating back to 2006, the first year of the Top Safety Pick Awards, see the IIHS website.

To find out more on how the IIHS and the government conduct crash tests, see Crash test 101. Also check out our guide to vehicle safety.

Liza Barth

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Brake-O-Rama shows 6 Car Gifts Not To Buy!

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. This holiday season  Brake-O-Rama shows 6 Car Gifts Not To Buy!

6 Car Gifts Not To Buy

ConsumerReports.org

By Liza Barth, 12-11-2013
6 car gifts not to buy

There are plenty of great holiday gift ideas for the car lover on your shopping list, but we came across some products that are just a bad idea. They either promote distracted driving, are dangerous, or just plain stupid.

Here is a list of car gifts not to buy.

Dash-mounted DVD player

What could be better than driving along the road and watching your favorite movie? We think getting to your destination safely without telling an officer that you crashed not because you were speeding, but because you were watching the “Fast & Furious” franchise. Save the driving movies for your kids in the backseat; our kids positively love “Cars” and “Turbo.” The rear passengers can enjoy entertainment on the go with a built-in DVD system or a tablet computer—either is best viewed with the kiddies wearing headphones in case mom and dad don’t want to hear the lines of the movie they’ve heard 17,000 times.

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Front seat laptop/iPod mounts

Distracting driving is a serious issue, and we don’t need any more accessories that make it easier to access electronics while driving. Yes, we know some commercial vehicles (and also police cars) have access to laptops. And while many people use their cars as a mobile office, running your electronics while driving is a devotion to your job that might be going too far. If you need to type a work memo, pull off at a rest stop. Don’t risk the temptation by having a laptop or tablet mounted within easy access of the driver’s seat, even if you’re using it for navigation. If you need route guidance, use a portable GPS or smart phone mounted on the dash or windshield where it can be easily seen, rather than take your eyes off the road.

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Steering wheel phone mounts

Connecting your phone to your car via Bluetooth is one thing, but physically connecting the phone to your steering wheel is a whole other issue. Not only is it distracting to have your phone accessible right in front of you while driving, but it could also become a dangerous projectile or seriously injure a driver (or any one else in the car) should the air bag deploy in a crash. And, yes, we have seen such products sold online.

Car seat accessories

The number of ad-ons and toys that line the car-seat aisle of many retailers tempt young parents but are generally not a good idea. “Soft goods” such as covers and head bolsters may seem like a good idea, but some products may not meet flammability requirements or could change the function of the harness if they add bulk behind the child. Other car seat accessories not to get include toy bars or similar items to entertain your child. These products are not crash tested (car seats are, though) and could be dangerous to a child in the event of a crash. Most car-seat manufacturers also prohibit the use of added accessories with their seats unless they’ve tested the products themselves and approved them for use.

Carlashes

This is not a joke; it’s a real product! You can actually buy lashes for your car—we found them on Amazon. The flirtation may be short lived, though, after looking at the reviews that say these Betty Boop-style lashes scratched the car paint and broke off in the wind. Save the vanity for yourself instead of your car.

Blackout tail-light lens covers

These covers are a popular aftermarket accessory to give your car a sleek look. While they are visually appealing, these covers are not very functional and illegal in many states.  Even if you just use them in the daylight, they still mask the brake lights, making them harder for others to see when the car is stopped.

See our recent blog for car-related gifts we recommend. For more gift ideas, see our holiday shoppingspecial section.

—Liza Barth

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BRAKE-O-RAMA HASKELL IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS AGAIN!

BRAKE-O-RAMA HASKELL IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS AGAIN!

1223 RINGWOOD AVE.
HASKELL, NJ 07420

(855) 992-7253
MAP

HOURS:
MONDAY TO FRIDAY 8:00 TO 6:00
SATURDAY 8:00 TO 5:00 

THE HOME OF THE LIFETIME WARRANTY

 Our Brake-O-Rama Haskell Location is a full service auto repair and preventive maintenance center. We have been performing quality auto repairs since 1949. We are a family owned company that takes pride in our staff and the high quality repairs they perform.

ESTIMATES & QUESTIONS

Call Brake-O-Rama’s friendly staff at 855-992-7253 to get an estimate on any car repair question you may have. If your car is giving you a problem or you just have a question call us, we would be happy to help you. Brake-O-Rama is a full service repair shop since 1949 doing repairs on BrakesWheel AlignmentWheel BalanceTire RotationAir Condition, Heating, Shocks & Struts, Engine Repair, ABS Light, Engine Light, New TiresUsed TiresRadiatorsBatteries,   Free Car Inspection and more, plus we have valuable coupons to help save you money.

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Brakeorama Auto News For December 2013! CORVETTE 2015 PREVIEW

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. Brakeorama Auto News For December 2013! CORVETTE 2015 PREVIEW… Here is an EXCITING LOOK AT THE 2015 CORVETTE!

 

Chevy Teases 2015 Corvette Z06 Ahead of Detroit Auto Show

By Jeff Perez | Boldride – 12-4-2013

The new Corvette Stingray is one of the biggest, baddest rides of the year. But that doesn’t mean it won’t get any bigger or badder. For instance, there’s the forthcoming Z06, set to make its first world appearance at the Detroit Auto Show in only a month’s time (January, 2014).

 

Naturally, Chevy isn’t giving out any details just yet on its more hardcore version of the Corvette, but they do promise that, “It will be the most track-capable Corvette ever.” Does that mean more potent than the ZR1? Perhaps.

PHOTOS: See More of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51

2015 Corvette Z06

At any rate, we expect the new Z06 to put out more than 500 horsepower from a tuned version of the V8 under the hood of the newStingray. If you recall, the previous Corvette Z06 was fitted with a massive 7.0-liter (427 cubic inch) V8, cranking out 505 horsepower. Considering the current C7 Corvette Stingraymakes 460 horses (when you select the optional dual-mode exhaust), output could be even higher.

RELATED: Next-Gen Corvette Z06 Could Adopt ‘Z07′ Moniker, Twin-Turbo V8

This runs against previous rumors that Chevrolet was ditching the Z06 naming for the name “Z07.” Those rumors also suggested that the Z07 would have a twin-turbo V8, capable of 600 horsepower. We’ll just have to wait until it hits the stage in Detroit — oh how we will be waiting

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Brakeorama New Jersey Auto News! See THE TOP SELLING VEHICLES BY STATE!

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web.  Here is an interesting Map.

MAP: The Best-Selling Car In Every State

Business InsiderBy Alex Davies | Business Insider – 11-20-2013

The auto industry has become so globalized, you can find the same Ford in Detroit and in Beijing. So it’s not surprising that Americans’ taste in passenger vehicles has become a bit homogenized.

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To find how much difference there is in our car-buying habits, we asked Kelley Blue Book to pull the data from the start of the year to find the best-selling ride in each state.

Not surprisingly, Ford F-Series family of trucks dominated the list, coming in at number one in more than 30 states. But Americans elsewhere have different tastes: Florida and Maryland went for the Toyota Camry. Hawaii liked the Toyota Tacoma. Oklahoma bucked the geographic trend — the most popular car there is the Nissan Altima sedan.

Here’s the full map, you can click to enlarge.

Top Selling Car by State chart

See Also:

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Brakeorama Shows You How car reliability varies by vehicle type

When Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires services your automobile, our mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. In New Jersey there are a lot of our customers asking us How car reliability varies by vehicle type. This article will help answer those vehicle reliability questions!

How car reliability varies by vehicle type

ConsumerReports.orgBy Liza Barth | ConsumerReports.org October 2013

 

Fuel-efficient wagons, gas-sipping hybrids and gas-less electric cars are the most reliable vehicle types according to our 2013 Annual Auto Survey, which is based on our subscribers’ experiences with 1.1 million vehicles. Sporty cars, subcompact cars, and midsized SUVs are among the least reliable.

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All 10 wagons, all six compact pickups, and 18 out of 21 hybrid and electric cars have average or above-average predicted reliability. Just three Fords in the latter category are not reliable. Sporty cars are at the bottom of the list with only seven reliable models out of 19, which shows that paying a high price doesn’t guarantee a good car.  Only eight out of 27 midsized SUVs were reliable. See how the other vehicle categories fare below based on their average predicted reliability score (percent better or worse than the average car).

Vehicle Type Average predicted reliability score
Wagons 33
Compact pickups 26
Hybrids/electric cars 10
Compact sports cars 8
Luxury cars 7
Small SUVs 0
Large/upscale cars 0
Minivans -2
Compact cars -3
Luxury compact SUVs -3
Full-sized pickups -4
Large SUVs -8
Luxury SUVs -8
Midsized cars -11
Coupes/convertibles -11
Midsized SUVs -13
Subcompact cars -19
Sporty cars -27

When it comes to buying a new car, you do not need to spend top dollar. But it does pay to do your research and find the model that meets Consumer Reports’ stringent requirements to be recommended and suits your budget.

For more details on our 2013 Annual Auto Survey, including the full list of most and least reliable new cars by vehicle type, see our complete car reliability report. Also, check out our guide to car reliability for more details on new and used car reliability.

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Honda Accord Hybrid, your 50-mpg family sedan

When Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires services your automobile, our mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. In New Jersey there are a lot of our customers asking us about WHAT IS THE BEST CAR ON GAS?  This article will help answer those IMPORTANT  AUTO GAS MILEAGE questions!

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, your 50-mpg family sedan: Motoramic Drives

By Neal Pollack | Motoramic –10-10-2013

You’d assume by now, more than a decade into the hybrid era, that Honda would have done something significant in the space after launching the Insight in 1999, the first hybrid sold in the United States. But as the years passed, Honda has suffered diminishing returns; the hybrid Civicwas once successful, but Honda’s hybrid lines have been overtaken by Ford, Hyundai and even Kia. Honda did some cool stuff with fuel cells and natural-gas powered cars, but it appeared to lose interest in hybrids, the preferred alternative-energy method in the American market.

Well, finally, with the 2014 Accord Hybrid, Honda has decided to come to the party, late. But they’re showing up like someone on New Year’s Eve carrying a crate of high-end champagne: They waited until they had something good.

Last year, Honda dipped its toe into the brook with the Accord plug-in hybrid, which seemed like an afterthought to the 2013 Accord reboot. It received scant praise and sold poorly. That’s not going to happen with its new offering. The 2014 Accord Hybrid has a drive train technology, part of Honda’s creepily named EarthDreams line, that’s beyond anything in the hybrid world. It’s an extremely clever evolution of the technology.

Here’s the first thing you should know: The Accord Hybrid has no transmission, at least not like we traditionally think of one. It has no torque converter or clutch. Instead, it contains a pair of electric motors, one of which serves to propel the vehicle, and the other of which is attached to the gas engine, meaning it serves mainly as a power source. That engine is a 2.0-liter in-line four cylinder yielding 141 hp and 226 lb-ft of torque. Under highway cruising conditions, it works in concert with the electric drive train, placing in the car in a rough equivalent of top gear.

Honda calls this the “Harmonization Control G-Design Shift,” which probably sounds better in the original Japanese. Regardless, it’s very cool stuff for gearheads, a totally different conception of what a drive train can do. Like most hybrids, the Accord has a standard engine mode, a hybrid mode, an EV mode (which it can only hold for about a minute). But it’s separated from the pack, like Dr. Who, by its ability to regenerate. The Hybrid charges its 1.3kWh lithium-ion battery while the engine is running via the generating motor, but via the other generator while decelerating or braking — making maximum use of its momentum.

