Why is the car shaking when I brake?

Tyler Wall

close up photo of ferrari rim

If your car is shaking while braking, it’s likely due to warped brake rotors. Warped brakes are a common problem that many drivers face at some point. The good news is that they’re usually easy to fix. In this blog post, we’ll explain what brake rotors are, what causes them to warp, and how you can fix the problem.

What is a brake rotor?

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Brake rotors are metal discs that are mounted to your car’s wheels. They are responsible for stopping your car when you press on the brake pedal. There are two types of brakes: disc brakes and drum brakes. While disc brakes are much more effective, drum brakes are great for when a car is parked.

When the brakes are applied, hydraulic pressure makes the pads clamp down on the rotors and create friction. This friction is what slows down or stops your car.

What causes brake rotors to warp and the steering wheel to shake?

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Brake rotors can warp for a number of reasons. The most common cause is heat build-up from excessive braking. If you live in a hot climate or do a lot of driving in stop-and-go traffic, you’re more likely to experience warped brake rotors. Other causes include hitting a pothole or curb, driving on uneven surfaces, and using brakes that are too hard or soft.

Other causes of warped brake rotors include:

  • Driving in extreme weather conditions (hot or cold)

  • Driving on rough roads

  • hard braking

  • using lower quality brake pads

Because of this, the vibration from the uneven rotors travels up the steering shaft and into the steering wheel.

How can I fix warped brake rotors

Courtesy: Wikipedia

There are a few different ways that you can fix warped brake rotors. The first and most common method is to have them resurfaced by a professional. This process involves using a machine to remove a thin layer of metal from the rotor surface. This will create a smooth, even surface for the brakes to grip onto.

The second method is to replace the brake rotors entirely. This is usually only necessary if the rotors are severely warped or damaged beyond repair. Replacing brake rotors is a more costly option, but it will ensure that your brakes are in good working condition.

Other factors that can cause the car to shake

a person holding red and black hand tool

While bad brakes are a common cause, there are several other reasons why your car could be shaking when you press the brake pedal.

Bad brake pads

When brake pads are worn, pressing on the brakes will cause a rumble feeling on the road. Constantly riding your brakes in traffic will cause unnecessary wear on the pads and braking system, leading to car shake from the vibrations of uneven pressure.

A brake pad is a fairly cheap replacement, especially if you can do it yourself. Sometimes you will also need new calipers, which can be a slightly more difficult job. Getting a mechanic to install new brake calipers and pads isn’t too terribly expensive if you need to do that.

Imbalanced tires

Tire imbalance will also cause vibrations in your vehicle. Typically, tire imbalance occurs when a wheel loses a weight or has been ran into a curb too many times.

Good practices for maintaining your car

Courtesy: Wikipedia

On top of just keeping up with regular brake maintenance, checking your brake fluid from time-to-time will ensure that you get the longevity you’re looking for in your brakes.

Depending on your experience with vehicles, checking your suspension components can be largely beneficial for preventative maintenance.

Why the car shakes when braking

cars on asphalt road

Warped brake rotors are a common problem that many drivers face at some point. If your car is shaking while braking, it’s likely due to warped brake rotors. The good news is that they’re usually easy to fix. In this blog post, we’ve explained what brake rotors are, what causes them to warp, and how you can fix the problem.

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Why is car insurance so expensive? (2022)

Tyler Wall

crop businessman giving contract to woman to sign

On average, Americans pay $1630 per year on car insurance, or $135 dollars per month. When a person purchases a new vehicle, car insurance is a thing that every driver must have. With that, there are plenty of auto insurance companies out there providing this service, with many different insurance rates and types. However, the question always comes up: Why is car insurance so expensive?

There are several factors that play into insurance cost, with the major ones being your driving record/age, the type of insurance policy, and the type of car you have.

Why does a driving record and age matter?

black coupes

A driving record can have several implications on an insurance rate. For example, if a driver has a driving history of tickets and/or at-fault accidents, then they are considered a high risk driver and will see higher car insurance rates. A way to erase some of the cost from traffic violations is to take a defensive driving course to show that you are a changed driver.

On the flip side, if you are a safe driver with a clean driving record, then you might see lower rates.

Age also impacts car insurance rates. Young drivers are considered to be inexperienced, “higher risk” drivers. This can lead to higher rates and car insurance premiums. Something that helps combat those high rates (to some degree) and save some money is a student/senior citizen discount–if you are a good student with solid grades. They will need proof in the form of a transcript.

red and yellow hatchback axa crash tests

As time passes and the driver gets older, car insurance rates will start to go down. 25 is considered “mature” in the eyes of insurance companies, making that the last major price drop to escape higher premiums and insurance costs.

One last part related to this that is a determiner of auto insurance premiums is the drivers credit score and credit history. A lower credit score can lead to higher rates for the driver.

Along with this, a poor credit score indicates a higher probability that the driver could file a claim (or claims) with the insurer.

Why does the type of insurance policy matter?

agreement blur business close up

Car insurance comes in many shapes and sizes, with varying deductibles and coverage types, however there are 6 major tenets that determine the cost of car insurance. They are as follows:

Bodily