How does this translate on the road? Honda tried to sell it to us as “Environment + Fun.” It does extremely well on the former. The Accord comes with a label of 50 mpg city, 45 highway, and 47 combined — trouncing the hybrid Camry‘s 41 mpg combined rating. A three-hour test drive covering at least 150 miles on urban and rural roads, as well as some major Interstate stints, revealed that to be spot-on. On one leg, my drive partner and I got almost 49 mpg. That would be good even in a Toyota Prius C. For the Accord, which tops 3,500 lbs. in any trim level, it’s just extraordinary, leaving other mid-sized hybrids like the Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata sucking lithium.

As for “fun,” well, it’s a hybrid. If you want a car that’s fun to drive, go buy a vintage Miata. The Accord is adequately fun, in the way that monitoring your digital exercise wristband is fun. You watch the MPG meter with great attention and try to brake on the downhills for extra regeneration power. Anything traditionally known as “driving” gets done reluctantly. Most of the time, the car runs blissfully quiet, but when you’re going uphill, it makes a noise somewhere between a whine and a roar, kind of like a lawnmower. Then you take your foot off the brakes, and it begins to cruise again, doing its regeneration dance, what it does best.

The styling of the car, other than some token blue accents, is exactly the same as the current Accord, bland, efficient, vaguely comfortable, but not matching the smooth, beautiful lines you can find in contemporary Mazdas or BMWs, or higher end Toyota products like the Avalon or the Lexus ES. It’s boring. But no one is going to shop for an Accord Hybrid looking for great leaps in styling or drive performance. The car’s strengths lie in solid safety features, including excellent forward and side-collision warnings in an upgraded technology package, and its absolutely, unquestionably, best-in-class gas mileage.

The base price for the Accord Hybrid will be $29,155 all the way up to $34,905 for its touring package. Unimaginably, that puts it at about average price for a new car. That high end seems like a bit much. A better option might be $31,905 for the EX-L pack that includes a power roof, XM radio, and the excellent electronic safety features. But all options will come with the special E-Harmonization Magical Pixie Dream Girl engine technology, or whatever Honda is calling it, and that’s a huge bonus.

It’s going to be years before another car of the size reaches the mileage potential of the Accord Hybrid. They have made the winner. Toyota should be warned: Honda may have come to the hybrid party late, but it looks like it’s going to stay a while.

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NJ Auto News 2013: Tesla is a no-show at electric car conference

When Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires services your automobile, our mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. In New Jersey there are a lot of our customers asking us about TESLA ELECTRIC CARS. This article will help answer those IMPORTANT ELECTRIC CAR questions!

Tesla is a no-show at electric car conference

ConsumerReports.orgBy Eric Evarts | ConsumerReports.org – 10-2-2013

Electric car advocates meeting in San Diego this week for Plug-In 2013 should be celebrating: After decades of effort, major automakers have sold hundreds of thousands of electrified cars in California and across the country. Instead, the organization is focusing on how to sell even more electric cars by, for example, installing more and faster public car chargers accessible to more drivers, developing longer-range electric cars, or convincing consumers to sacrifice the automotive ideal of driving anyplace at any time. But the invisible 800-lb. gorilla in the room is Tesla. (Read our full Tesla Model S road test.)

The California automaker—whose cars are the envy of most companies in the  industry—skipped the event. And why not? Tesla already builds long-range electric cars, and it has rolled out scores of free fast chargers across the country (albeit accessible only to its own customers who have paid at least $60,000 for their cars).

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Meanwhile, the rest of the industry is moving on at this event as if Tesla doesn’t exist, in part because its cars are so expensive and because the company isn’t on hand to represent itself. Big automakers and utilities, the primary players at this conference, have been working together for decades to figure out how to make electric cars more attractive to consumers. And it makes sense for them to continue their efforts.

But, for better or worse, Tesla is like the Apple of the electric-car industry: moving forward with its own standards and not playing nice with established players. And its products, based on its own closed system, have won virtually every accolade in the traditional automobile industry, includingConsumer Reports’ recommendation and our highest test score ever. (Turns out, even its crash test scores are exemplary.)

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It’s not uncommon for revolutionary new technologies to start at the high end, with expensive luxury products and trickle down. So far, Tesla’s excellent-but-expensive Model S has been outselling most dedicated electric cars on the market. Although Nissan is doing well with its Leaf, and the Ford Focus Electric is gaining ground. And while there can’t be enough $90,000 electric-car buyers to sustain that pace, the underlying question here at Plug-In 2013 is, how long could the strong pace last? In the meantime, it looks like a standards war akin to the Apple/PC divide in the 1980s and ’90s is brewing in electric cars.

Learn more about electric cars in our alternative fuel special section.

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NJ AUTO SAFETY NEWS: Safety upgrades for your car

When Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires services your automobile, our mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto information we find on the web. In New Jersey there are a lot of our customers asking us about NJ AUTO SAFETY NEWS. This article will help answer those IMPORTANT questions!

Safety upgrades for your car

By Liza Barth | ConsumerReports.org – September 2013

Today’s new vehicles are brimming with advanced safety features. Blind-spot monitoring, for example, helps keep you from hitting an unseen car when changing lanes. A forward-collision warning system signals if your car is in danger of striking one in front. And a lane-departure system alerts you if you begin drifting out of your lane, which might happen if you’re distracted or sleepy.

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Now you can get those safety features for your current car. We recently evaluated two products: the $850 Mobileye 560 and the $250 Goshers Blind Spot Detection System.

With Mobileye, a camera mounted behind the inside rearview mirror “reads” the road ahead, monitoring such things as lane markings and the distance to the car in front. Using a built-in speaker and a small display unit, it will give you audible and visual warnings if your car begins leaving a lane, you’re following a car too closely, it senses a pedestrian or bicyclist, or it calculates that you need to take action to avoid hitting a car in front. The system can also switch your headlights from high to low beam for oncoming cars and read speed-limit signs to signal if you’re going too fast.

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The sensitivity of the various systems can be adjusted along with the volume of the audible warning, and each function has its own audible and visual warnings.

Some functions can be turned off if you find that they’re not useful. A smart phone can also serve as the system’s display by using a wireless Bluetooth connection and a separate Mobileye app.

Overall, we found that Mobileye’s features worked well and gave us ample time to react, on the road and in simulated situations at our track. But staff members noticed one annoyance: At speeds faster than 19 mph, the display constantly shows the number of seconds—up to 2.5—that your car is behind the one in front.

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Mobileye needs to be professionally installed, which adds about $150 to the cost.

The Goshers system is designed to do only one thing: alert you to a car in your blind spot. It uses sensors mounted on each side of the rear bumper, corresponding warning lights for the interior, and an audible alarm. We found that the system reliably warned us of other cars but that it can be a bit overzealous, with guardrails and other objects causing false alerts. It was more helpful when we adjusted its sensitivity to its lowest setting and opted to get warnings only when a turn signal was activated.

Installation took our mechanic about 4 hours. We don’t think it’s a job for the average do-it-yourselfer.

Overall, both products can help you avoid crashes, although neither provides the visual and functional integration of a built-in system. And neither is a replacement for maintaining a safe following distance, checking your mirrors, and looking over your shoulder when changing lanes.

See our guide to safety for more information about vehicle features and crash avoidance technologies.

This article appeared in the November 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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Important NJ Auto News 2013: DriveID stops drivers from texting and using phones

When Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires services your automobile, our mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share important auto news we find on the web. In New Jersey there are a lot of our customers asking us about the NJ LAWS on TEXTING AND DRIVING! This article will help answer those IMPORTANT questions!

 DriveID stops drivers from texting and using phones

By Jim Travers | ConsumerReports.org – September 2013

There are a number of apps and subscription services now available to prevent drivers from dialing phones or texting behind the wheel. The problem is, most of them prevent users from operating the phone whether they’re driving or not. But just as phones are getting smarter, so are the tools to reduce the temptation to text behind the wheel.

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Cellcontrol is the maker of one of those solutions, which consists of a module that plugs into the vehicle’s OBD II diagnostic port to capture driving data. It blocks the phone from being used while the car is in motion with a downloadable app.

But the company’s new DriveID takes the technology a step further by replacing the OBD II module with a windshield-mounted sensor that can tell whether the phone is on the right or left side of the car, allowing or blocking phone use accordingly.

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Slide behind the wheel, and phone use is limited to a predetermined menu of options such as navigation, music, or hands-free calls using Bluetooth. Pass the phone to a passenger and full phone functionality is restored. Emergency calls to 911 are allowed at any time.

See our guide to distracted driving to learn more about the dangers of distractions behind the wheel.

The specific menu of what is and is not allowed while driving can be set up by a parent or other administrator through a password-protected page on the Cellcontrol website. A wide variety of customizable options allow the parent to make exceptions for certain numbers, such as their own, or prohibit any phone use other than 911 while the car is moving.

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Once everything is set up, incoming calls and text messages get a response saying the driver is unavailable, and voice and text messages are saved for later.

We had a chance to take a brief demo drive with DriveID and found it worked as advertised. It activated as soon as the car was in motion, with the phone display indicating DriveID was on the job. A buffer zone in the middle of the car effectively prohibits the driver from cheating by holding a phone in an outstretched hand. One quirk we noticed is that a rear-seat passenger sitting behind the driver is also blocked from using the phone.

The system provides fleet operators and parents a means of curbing dangerous behavior behind the wheel. The distinction between driver- and passenger-side addresses a common criticism of other antidistraction solutions.

DriveID goes on sale in the fall, and it is compatible with Android, Blackberry, iOS, and Windows platforms. For personal (aka “family”) use, there is an $89 one-time cost.

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Brake-O-Rama tells you how New Jersey rules if a Vanity Plate is ‘Offensive’

When Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires services your automobile, our mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share interesting auto news we find on the web. In New Jersey there are a lot of our customers asking us about the NJ rules on getting a VANITY PLATE! This article will help answer those questions!

How States Decide if a Vanity Plate is ‘Offensive’

By Bill Wilson | Boldride – 9-11-2013

The issue of vanity license plates was in the news recently, when the state of New Jersey rejected an application for a plate that read “ATHE1ST.” The applicant was David Silverman,president of the group American Atheists. The official reason was that the plate was “offensive.”

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Jersey officials reversed their ruling a few days later, when the story spread faster than a 1970 Hemi Cuda with NOS exhaust. Still, the incident led us to wonder how states determine whether a vanity plate message is too divisive for drive-time. Rules vary widely across the country, but Virginia’s approach comes close to the procedures used by most areas. So here’s how they do it in the Old Dominion.
Basically, “big Brother is watching you”

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That famous phrase from the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four might come to mind when you hear the name of the organization that decides what vanity plates get approved. It’s known simply as the “Word Committee,” which sounds sinister due to its disturbing ambiguity.
In reality, however, it refers to a group of devoted Virginia DMV public servants. They gather every 30 days to review proposed vanity plate messages. Those plates that the group deems offensive get turned down, but the applicants don’t suddenly vanish – as far as we know, anyway.

License Plate

Group members try to use commonly accepted standards when evaluating an application. Most of their choices make sense, at least to us. Here are some of the ones they’ve given a thumbs-down to in the past:

– NUT2BUT
– UZAHOEE
– TBAGGNU
– PITYDFU
– IPMP4U

Then there’s my personal favorite…
– HO4AWIF

The group does its best, but occasionally one slips past them, like the plate that said “kids first” (pictured above) on the bottom. Sounds nice, until you see the letters above that read “EATTHE.” That one eventually got pulled, but who knows how many other inappropriate messages are running loose on the streets. I suppose it’s the price we pay for free speech. That’s one thing all of us should hold sacred, whether we’re atheists or not.

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How To get the best price on a new car NJ.

When Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires services your automobile, our mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share interesting auto news we find on the web. In New Jersey there are alot of our customers asking us how to get the best price on a new automobile. This article will help answer those questions!

How To get the best price on a new car NJ.

KiplingerBy Jessica L. Anderson | Kiplinger 9-2013

For any vehicle you’re considering, go to TrueCar.com to compare the average transaction price in your area with the sticker price. Next, head to Edmunds.com, and enter the make, model and trim level to see the dealer invoice price. Click on “Incentives and Rebates” to view current manufacturer offers. That way you’ll know how much money dealersget from the carmaker when they make a sale.

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Skip the Showroom Showdown

Once you’ve taken a test-drive and decided exactly what you want, go home. Contact the Internet managers at several dealers and ask for bids. Let them know you’re shopping around, and get firm offers via e-mail. If you’re a repeat buyer, ask for the “loyalty discount.” If you’re new to the brand, ask for the “conquest discount.” Then take your old car to several dealers and CarMax and sell it to the highest bidder.

Be Prepared to Cross Swords

Salespeople have a host of tactics to boost the car’s price — and their commission. They will try, for example, to focus your attention on the monthly payment; to keep it low, they may push you to extend the loan term or to lease instead of buy. Insist on negotiating the price of the vehicle, whether you’re buying or leasing. If the salesperson asks about your trade-in, steer the conversation back to thenew car. Lumping the purchase and the trade-in together means the dealership can give you a lower trade-in value and still look as if it’s giving you a good deal.

Stand Your Ground

If the price is at or near invoice, the dealership is making a profit. Don’t waver on your price if the salesperson leaves the room to “get approval from my manager” only to return and say, “We can’t do it.” Bottom line: Walking away is the best tool in your arsenal. There are nearly identical cars at other dealers.

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Let a Pro Do It

A car-buying service lets you skip the haggling and the stress. Free services, such as those from TrueCar.com and Edmunds.com, offer prices from participating dealers that are guaranteed but may not be the lowest pos­sible. CarBargains, the buying service of the nonprofit Consumers’ Checkbook, charges $200 to hire its professional negotiators to shop for your car at a minimum of five local dealers. Leasing? Check out LeaseWise; for $350, you will get at least five bids.

Get Out of F&I Alive

The finance-and-insurance office is where dealers make a chunk of their profit, so keep your wits about you (and prepare to be there for a while). Come with loan preapproval from your bank or credit union; unless there’s a special interest rate from the manufacturer, the bank’s financing may be better. Resist pitches for paint sealant, fabric protection and extended warranties; they aren’t worth the money. Review the contract to make sure extras you didn’t approve weren’t added. Fees for shipping and regional advertising are standard, but document fees are suspect. Never pay a floor-plan fee (the cost to hold inventory at a dealership) or a vehicle-preparation fee for cleaning the car, removing plastic and checking fluids.

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NJ Corvette News! Man Builds Electric C3 Corvette.

When Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires services your automobile, our mechanics do the best job in making your auto run smooth. We check everything to make sure our customers are happy. We also like to share interesting auto news we find on the web. In New Jersey there are alot of Corvette lovers and our mechanics in Lodi found this excellent article to share with Corvette lovers everywhere!

 

Man Builds Electric C3 Corvette

 

By George Kennedy | Boldride – 8-29-2013

 

It has been quite a long time since the Chevrolet Corvette has had anything but a small block V8 underneath its hood. While the very first Corvette was available with a straight-six, this yellow C3 Corvette features an all-electric powertrain. Safe to say this was never an available engine code.

Created by Keith Stegath, we learned of this incredible project via Corvette Forums. Stegath has been hard at work on electrifying a third-generation ‘Vette for nearly two years, and features a 300-volt battery pack, weighing in about 1,200 pounds.

 

00-Electric Corvette

RELATED: 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Astro-Vette

The electric drivetrain also features a 2000-amp controller, and is all monitored by a sophisticated touchscreen interface. Stegath has made it so that nearly every one of the car’s controls are sent through the touchscreen.

02-Electric Corvette

RELATED: 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZR1 Concept

Currently, Stegath has put just 100 miles on the new odometer. The project is not yet complete, as he continues to modify body panels. We hope to see more of this electric ‘Vette (including hopefully a dyno run) as he completes the project.

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NJ AUTOS REPAIR NEWS Shows Study finds men are from Lincoln, women are from Volvo, cheapest brake repair NJ

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs and Tires works on all types of cars and our mechanics  love to read information to help our customers better. Brake-O-Rama has the cheapest brake repair NJ … Here is a fascinating article showing the differences between men and women in their auto interests and specific brands that men and women prefer!

 

Study finds men are from Lincoln, women are from Volvo

By Richard Read | The Car Connection – 2013

In marketing, companies always track the demographics of their customers to identify shopping trends. They look at age, geography, income, and many other factors, but perhaps none more so than sex.

The auto industry isn’t immune from this — not by a long shot — and it’s drawn a number of conclusions about today’s shoppers. For example: women are practical, but men get better deals. Men like a showy ride, women prefer one with smarts. And so on, and so on. Vive la difference.

FINDINGS: WOMEN

In very general terms, KBB finds that men prefer U.S. auto brands and European luxury rides, while women show a strong affinity for imports, particularly those from Asia.

Among female new-car shoppers, Volvo proved hugely popular, especially compared to interest from men. In fact, the survey found that women were 119 percent more likely to shop for Volvos than their male counterparts.

Why is that? While Volvo hasn’t always been known for good looks, Volvos are often considered durable, and the brand has repeatedly staked its reputation on safety. That suggests a car packed with value.

And value is exactly what women look for in a new car, according to Diana Duque-Miranda, a senior manager for Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence: “Women car shoppers are much more financially conscious than men, as 72 percent of women are more likely to consider affordability in their next purchase compared to 50 percent of men…. Women are more likely to consider a brand known for value compared to men new-car shoppers, which translates to more women shopping Honda, Kia and Mazda for more bang for their buck.”

That focus on value also causes women to zero in on fuel-efficient rides. In fact, 67 percent of female shoppers are drawn to gas-sippers, compared to just 48 percent of men.

In all, KBB’s top ten brands for women (as compared to men) were as follows:

Volvo (119% more popular with women than men)
Infiniti (97% more popular)
Fiat (82% more popular)
Acura (61% more popular)
Nissan (57% more popular)
Mitsubishi (46% more popular)
Honda (37% more popular)
Dodge (23% more popular)
Kia (19% more popular)
Mazda (16% more popular)

Note that seven of those ten brands are Asian, two are European, and only one is American.

 

FINDINGS: MEN

KBB found a huge gap between men and women in their perception of Lincoln. On average, men were 174 percent more likely to shop Lincoln than women were.

According to Duque-Miranda’s colleague, Arthur Henry, that has everything to do with Lincoln’s history: “Brands with a rich heritage, such as Lincoln, Buick, Cadillac, and Mercedes-Benz, tend to draw the attention of older men more than younger men or even women…. Brands that promote themselves as being ‘rugged’ tend to draw the interest of men of all ages, as 28 percent of men are more likely to shop for a new vehicle that have this factor compared to 19 percent of women.”

All told, the top ten brands that showed up on men’s shopping lists but not women’s were as follows:

Lincoln (174% more popular with men than women)
Audi (147% more popular)
Jaguar (128% more popular)
Scion (128% more popular)
Cadillac (119% more popular)
Chrysler (106% more popular)
Buick (96% more popular)
Mercedes-Benz (37% more popular)
Smart (37% more popular)
GMC (30% more popular)

Note that five of those ten are Detroit marques, four are European, and only one is Asian. (No, we’re not sure how Smart got on the list, either.)

If you’ve recently shopped for a new car, how does this data lines up with your own preferences? Is it way off or right on target? Let us know in the comments below.

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Brake-O-Rama Shows Best Convertibles on a Budget

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs And Tires Know our customers in NJ love convertibles. So we decided to research what are the best convertibles for someone on a budget. Our auto Mechanics in Lodi NJ found this excellent information on the internet that we want to share with all NJ auto convertible lovers!

Best Convertibles on a Budget

By Bill Wilson | Boldride – Sun, Aug 11, 2013

For those with champagne tastes on a beer budget, a convertible is like a night spent with a supermodel: the ultimate fantasy that will almost certainly never become reality. Or maybe it will. We can’t hook you up with Gisele Bundchen, but we can steer you toward a few fetching convertibles that are within the reach of average folks. Here are three to consider, and heck– maybe the car will land you the girl!(maybe)

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Mercedes SL Class:

1980 Mercedes-Benz SL

That’s not a misprint. Yes, you can afford a Mercedes convertible, in good shape, for around $15,000.00, or even less if you look hard enough. The R107 is a particularly good catch. Built from 1972 to 1989, it’s considered one of the best-looking vehicles ever turned out by the German automaker. Even better, it’s relatively mechanically simple, making it possible for capable shade tree mechanics to do much of the maintenance. For a classic car that will make you look good as you get a tan, this choice is hard to beat.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata:

Mazda Miata

If you want something a little newer that the SL, then you can find MX-5 Miata convertibles with less than 100,000 miles on them for less than $15,000 – sometimes much less, like in the $10,000.00 range. Even a new 2013 MX-5 starts at around $23,000. The Miata is a great ride, peppy, cool, and reliable. Plus, it has the kind of classic sports car looks that will never make you feel like a dork – unlike, say, a Cadillac El Dorado from the 70s with velvety pillow-top seats.

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VW Bug (original):

Volkswagen Beetle

Forget speed and maneuverability; for sheer coolness, nothing will ever top the original Beetle. Find one that has been transformed into a convertible and you have the ultimate fun car. It can still take you across the US reliably, thanks to the uber-abundance of spare parts and utter simplicity of the mechanics. Models from rust-free states like CA and FL can be found all over the Internet in near-mint shape for $10,000.00 or less, depending on the model year and the seller’s level of motivation. Keep the top down and enjoy the ride.

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Brake-O-Rama Shows 10 Hybrid Supercars To Expect in the Next 5 Years

At Brake-O-Rama, we try to help our customers with auto buying decisions. We fix your car and we also tell you what is the best car for your needs. We are located in New Jersey and alot of New Jersey drivers come to our 14 locations for information on what car is best for the value. This is an article our mechanics in Roselle Park New Jersey wanted to share with all drivers! Hybrid cars are the future of auto design and we at Brake-o-Rama service Hybrid cars NJ. Brake-o-Rama also has tires for hybrid cars NJ and we fix transmissions of Hybrid cars in NJ.

10 Hybrid Supercars To Expect in the Next 5 Years

By Jeff Perez | Boldride – 8-7-2013

 

Thanks the US government mandate that automotive fleets reach 54.5 mpg by 2025, the dawn of the hybrid supercar is upon us. And it comes to a point where- while the naturally aspirated V12 and naughty six-speed manual gearbox will always reign supreme in the fun department, thehybrid powertrain and dual-clutch gearbox are technologically superior. And that’s fact.

Good news for us is that there’s a lot of well thought-out, high-performance hybrid supercars coming our way. Some are from automakers whom you may not have expected, and others have been in the business of speed for decades. Here’s 10 you might see on the market within the next five years:

Tesla Supercar

tesla-model-r-concept

Let’s start off with Tesla, everyone’s favorite electric car manufacturer (we know, not technically ”hybrid”). Now, rumors have been swirling for quite some time that Elon Musk wants a high-performance Tesla in the lineup. We even went so far as to mock one up for you all to see. But it’s still a ways off, and it’s still a lot of technology that the company may or may not already be invested in.

Mitsubishi Evo XI

Mitsubishi Concept-RA

What can we say about the Mitsubishi Evo? It’s a great car. Mitsubishi as a whole in the US though? Not so much. They’ve pulled back a lot of product lately, and the remnants fail to meet any sort of desirable market.

But there’s hope for Mitsubishi yet. The Evo has and always will be a staple for the Japanese automaker, especially in the US. And as rumors fly of a hopped-up, 500+hp version of which on its way, it makes us feel that someone, somewhere in that company still cares about the enthusiast.

McLaren P1

mclaren-p1 (1)

It’s been one of the most highly anticipated supercars in recent history. With big shoes to fill via its F1 counterpart, the P1 promises to be one of the most technologically advanced, highest performing supercars on the planet.

And with 903-hp, via a twin-turbocharged hybrid V8- how can you argue that?

Ferrari LaFerrari

ferrari-laferrari (1)

If cool names measured the performance ofsupercars, this would be at the bottom. But thankfully, they don’t. Instead, the LaFerraripushes out 950-hp via a 6.3-liter V12 and a hybrid KERS system. It also puts up an equally impressive $1.69M price tag.

Audi R8

audi-r8-v10-plus

The Audi R8 has always proven itself to be a worthy sportscar, teetering on the edge ofsupercar status. But come 2015 (or so), the new R8 will come loaded with nearly 600-hp via a hybrid powertrain, loads of carbon fiber about and a sexy new design.

Lexus LF-LC

lexus-lf-lc-concept

Like a few others on the list, the Lexus LF-LC hasn’t actually been confirmed for production. But we’re not worried; with the LFA’s 500 model run and done, Lexus has already been hard at work on its replacement. The LF-LC could even lead to a downmarket Toyota-based supercar, if you catch my drift.

Porsche 918 Spyder

porsche-918-spyder-prototype

As with the P1 and the LaFerrari, Porschepulled out the big guns to promote its latest and greatest 918 Spyder. And for good reason. It’s an $845K, 760-hp piece of hybrid engineering genius. And not to mention it gets close to 80 mpg.

Nissan GT-R

nissan-gt-r-1320684386-8364

Let’s face it- it’s been a long time coming for a new and improved GT-R. Not that there’s really anything wrong with the current one. But after a few rumors flew that the Nissan GT-R would be dead forever, more significant reports arose of a more powerful, hybrid version of the Godzilla supercar. When it will hit market though, is still a mystery.

Acura NSX

acura-nsx-concept

We’ve seen pretty much all of the new NSX so far (at least in concept form). And from what we can distinguish, it’s a damn fine looking and moving machine. It does the classic NSX right.

The Acura’s expected to hit market in 2015- along with many of its counterparts- and with it, a hybrid V6 worthy of everyone’s attention, as you can plainly see here.

Toyota Supra Successor

Toyota FT-HS

We’ve looked at nine other high-performance vehicles already that are more than drool-worthy representations of the new hybrid supercar movement. But there’s one car that gets our blood pumping more than others. One car that brings back memories of mid-’90s sportscar stardom. The Supra.

And it’s coming to a dealer near you — at least, we hope it is. Rumors of a new Supra have been flying for years since it left the market for good back in 2002. But only lately have we seen some serious movements fromToyota and new CEO Akio Toyoda (a former racing driver dontcha know) furthering development on the sportscar/supercar ideals.

Hopefully with some help from BMW andLexus (or the other way around), Toyota can really get its long talked about Supra project off the ground, and back into our hearts. Albeit with 500-hp, all-wheel-drive and a hybrid powertrain.

 

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Brake-o-Rama Shows the most affordable midsize sedan 2013!

At Brake-O-Rama, we try to help our customers with auto buying decisions. We fix your car and we also tell you what is the best car for your needs. We are located in New Jersey and alot of New Jersey drivers come to our 14 locations for information on what car is best for the value. This is an article our mechanics in Roselle Park New Jersey wanted to share with all drivers!

What’s the most affordable midsize sedan?

By David Thomas | Cars.com – 2013

The midsize sedan is one of the most popular segments in the U.S. It serves as a family car, commuter, road tripper and more.

Because of this popularity, automakers offer a dizzying amount of styles and options for their midsizers. This differing content makes it hard for car shoppers to compare apples to apples from one automaker to the next.

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We analyzed the segment for the features most drivers would want in a car of this class and uncovered some surprising results.

To arrive at the specific trim levels for our analysis we wanted models with a certain level of content that most car shoppers desire.

Required were:

• Automatic transmission
• Cruise control
• USB
• Bluetooth
• Power windows
• Power driver’s seat
• Backup camera

Most midsize-car shoppers are choosing cars with at least this much equipment. Out of more than 30,000 new Honda Accords in Cars.com’s inventory, 67% were the midlevel Sport trim … or higher. For the Nissan Altima, that number was 65%.

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We also included five years of gas costs at the current price and driving ratio provided by the EPA. Many midsize sedans are boasting impressive fuel-economy numbers these days, which is helping keep shoppers out of the crossover or SUV camp.

Here are more findings from our analysis:

• The Kia Optima was $645 less expensive than the next most affordable sedan.
• The Kia Optima Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid were more affordable after five years than seven other non-hybrids on our list.
• The Ford Fusion Hybrid was $1,550 more affordable than the non-hybrid Fusion because it’s better equipped at the trim level that fit our criteria and gets significantly better gas mileage.
• The Fusion Hybrid’s purchase price is $3,200 more than the standard Fusion.
• Chrysler’s 200 and Dodge’s Avenger don’t offer a backup camera — not even as an option.
• The all-wheel-drive Subaru Legacy will cost less at the pump than front-wheel-drive Chevy Malibu, Fusion or Volkswagen Passat.
• The 2014 Passat will go on sale in August; VW promises better fuel efficiency as well as trim levels with more content at lower prices. However, these details weren’t available before we published.

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Brake-O-Rama Auto News: How Drivers Get Busted by a license plate reader!

When Brake-O-Rama helps New Jersey drivers with up to date auto information, we know we are helping to educate the public. Brake-O-Rama not only wants to fix NJ Drivers autos, we also want our customers to feel safe on the road. In these tough economic times it is important to drive carefully and avoid getting tickets for unsafe driving. A ticket in NJ is very expensive and we hope you can avoid the cost by driving safely and learning what to watch out for. This is an article our mechanics in LODI New Jersey found on the internet and we want to share it with you!

Busted by a license-plate reader
By Mark Vallet | Insurance.com

Here is what may have happened the last time you drove past a police car or under an overpass: A license plate reader (LPR) used its high-speed camera to capture a picture of your car. Software analyzed the photo, identified your plate number and checked it against a “hot car” list. If you are a criminal, driving a stolen car or even a car with a lapsed registration, the system sounded an alert and more than likely you were pulled over. But even if you are just another law-abiding citizen running errands, that photograph, along with the date, time and location information, is now stored in an ever growing police database.

License-plate readers are everywhere

License-plate readers are proliferating at an alarming rate according to a recently released ACLUreport. In the not too distant past, LPRs were only used by major police departments, but thanks to falling costs and federal grants, LPRs are making their way to much smaller cities.

A 2011 survey found that almost 75 percent of the responding police departments were using LPRs. Even more striking was the fact that 85 percent of the agencies planned to increase their use of plate readers over the next five years.

The federal government has been instrumental in getting LPRs into the hands of local police. In 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Homeland Security had funded over $50 million in grants for LPRs.

Once they have an LPR, police departments are using them — a lot. They can be attached to overpasses, bridges and mounted on patrol cars. Most of the time you won’t notice them, and will have no idea that your license plate has just been recorded.

Maryland state troopers told the ACLU that during a “normal patrol stance” a trooper could capture 7,000 plates in a single eight-hour patrol. All of those shifts add up. In Maryland, almost 75 percent of the law enforcement agencies feed data into the state data center. They collected 85 million plates in 2012.

Even small towns are collecting large amounts of data. Burbank, Ill., with a population of only 29,000, managed to scan 706,918 license plates between August 2011 and July 2012.

Are license-plate readers effective? ACLU says no, police say yes

License plate readers are great for collecting plate data but the jury is still out on whether they actually prevent crime. The ACLU examined the data from Maryland and found that of the 29 million plates recorded through May of this year, only 0.2 percent were hits.

Furthermore, of that 0.2 percent a whopping 97 percent were for minor violations like driving with a suspended registration. Small towns were no more successful. Of Burbank’s 706,918 plate reads, only 0.3 percent were a hit.

A 2010 George Mason University study found similar results. Cynthia Lum, one of the lead authors says, “Our study found that LPR had no detrimental or preventative effect on crime. Auto theft has been declining for years, not because of LPRs but because of better anti-theft technology and people locking their car doors. Many of the hits are for cars that have been abandoned, most cars are eventually recovered without LPR.”

Police disagree, claiming LPRs are very effective. Detective Fredrick Roth of the Philadelphia Police Real Time Crime Center says, “Our LPR system has helped us recover several stolen vehicles.”

LPRs can be deployed during a bank robbery and collect plate numbers en route, and help law enforcement respond to carjackings, kidnappings and Amber Alerts. They are also being used to combat more serious crimes, like terrorism, say police.

The city of Freeport, Texas, recently installed 12 readers at the major entrances to the city. While they certainly will be used to locate stolen cars and catch people wanted on a warrant, Chief ofPolice Daniel Pennington has other concerns in mind. “One of the primary reasons the camera system was installed is to harden the region to attack/crime. There are 32 chemical facilities in the area and a shipping port, making us a target-rich environment for those wanting to cause great harm,” says Pennington.

Stories of major crimes being solved are not rampant but there are a few. Police in Germany used an LPR to track down a trucker who was responsible for over 700 shootings at other cars. The LPR was integral to solving the crime, according to reports.

License-plate readers and car insurance

LPRs are particularly effective at alerting police to drivers operating on a suspended license, with an expired registration or without car insurance. If your plate generates a hit, you may be in for an expensive ticket.

In St. George, Utah, one police officer reported he issued 400 tickets to uninsured motorists in the city over an 18-month period.

“Driving with a suspended license can result in a dramatic increase in your insurance premium depending on where you live. In North Carolina, for example, it’s 8 points which equals a 195 percent increase in car insurance rates,” says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for CarInsurance.com.

According to an Insurance.com analysis of 490,000 car insurance quotes, here are the average annual rate increases if you get ticketed for the following:

  • Driving without a license or permit: 18 percent
  • Driving without car insurance: 6 percent

Privacy issues abound

The increased use of license plate readers is creating serious privacy concerns, according to theACLU. As local and regional police departments gather, pool and share LPR data, enormous databases of driver locations are being created.

License plate readers capture and store a driver’s location when recording a plate. A driver might be tagged outside of a doctor’s office, workplace or church. All of this data is making it possible for law enforcement officials to piece together a fairly accurate picture of a person’s life.

The ACLU report contends that LPR information could easily lead to abusive tracking, institutional abuse and discriminatory tracking. Anyone with access to the system and a grudge could potentially track an ex-wife, boss or workplace rival — the options are endless, say privacy advocates.

The Wall Street Journal referenced a 1998 case in Washington, D.C., where a police lieutenant pled guilty to running plates outside of a gay bar and then extorting the vehicle owners.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the data there is a bit of a Wild West mentality, with no consistent set of laws or guidelines. Plate scans, regardless of whether they are a “hit” or not, are often stored for a long time, in some cases indefinitely. Brookline, Mass., keeps the data for just 14 days but Mesquite, Texas, plans to keep their scans forever. In Utah, police keep LPR data for two years.

Policies regarding who has access to the data vary widely from city to city, with Scarsdale, N.Y., telling the ACLU that “the use of the [license plate readers] is only limited by the officer’s imagination.”

Currently, only five states have passed laws regulating the use of license plate readers.

Law enforcement, for the most part, disagree on the privacy issue. They claim that LPR’s simply speed up a process that cops have been doing manually for years and drivers should have no expectation of privacy while out in public.

The ACLU made the following recommendations for LPR use:

  • Law enforcement should not store data about innocent people for any length of time. Storage times should be measured in days or weeks.
  • Law enforcement must place controls on accessing the license plate reader databases.
  • Private citizens should be able to find out if plate data of their vehicles is contained in the databases and should have access to it.
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NJ Drivers Should Remember The Top 10 cities for car thefts!

In these tough economic times, Brake-O-Rama makes an effort to let drivers in New Jersey know how to protect their cars. We want drivers to be safe wherever they drive. That is why our mechanics in New Jersey want  NJ Drivers Should Remember The Top 10 cities for car thefts! We found this important article on the web to share with you.

NJ Drivers Should Remember The Top 10 cities for car thefts!

By Matt Schmitz | Cars.com – 6-27-2013

 

In 1964, California crooners the Beach Boys sang about having “fun, fun, fun, ’til her daddy takes the T-bird away.” Well, nearly 50 years later, Golden State residents still have to worry about someone snatching their ride from them — but it’s not their daddy. The Des Plaines, Ill.-based National Insurance Crime Bureauhas released its “Hot Spots” vehicle-theft report for 2012, and California once again dominates as a “hotbed for hot cars.”

Of the top 10 hot spots for per-capita vehicle theft, California lays claim to eight, and the state of Washington to the balance. The NICB’s list reviews vehicle thefts from the nation’s metropolitan statistical areas; its data mirrors preliminary FBI vehicle-theft data for the same period. While there’s nothing new in West Coast domination of the list, this year is special in that the 1.3% spike is the first annual increase following an eight-year downward trend in the crime, the NICB reported. The FBI will publish its final numbers in the fall.

The designated West region — composed of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming — in 2012 experienced a 10.6% increase in vehicle thefts compared with 2011, bringing the entire nation’s average up despite declines elsewhere. The Midwest, Northeast and South reported reductions of 3.1%, 7.9% and 2.9%, respectively.

Last year’s second-place finisher, Modesto, Calif., wrested control of the No. 1 spot from Fresno, Calif., knocking it down one spot; Modesto had 4,260 thefts for a rate of 816.52 per 100,000 population, while Fresno had 7,563 thefts but a lower rate of 797.87 due to its greater population. Newcomers to this year’s list are the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., area at No. 7, up from No. 20 last year, as well as Redding, Calif., all the way up to No. 10 from No. 40 in 2011. The Midland, Mich., and Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii, areas boasted the fewest car thefts, with fewer than 20 each and a rate of less than 22.

The NICB advises motorists to take precautions against vehicle theft starting with common-sense measures like removing keys from the ignition, locking doors and closing windows, and parking in well-lit areas. Beyond that, bigger and better anti-theft measures include installing a warning device such as a car alarm, using immobilizing devices such as a smart key or fuse cutoffs and using a tracking device that emits a signal to authorities if the vehicle is stolen.

The NICB’s 2012 top 10 theft Hot Spots, followed by each area’s rank the previous year, are:

10. Redding, Calif. (40)
9. Spokane-Spokane Valley, Wash. (4)
8. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. (9)
7. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (20)
6. San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward, Calif. (6)
5. Yakima, Wash. (5)
4. Stockton, Calif. (7)
3. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. (3)
2. Fresno, Calif. (1)
1. Modesto, Calif. (2)

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BRAKE-O-RAMA June Auto News: Beware car colors that cost extra!!

Once again Brake-O-Rama Auto Centers in New Jersey shares a tip on saving money when you go to an auto dealer…Did you know that the color you choose for your car can add a hefty price tag? This is information that a lot of New Jersey car buyers are not aware of. Our Brake-O-Rama mechanic in West New York found this great auto buying information to share with you!

Beware car colors that cost extra

By Consumer Reports News | ConsumerReports.org  —Jim Travers

 

  • Beware car colors that cost extra

    ConsumerReports.org – Beware car colors that cost extra

Anyone who’s ever read Consumer Reports car buying advice knows that it’s important to go into a showroom ready to fend off pitches for extras you don’t need, like extended warranties, pin striping, and paint protection. But unless you’re paying attention, you may end up paying extra just for the paint.

Many carmakers charge extra for certain colors, and that can add anywhere from $200 to a few thousand dollars toward the cost of a new car. Metal flake and tri-coat pearl finishes that are more complicated to produce and apply are generally the culprits, and some manufacturers charge more than others. But if you’re buying a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, chances are you’re going to pay extra if you want any color other than white or black.

If you’re buying a new BMW 528i, for example, you can take your pick of 18 different colors. But if you were thinking of something with true color, prices start at $550 and go up to $1,800.


Watch for these 12 car dealer sales pitches.


And it’s not just luxury models that charge for colors. If you’d like a red Chevrolet Malibu or Ford Fusion, you’re going to have to pony up another $325 or $395, respectively. And if you’d prefer that Fusion in White Platinum, that’ll be $595, please. Chevrolet offers a similar shade for the Malibu, called White Diamond Tricoat. There’s no word on whether actual diamonds are used in the manufacturing process, but you’d have to wonder since it costs an extra $995.

A base Mini Cooper coupe can be had in your choice of three colors for around $20,500, including destination charges. If none of the three do it for you, no problem. Eleven other hues are available, ranging in price from $500 to $2,750. Mini drivers feeling particularly self-expressive can really take it to the street with racing stripes, contrasting roof colors, and various colors and patterns for the dashboard and doors. Some of those won’t cost you an extra dime, but choose carefully. The Bayswater hood stripes, for example, are listed as a no-cost option, but they require the addition of the Bayswater Package for a cool $3,250.

Even economical models like the Chevrolet Spark get into the game, charging as much as $325 for certain colors. A Mazda3 hatchback can be had in any of six different shades for no extra charge, but if you’ve got your heart set on Crystal White Pearl Mica, it’s going to cost you $200.

In all, we looked at every combination of model and color available from all carmakers for the 2013 model year, which works out to about 390 models and more than 24,000 combinations. Of those, nearly 5,300 combinations of make, model, and color carried some extra charge, averaging about $700.

Keep in mind that your special color may cost you even after the last car payment is made. As a rule of thumb, says Eddie Lupinek of Eddie’s Auto Body in Colchester, CT, expect paint that costs more originally to be more expensive to repair should you ever need bodywork or just want to touch up a few door dings. Red and yellow finishes cost more to make and to buy, he says, and those tri-color whites that look so luminescent in showrooms require a three-stage process to repair, with each stage a perfect match. “They have wonderful showroom appeal,” says Eddie, “but they’re a pain in the neck to repair.”

Don’t get us wrong. We’ve got nothing against self-expression, and there’s nothing wrong with spending a little extra to make your car stand out. And a few hundred dollars spread over the cost of a loan or lease term won’t make much of a difference in your monthly payment.

But like any other buying decision, it’s important to go in with your eyes open, and pay attention especially if you’re buying from dealer stock. That shade of red that looks so good sitting on the lot may not be so appealing if it costs $1,000 more than the silver one sitting next to it. And the extra cost is not likely to come back at trade-in time.

—Jim Travers

 

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NJ AUTO NEWS! Most expensive (and cheapest) states for car repairs

Brake-O-Rama Tires And Auto Care centers is serious about providing our customers the most valuable auto information to help them make auto repair decisions. That is why our helpful mechanics in New Jersey found this great information to share with all auto customers. This is very important auto news…so share it with your friends!

Most expensive (and cheapest) states for car repairs

By Matt Schmitz | Cars.com –
A bumper crop of parts-and-labor cost increases has made the Garden State the most expensive state when it comes to having your car fixed. With an average total diagnostics-and-repair bill of $392.99, New Jersey ascended to No. 1 in 2012 from No. 10 a year earlier on CarMD.com Corp.’s annual state-by-state ranking of car-repair costs, the California-based consumer-information provider announced today.

 

New Jersey was in good company, though; the repair-cost trend in 2012 generally moved from west to east while associated expenses nationwide headed north, as motorists’ attention to their check-engine lights went south. Whereas the western U.S. accounted for all five of the top states with the highest repair costs in 2011, Eastern states including New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland, as well as the District of Columbia, dominated the top five in 2012, with California being the lone West Coast representative. Overall, repair costs across the nation related to vehicles’ check-engine lights averaged $367.84, a 10% increase; the Northeast saw the greatest increase among regions, at nearly 11.6%, while the West rose just more than 6.5%. CarMD cited vehicle owners’ procrastination in having repairs made, particularly catalytic converters, as a major reason for the increases as delayed repairs become more expensive as problems worsen.

CarMD gleaned its state-by-state ranking from an analysis of more than 161,000 check-engine-related repairs made on model-year 1996-2012 vehicles in 2012. “In 2012, we saw a dramatic shift in the top five most expensive states for average car repairs, as many drivers along the East Coast incurred rising auto-repair costs, while they simultaneously contended with Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath,” CarMD said in a statement. “Car owners in many states also continued to put off small repairs, contributing to cumulative failures with increased repair costs.”

CarMD says Hurricane Sandy is the reason why New Jersey car owners doubled the number of trips they made to the service station, initially for flood damage but later for unrelated problems discovered during those trips that led to repairs previously put off. As a result, New Jersey drivers saw a nearly 21% increase in labor rates and an 8.2% increase in parts costs. They also paid more for catalytic converter replacement at $1,112.48; catalytic converter repairs were the second most common reason the check-engine light came on in three of the five states with the highest repair costs, CarMD reported.

Other key findings:

• The most affordable state for auto repair is Vermont, the only Northeastern state to enjoy a decline in average costs in 2012.
• The District of Columbia saw the largest overall increase in repair costs, up 20%, as time-consuming procedures costing more than $1,000 overtook quick fixes with smaller price tags.
• Wyoming had the greatest drop in average repair costs, at 17%, in part attributed to fewer catalytic converter replacements.
• Vermont also had the lowest average labor cost, at $115.90, though still more than a $25 increase from 2011; Colorado’s $150.75 was the highest average labor cost.
• New Jersey motorists paid the most for parts on average ($256.28) while Vermont again enjoyed the national low of $153.82.

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Brake-O-Rama Shows 5 cars you might as well buy new instead of used!

Brake-O-Rama knows that our customers need the most current news for their car buying decisions… That’s why we comb the internet to share the best info that every car buyer needs to make good decisions on their next car! This is a great article to help!

5 cars you might as well buy new instead of used!

By Jerry Kronenberg | TheStreet – Fri, May 31, 2013

The U.S. used-car market is facing big supply shortages and unusually high prices these days, so consumers might as well buy certain models new instead of used, since there’s little difference in price.

“We’re in a bit of a strange situation right now in that there simply isn’t a lot of used-car inventory out there,” says Eric Lyman of market tracker TrueCar.com.

Dealers have few used cars to sell because not many people bought or leased new vehicles during the 2008-10 economic meltdown, so there’s a dearth of 3- to 5-year-old automobiles entering the resale market right now.

That’s resulting in higher-than-normal used-car prices, especially since plenty of Americans are still pinching pennies and opting to buy pre-owned vehicles instead of new ones.

At the same time, today’s low interest rates mean automakers can offer customers who can afford new vehicles cheap loans and other enticements.

“The incentives that manufacturers are putting on new cars in terms of cut-rate financing or lease deals can actually make new cars more attainable than used ones,” Lyman says.

Adding to the similarities between some new- and used-car prices, some models haven’t undergone major redesigns in several years, so older versions sell for almost as much as 2013s do.

Here’s a look at five vehicles TrueCar recommends consumers buy new instead of used, as you’ll save less than 19% by getting 2010 or 2011 versions. (The typical 2- to 3-year-old car costs around 30% less than its new counterpart.)

All savings estimates refer to price differences between the average new car and that of comparable 2- and 3-year-old editions sold between Jan. 1 and May 17 at some 14,000 U.S. dealers that TrueCar tracks.

Dodge Challenger

 


How little you’ll save buying used: 18.7%

Lyman says used versions of this muscle car sell for almost as much as new models because of strong demand, coupled with low supplies relative to those of rival Chevrolet Camaros and Ford Mustangs.

“The Challenger has got both retro styling and a nice ride quality,” he says. “Those attributes combine to create some strong values in the used-car market.”

Add in the fact that Chrysler hasn’t redesigned the Challenger since the 2008 model year and you’ll find that new and used versions of the car have pretty much the same features and pricing.

TrueCar found the average 2013 Challenger sells for $30,985, while 2010s and ’11s cost around $25,189 — only 18.7% less.

Honda Fit
How little you’ll save buying used: 17.3%

This subcompact retains much of its value in the used-car market because Honda has a strong reputation among consumers. “Used Fits offer good quality and the well-respected Honda brand name,” Lyman says.

At the same time, new Fits carry relatively low prices because Honda hasn’t redesigned the model in four years. A growing amount of competition in the micro-car segments also keeps a lid on how much Honda can charge for 2013 versions.

All told, the typical new Fit costs $17,739 vs. $14,668 for 2- and 3-year-old versions. That’s just a 17.3% differential.

Toyota Tacoma
How little you’ll save buying used: 16.5%

Again, used versions of this compact pickup truck sell for almost as much as new ones because of strong demand and tight supplies.

Lyman says used-car buyers snap up Tacomas partly because it’s one of the only compact trucks on the market. As for supply, the model’s durability — coupled with a relatively small number of Tacomas coming off of leases right now — means dealers have few used versions to sell.

And like other models on TrueCar’s list, the Tacoma hasn’t gotten a redesign in several years (eight, to be exact). So new versions have similar equipment and pricing to what used models do.

TrueCar found that 2013 Tacomas sell for $28,476 on average, only 16.5% more than the $23,782 you can expect to pay for the typical 2010 or 2011 version.

Mitsubishi Lancer
How little you’ll save buying used: 11.9%

Lancers from 2010 and ’11 cost almost as much as new ones because there simply aren’t many used editions of this low-volume line available.

“There’s just a lack of supply out there for those used-car buyers who are looking for Lancers,” Lyman says.

As such, you can expect to pay $17,097 for a 2010 or ’11 Lancer — just 11.9% less than the $19,411 a 2013 edition will set you back.

Subaru Impreza WRX

How little you’ll save buying used: 10.9%

This sporty version of Subaru’s popular Impreza sedan costs roughly the same whether you buy it new or used, thanks to strong demand and limited supplies.

Lyman says consumers in cold-weather states love Subaru’s all-wheel-drive systems — “a high loyalty that increases demand and reduces supply in the used-car market because people tend to hang on to them.”

Add in the fact Subaru hasn’t redesigned the Impreza WRX in five years and you’ll save little buying one used instead of new.

TrueCar found that the average new Impreza WRX sells for $30,057, while a 2010 or ’11 version costs $26,786. That’s a mere 10.9% difference.

 

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Brake-O-Rama Shows You How to Save Money On Tires!

All Brake-O-Rama locations in New Jersey show the best way to save money on car tires! Here is an article from the internet Our Brake-O-Rama Mechanics in Jersey City wanted to share with you to help our customers with the latest information on how to buy car tires.

We saved money buying car tires, and you can too

ConsumerReports.orgBy Consumer Reports News | ConsumerReports.org

We typically buy tires in bulk for our tire test program, ordering upwards of almost 1,000 tires a year. To spot check our advice and current tire buying, we recently purchased and had mounted three sets just as any consumer would. We found that it is possible to get a good, convenient deal, and our experts will show you how.

Last fall, we explored a similar concept, going through the motions to price tires from numerous retailers to illustrate why car tire prices vary. This time, we really put our money where our mouth is.

We went to three major retailers—Sears, Tire Rack, and Town Fair Tire (a large tire dealership popular in New England)—and purchased a set of Continental ProContact EcoPlus tires in size 215/60R16 for our 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 S. The prices we paid did vary. Although we went to great efforts to provide an apples-to-apples comparison, there are some variables that could change who has the lowest price.

I’ll explain.


Our tires buying advice and Ratings will help you find best tires for your money.


The best deal was from Tire Rack. We purchased the four Continental tires online for $101 per tire and paid $47.82 to have them shipped to a recommended installer through Tire Rack’s online service. Based on information provided, we chose the cheapest installer within our general location, who charged just $10 a tire to mount, balance and install on the car. Other recommended installers charge as much as $30, which would have chipped away at the deal.

Once we ordered the tires, Tire Rack notified us by email when the tires were shipped and when the installer got them. Then all we had to do was call the installer and make an appointment. It only took a few days for the installer to take delivery of the tires and installation was less than an hour. Our out-the-door cost to put new rubber on the Altima was $523.05. Keep in mind that if we went with a pricier recommended installer, the total would have been over $600. Also, Tire Rack charges for shipping, so this cost will vary by shipping distance.

Next up was buying the same set of tires from Town Fair Tire online. As with Tire Rack, the process was painless. We ordered the tires, selected the store branch in Connecticut we wanted them to be installed, and arranged a date and time for installation–all online. Total time for installation was about an hour and it cost $591.09. At $124 per tire, this was considerably more than the deal we got at Tire Rack. However, Town Fair also includes some additional services, such as free front-wheel alignment (four-wheel alignment is extra and recommended), free lifetime flat repair and rotation, and a 30-day test drive. Also, unlike Tire Rack, there is room to haggle the tire price.

Our final stop was Sears. Here, too, we got an online price for our Continental tires, quoted at $112.06 each. One surprise is that you might need to call Sears and have them ordered, if they’re not in stock. This happened to us. But three days later, a Sears service representative called back and asked us to come in at our convenience to have the tires installed. Total time was about an hour and half—we were not given a set appointment. The out-the-door price was $540.47 including four tires, taxes, and installation.

Price per tire Four tires Shipping Installation Taxes Out-the-door cost
TireRack $101.00 $404.00 $47.82 $40.00 $31.23 $523.05
Sears $112.06 $448.24 Free $59.96 $32.27 $540.47
Town Fair Tire $124.00 $496.00 Free $59.80 $35.29 $591.09

Note: Installation includes dynamic balancing of four tires and placement on the car. Taxes reflect sale in CT.

Our take:
Surfing the web is a smart way to get the tire you want at a good price, and it is a heck of a lot better than driving around in search of tires. Before buying, review our tire buying guide and Ratings. Getting a better performing tire often doesn’t cost more, and it can demonstrably improve your vehicle’s safety.

All three retailers delivered the tires as quoted in timely fashion and had them installed within our busy schedule in short order. We found the installation process problem free, despite our car having tire-pressure monitors. Sears and Town Fair even bagged our old tires so they would not soil the interior of our car. If you don’t want the old tires, the retailer will scrap them, often for a fee.

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Brake-O-Rama Shows The 10 coolest high-performance cop cars!

Brake-O-Rama has the best auto mechanics in New Jersey! Here is an interesting article our mechanics in Brick New Jersey think you should read!

The 10 coolest high-performance cop cars

Popular MechanicsBy Ben Stewart | Popular Mechanics The urban myth is that American cop cars are packed with a mysterious collection of performance parts that eclipse anything you can find at your local dealer. In reality, history’s highest-performing cop cars are certainly quick, even if their ultimate performance is a little less dramatic than the lore would suggest

2006–2013 Dodge Charger Police Package When the Corvette-powered Caprice ended production in 1996, fans of high-performance cop cars were left with nothing but the lame-duck 250-hp Ford Crown Vic “Police Interceptor.” Although popular then, and still today, the Crown Vic can intercept a truck filled with doughnuts and not much else. Without no rear-drive competition from Chrysler or Chevrolet, Ford owned upward of 80 percent of the police car market for years.

Then, in 2005, Dodge launched the new Charger, a rear-drive, Hemi V-8 muscle sedan. Just one year later, the Police Package arrived to strike fear into the heart of every speeder. The best of the early ones had a 340-hp V-8 and could hit 60 mph in 6 seconds flat. Today’s even more powerful 370-hp Charger Police Package does the deed in 5.3 seconds and looks meaner than ever thanks to its menacing prow.

1983–1993 Ford Mustang SSP In the early 1980s, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) requested a high-performance police package car that could reel in the perps at serious highway speeds. The result was the 1982 CHP Mustang—essentially Mustang GT components in the Mustang’s most conservative notchback bodywork. In 1983, the Special Service Package Mustang (same basic car) went into national use. Under the hood was the legendary 5.0-liter V-8 paired to a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual. The quickest ones came in 1990–1993, when Ford had its speedometers certified right up to 160 mph. Ford made about 15,000 of these awesome cop cruisers. Today, well-used SSP Mustangs

are the perfect project-car platform.

(Photo: Rex Gray | Flickr)1969 Dodge Polara Pursuit Chrysler practically owned the market for cop cars in the performance-heavy 1960s. The 1965 Dodge Polara Pursuit, for example, packed the mighty 413-cid V-8 that could do a quarter-mile in just 15 seconds, very quick for the time. But the real monster came a few years later.

The 1969 Polara, with the 375-hp 440 Magnum under the hood, was a beast. It was like a four-door Plymouth Road Runner muscle car in plain clothes. According to the book Dodge, Plymouth & Chrysler Police Cars 1956–1978 by Edwin J. Sanow and John L. Bellah, the ’69 Polara Pursuit for decades held the record for quickest top speed of any Chrysler cop car at the company’s Chelsea Proving Grounds high-banked oval—147 mph. That’s a remarkable speed for an American sedan today, much less one from the ’60s.

(Photo: Kurt Clark at Wikipedia)1991–2002 Chevrolet Camaro B4C Chevy was not content to allow Ford to own the special pursuit market with the SSP Mustang. So the company developed a hot version of the Camaro expressly for high-performance police duty. The package, code name B4C, was basically a Z/28 Camaro hidden in the bodywork of a lower-performance RS Camaro. The 1991–1992 B4C cars came at the tail end of the 3rd-generation Camaro production and were equipped with Tuned-Port Injection (TPI) 305- or 350-cid V-8s. But when the 4th generation Camaro arrived in 1993 packing the new 275-hp LT1 350 V-8 and an optional 6-speed manual, the B4C became a real monster, one capable of acceleration to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds and a top speed well north of 150 mph. With that level of performance, the Camaro became the most potent American cop car of the 1990s. By 2001, just as the 4th gen Camaro was about to depart, the 310-hp LS1 V-8 became part of the package, making this already hot cop special a supercar.

1977–1978 Dodge Monaco Pursuit In the heart of the so-called malaise era, Dodge was still packing a (relatively) potent big-block monster under the hood of its midsize police cruisers. When police forces opted for the top E86 option on the Monaco Pursuit, they got the heroic 230-hp 440-cid V-8 topped with a four-barrel carb that generated 330 lb-ft of torque. Car and Driver tested the car in 1977 and clocked it to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. That made this cop car one of the quickest American cars of the day—the top L82 350 V-8 in the Corvette made just 210 hp in 1977, so the Monaco was a serious performance car. What sealed the Dodge’s reputation was a starring role as the police chase vehicle of choice in The Dukes of Hazzard. Any cop car that can keep up with the General Lee is pretty stout

.

1994–1996 Chevrolet Caprice 9C1 The rear-drive sedans GM produced from 1991 to 1996, like the Chevy Impala SS, Buick Roadmaster, and Cadillac Fleetwood, are some of the most sought-after American cars of the early ’90s. Why? These cars were the last big rear-drive full-frame cars GM made, and more important, under the hood of each one was a de-tuned version of the Corvette’s LT1 V-8 with 260 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque (a Corvette of this generation made only 40 hp more).

The police version of these cars was the legendary Caprice 9C1. It would smoke through the quarter-mile in around 15 seconds, and proved so desirable and durable that it was rumored police agencies spent their budgets restoring these cars rather than buying new Ford Police Interceptors.

2012-2013 Chevrolet Caprice PPV The Pontiac G8—an Aussie-made GM rear-drive sedan that was imported here from 2008 to 2009—was a solid sport sedan. A 256-hp 3.6-liter V-6 or a 361-hp V-8 came in the regular versions, while a 415-hp 6.2-liter V-8 from the Corvette was part of the high-performance GXP model. For 2012, GM brought back a stretched version of the G8 for police duty. The Caprice’s top engine is a 355-hp V-8 paired to a 6-speed automatic. The performance of this Chevy should appeal to those officers who fondly remember the Caprice of the ’90s; even V-6 versions are rated for a top speed of 150 mph. If an officer needs to pick one modern cop car to chase a villain up a canyon road, the Caprice would probably be the best choice.

2010 Ford Raptor Border Patrol Service Package The U.S. Border Patrol doesn’t ordinarily order a fleet of high-performance vehicles. The terrain they cover is dirt, rock, and cactus, not billiard table–smooth pavement. But that rough ground demands heavy-duty truck equipment, and the agency has been known to modify regular production pickup trucks and SUVs for extreme off-road use. When Ford’s SVT Raptor came along, the Border Patrol had a perfect rig for running hard along our desert-lined southernmost border. The U.S. government ordered a few Raptors, but because of the rigors of the job, these trucks had to be equipped with cloth seats instead of leather. We can’t imagine any better vehicle for patrolling miles of rough and rugged dirt two tracks.

(Photo: Alden Jewell | Flickr)1975 Chevrolet Nova 9C1 The ’75 police package Nova was a collaborative effort between Chevy Camaro and Nova engineers. The team dropped in a 165-hp 350-cid V-8 topped with a four-barrel carburetor and mated to a 3-speed automatic. That’s hardly sounds “high-performance” by today’s standards, but the Nova was a compact sedan, so it was relatively quick. Chevy took the brakes from the larger Impala sedan to haul the Nova down from high speeds without drama. Keeping the cop Nova level in the corners were parts that came directly from the Z/28 Camaro. Here was a real GM sports sedan for the 1970s.

2013 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor As the old Crown Victoria Police Interceptors are phased out, Ford will have two new models to fill the void—an Interceptor based on the Ford Taurus and another based on the Explorer. The Taurus Interceptors borrow the hot 365-hp 3.5-liter Ecoboost V-6 from the SHO model, so it was no surprise that these cars topped the competition in acceleration in a recent Michigan State Police test, hitting 60 mph in just 5.75 seconds—a couple tenths quicker than the Caprice PPV. The Ford maintained its lead all the way up to 100 mph, though the Caprice did slip past the Taurus’ 150-mph top speed by 4 mph. The bottom line? Between the Charger Police Package, Caprice PPV, and this Taurus Interceptor, America now has the quickest lineup of police sedans it’s ever seen. Lead-footed drivers beware.

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Brake-O-Rama NJ Auto News For May: 10 best new-car deals for May

Brake-O-Rama searches the entire internet for auto information for drivers in NJ that can help them in many ways! This is auto news to help New Jersey Drivers on auto buying decisions. Brake-O-Rama helps NJ Drivers to buy autos smarter!

10 best new-car deals for May

By Jim Gorzelany | Forbes.com – Tue, May 7, 2013 7:05 PM EDT
 

It wasn’t that long ago when automakers were slapping several thousand dollars on the hoods of their full-size pickup trucks and SUVs to help bolster sagging sales in the face of a lackluster economy, high fuel costs and changing consumer tastes. It took cash rebates as lofty as $5,000 along with deep dealer discounts to keep sales roughly on a pace with production in either segment.

But that’s no longer the case as big pickup truck sales are booming, due in large part to the nation’s economic comeback. Automotive News reports that big pickup sales rose by an average 27 percent in April and are up by 20 percent so far this year, with Chrysler’s Ram line of trucks seeing a whopping 49 percent increase last month. And with gas prices largely retreating from last year’s record highs, consumers are beginning to take a second look at big SUVs once again. As a result, cash rebates in those segments have shriveled to between $1,000 and $2,500 for most 2013 models.

With industry-wide new-vehicle sales the healthiest they’ve been in years, the average automaker’s incentive was down to $2,466 in April, which the industry research and forecasting company TrueCar says was $137 (-5.3 percent) less than it was in March.

Still, we managed to find a varied assortment of big-money deals for 2013 models across a broad range of automotive segments. While some of the heftiest rebates are for soon-to-be-updated and/or slower-selling models like the Chevrolet Impala full-size sedan and the midsize Dodge Avenger, others are for what many would consider to be highly desirable cars like the BMW 6 Series. Read on for the 10 richest deals for May.

The Fine Print: Additional incentives may apply, such as those often offered to recent college graduates and members of the military and/or owners or lessees trading in same-brand or competing models. Offers may vary by region and are subject to subsequent modification or termination by the manufacturer; cited financing rates are typically open only to qualified buyers with top credit ratings and may vary based on eligibility.

And no matter how great a rebate deal you may be offered, keep in mind that the final transaction price is always open to negotiation. We expect dealer discounts on any of these vehicles will be substantial for hard-nosed hagglers. Be sure to aim for the so-called invoice price as a target, and that’s before deducting any applicable rebate or additional dealer discount.

1. BMW 6 Series

Deal: $5,000 marketing support (plus $2,000 to USAA members) and 1.9 percent financing to 72 months. The hot BMW 6 Series coupe/convertible and the line’s recently added four-door offshoot, the Gran Coupe (pictured here), carry the biggest-money deals this month. Fuel economy fans can choose a 6 Series that comes powered by a 3.0-liter 315-horsepower six-cylinder engine, but the car really comes to life when powered by a 4.4-liter V8 that generates a quicker 445 horses. Handling is sufficiently sporty, with an array of advanced chassis control systems on hand (with all-wheel-drive available on top models) to help the car maintain its poise in even the most demanding situations.

2. Chevrolet Impala

Deal: $4,000 cash (plus $750 to USAA members) or 0.0 percent financing to 72 months. A redesigned 2014 version of the venerable Impala full-size sedan is headed to dealers’ showrooms, but the carryover 2013 model still delivers the most interior room for the money and is the last car in the U.S. to accommodate six passengers via an optional front bench seat. The powertrain is surprisingly modern with a direct-injected 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine driving the front wheels . The car’s suspension is tuned on the soft side to favor a smooth ride, though its cornering abilities are leisurely at best.

3. Ford Expedition

Deal: Up to $4,000 cash or 0.0 percent financing to 60 months, 1.9 percent to 72 months. This mammoth full-size SUV is at its best when towing a large boat or trailer while transporting the family to the lake or campsite. A 5.4-liter V8 delivers adequate acceleration with a maximum 9,200-pound tow rating. The Limited and King Ranch versions are the most opulent, with extended-length versions also available for those needing extra third-row seat room and cargo space.

4. Nissan Titan

Deal: $3,500 cash or 0.0 percent financing to 36 months, 0.9 percent to 60 months, 1.9 percent to 72 months. Nissan’s full-size pickup truck never caught on with U.S. buyers who tend to be fiercely loyal to their favorite domestic brands, thus it’s a slow seller even with truck sales booming. While its model line isn’t as diverse or well equipped as the homegrown competition, it still does the job with an adequately muscular 5.6-liter 317-horsepower V8 engine. The PRO-4X model is somewhat appealing as an off-road ready sport truck, albeit one that cuts a wide swath through the wilderness.

5. Infiniti G Convertible

Deal: Up to $3,500 marketing support. Nissan gives its sleek midsize ragtop a marketing boost just in time for sunny summer weather. The G Line is related to the Nissan 370Z, but it’s more luxurious and delivers a slightly smoother ride (though it’s still harsh by luxury-car standards). Performance is plentiful given the car’s lusty 3.7-liter 325-horsepower V6 engine, which can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic. The IPL is the sportiest rendition.

6. BMW 7 Series

Deal: $3,000 cash (plus $2,000 to USAA members) and 3.05 percent financing to 72 months. USAA members in particular can avail themselves of a great deal on one of the best big luxury sedans in the industry. The 7 Series continues to deliver ample luxury with energetic overall performance and an exhaustive array of high-tech features in several six-, eight- and 12-cylinder model variations, including a modestly fuel-efficient – though costly – hybrid version.

7. Cadillac ATS

Deal: $3,000 cash (for models built before 11/30/2012) and 0.0 percent financing to 36 months, 0.9 percent to 48 months, 1.9 percent to 60 months, 2.9 percent to 72 months. Cadillac’s answer to the BMW 3 Series is arguably one of the best new cars of 2013. It’s entertaining to drive and is sufficiently luxurious with a sense of style that makes the Beemer seem bland looking. Choose the 3.6-liter 312-horsepower V6 engine for top acceleration, though you’ll have to find one that was built before the end of last November to qualify for the rebate.

8. Dodge Avenger

Deal: $3,000 cash (plus $1,000 to loyalty or conquest buyers) or 0.0 percent financing to 72 months. The midsize Avenger shares platforms, powertrains and most components with theChrysler 200 sedan, but it features exterior styling cues borrowed from the larger Dodge Charger. It’s sportier than the 200, but not dramatically so. Ignore the lackluster base powertrain in favor of the available 3.6-liter 283-horsepower “Pentastar” V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission.

9. Volkswagen Touareg

Deal: Up to $3,000 marketing support or $2,500 leasing cash or 0.0 percent financing to 66 months, 1.9 percent to 72 months. VW’s midsize crossover SUV shares much of its engineering with the Porsche Cayenne, including its turbodiesel and hybrid powertrains, though it lacks that model’s V8 engine offerings. The Touareg handles better than most midsize SUVs and treats its occupants to a roomy, comfortable and nicely cast interior, though its premium priced.

10. Dodge Durango

Deal: $2,500 cash (plus $1,000 to loyalty or conquest buyers) or 0.0 percent financing to 36 months, 1.9 percent to 48 months, 2.9 percent to 60 months, 4.9 percent to 72 months. The big and burly looking Durango is mechanically related to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, though it carries distinctive styling cues and three rows of seats. It likewise rides on a car-like unibody construction that’s built to be more robust than the typical crossover. Still, it handles well on both highways and curvier roads, with its suspension able to soak up bumps nicely. Engine choices include an efficient 3.7-liter 290-horsepower V6 and a 5.7-liter 360-horsepower “Hemi” V8 that’s well suited to heavier-duty needs.

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Brake-O-Rama Auto News: Why Small cars don’t always deliver the best fuel economy.

Brake-O-Rama auto centers in New Jersey give important information to our customers on getting good gas mileage. Our mechanics read articles and search the internet for tips that we can pass on to our customers. Ways to save money at the gas pump is one of the most aked questions we get. Here is an article that can help you with saving money on fuel economy.

Small cars don’t always deliver the best fuel economy. Here’s what does.

By Eric Evarts | ConsumerReports.org – Mon, Apr 15, 2013
You don’t have to cram into a compact car to get good gas mileage. In fact, three popular midsized sedans we’ve recently tested get the same or better mileage than any non-hybrid, non-diesel small car. Despite attractive sticker prices, econoboxes are often not the best choice.

The most fuel-efficient, five-passenger economy car with an automatic transmission that we’ve tested is the Toyota Yaris, which gets 32 mpg overall. But we’ve recently tested three mainstream midsized sedans that do just as well or better: the Honda Accord (30 mpg overall), Nissan Altima (31 mpg overall), and Mazda6 (32 mpg overall).

Small sedans don’t do much better. The most frugal models–the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 Skyactiv–also get 32 mpg overall. The Ford Focus gets 31, but only with its special $495 Special Fuel Economy package. Other small cars get between 26 and 29 mpg.

If you’re willing to spend a little more to get even better gas mileage, several comfortable midsized sedans with hybrid and diesel-powertrains are nipping at the heels of our mileage champ Toyota Prius, which boasts 44 mpg overall. The Ford Fusion Hybrid gets 39 mpg Toyota Camry Hybrid returns 38 mpg, theFord C-Max and Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel delivers 37 mpg. No small sedan or budget hatchback can even approach those numbers.

Make/model Overall MPG Highway MPG 5-year owner cost per mile (cents)
Chevrolet Sonic LT (1.8) 28 38 49
Chevrolet Cruze 1LT(1.4T) 26 36 59
Chevrolet Malibu 1LT(2.5) 26 38 61
Honda Fit base 30 39 45
Honda Civic EX 29 40 50
Honda Accord LX(4-cyl.) 30 40 54
Hyundai Accent GLS 31 45 49
Hyundai Elantra GLS 29 39 52
Hyundai Sonata GLS(2.4) 27 39 56
Nissan Versa Sedan SV (1.6) 32 40 47
Nissan Sentra SV 29 38 57
Nissan Altima 2.5 S (4-cyl.) 31 44 56
Toyota Yaris LE 32 41 46
Toyota Corolla LE 32 40 46
Toyota Camry LE(4-cyl.) 27 41 55
Volkswagen Golf TDI 38 49 51
Volkswagen Jetta TDI 34 45 51
Volkswagen Passat TDI SE 37 51 55

So what’s going on?

Two things: First, aerodynamics. Larger, longer sedans give more room for air to flow smoothly off the back of the car than shorter models. That reduces drag on the highway.

Secondly, automakers can charge more for larger cars, giving them latitude to add the latest fuel-efficiency technology that may not be cost-effective to put on smaller cars, such as hybrid systems and direct fuel injection.

So far, the trend of midsized cars getting the same fuel economy as smaller ones applies only to sedans. Smaller SUVs still tend to get better fuel economy than larger ones.

We’re happy to see consumers have a choice of larger sedans that get excellent fuel economy, with prices typically starting in the low to mid $20,000 range. Not only are they more comfortable and versatile, midsized sedans also safer in accidents, all other things being equal.

The real takeaway is to do your research, and not make assumptions based on size or even powertrain. Spending a few minutes checking our ratings may point you to a better car and a better value.

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Brake-O-Rama teaches NJ Drivers on how not to buy a lemon,but do get a good deal!

Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs & Tires in New Jersey always tell our customers; “Don’t buy a lemon, do get a good deal!” Brake-O-Rama Auto Repairs & Tires in New Jersey give our customers great advice on how to purchase a new or used car. We try to make our customers comfortable with car buying decisions. New Jersey drivers come to Brake-O-Rama for all the current auto news and here is an important article on buying a car that our mechanics in our Ridgewood NJ auto center want to share with you!

Don’t buy a lemon, do get a good deal!
By Jeanine Ibrahim | CNBC

Many considerations run through the head of someone buying a used car, and making certain that it’s not a lemon is at the top of the list.

Flat 12 Gallery Owner Jeff Allen, the star of CNBC Prime’s “The Car Chasers,” has bought and sold used cars for decades—including in the fast-paced world of auto auctions—so he knows a few things about the process.

Here, Allen shares some tips that help make buying a used car less tricky. As a bonus, the former sales and general manager at new car dealerships discloses a secret about the best time to get the sweetest deal on a new vehicle.

Vehicle History Report

First things first. When buying a used car, ask for the vehicle history report, which usually details severe accidents, odometer problems, value and safely level. For a car that’s no older than 1981, the vehicle identification number, a 17-digit serial number required on all autos, can also provide information.

“Now that the Internet is at our disposal and we have Carfax and AutoCheck and vehicle history reports—this really helps out consumers to know that they’re not buying a lemon,” Allen said. “And I’m not saying they’re always going to know everything and they’re always going to report everything. But it is a helpful tool to know where you’re at.”

Perform an Inspection

(Photo: Joe Raedle | Getty Images)Go beyond the VHR to perform a detailed inspection of the car to make sure it’s structurally sound. Though this step sounds basic, it’s sometimes overlooked or rushed, according to Allen.

“Look for damage. Look for things that look out of place … [such as ] sheet metal that doesn’t fit quite right,” he said. “The other thing is to look underneath the car. Look at the frame rails. Make sure that nothing looks like it’s been altered or welded or things that don’t look correct.” Also check for leaking fluids or puddles.

Examine the body; inspect for dents and especially rust, which can spread and weaken the car’s structure.

A buyer who isn’t mechanically savvy should bring someone who is to help spot any signs of trouble.

A car isn’t necessarily bad if it has minor damage or has had a fender replaced—all used cars might need a little work, Allen said. But if it has been in a severe accident, it may be too damaged to make it worth buying at any price.

The Paint Matters

One specific detail to scrutinize is a used car’s paint job. Open the doors and look for overspray, as it most likely indicates that the car has been repainted since leaving the factory. Check for any colors that look like they don’t match, especially in areas that are difficult to paint, such as corners and around doors.

“Paintwork has become a real big issue,” Allen said. “The dealerships that take in certified cars nowadays can’t have more than one panel repainted, or it’s kicked out of the certification program.”

Programs have different standards for how many panels can be repainted, but buyer beware. While more than one repainted panel could mean simply that the car was keyed from front to back, it could also indicate a serious accident.

Consider buying a meter that helps measure the depth of the paint to determine if it came from the factory. Or use your hands.

“The old school way of [checking a car’s paint] was to feel the edges,” Allen said. “And you could always feel a factory edge of a paint job. It had a smooth feel to it. And if it had been repainted, you could feel where they used the tape line.”
Do Your Research

Before walking onto a used car lot, research, research, research. Use the Internet and call a few dealerships to gather information.

“Know what the value of the car is. Know what it should look like,” Allen said. “Have some common knowledge going into it. It’ll make you a better prepared buyer.”

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Brake-O-Rama answers your question: When does a car need new tires?

Our customers who come to Brake-O-Rama know that we are a trusted source for information about New and Used tires in New Jersey. Brake-O-Rama mechanics are always sharing articles they find on the internet to help with understanding tires and tire sales in New Jersey, Here is an important article to help you understand when to buy New tires from Brake-O-Rama.

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When does a car need new tires?

By Jeanine Ibrahim | CNBC – Tue, Mar 26, 2013

Keeping good tires on your car could mean the difference between driving safely or experiencing a catastrophic accident. Knowing when to change them is a vital part of proper maintenance, but how do you know when it’s time?

We put the question to Jeff Allen, owner of Flat 12 Gallery and star of CNBC Prime’s “The Car Chasers.” He shared many tips and warning signs to lookout for as an indicator of when your car needs new tires.
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One easy way is to check by a visual inspection of the wear bars the factory has placed in the middle of the tire tread. These bars, which run perpendicular to the tread, are barely visible when tires are new. But as you pack on the miles, the wear bars become more visible and once they are level to the tire tread, it’s time to get new tires.

Another easy method is to grab a penny, turn it upside down and stick it into the tread to measure its depth. If the president’s head is covered up by the tread, then your tires are fine. But if the president’s head is visible, then your tires are too worn and need changing.
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“The tires are designed nowadays to do 50-60,000 miles. But when they get down to those wear bars, you don’t have as much tread,” Allen said. “And I recommend right when it gets down to those bars, you replace your tires.”

Other factors that you should be on the lookout for are weather cracking and sidewall integrity. As tires either age or are exposed to extreme weather conditions, the rubber begins to lose elasticity and cracks appear on the surface. Some cracking might not mean you need new tires, but if you notice a lot of splintering, it’s a good idea to take your car to a tire shop where a professional can help you determine if you need new tires.

You should also be on the lookout for any noticeable cracks on the tire sidewalls. And if you see any abnormal bulges or bubbles, take your tires to a shop immediately.

Another simple, yet often overlooked factor people might not consider is that tires actually have an expiration date, Allen said.

“Most people don’t realize that tires actually have a date code and can simply need to be replaced due to age.”

A good rule of thumb is to strongly consider changing the tires on your daily car every six years, or at least have them checked out by a professional after this length of time.

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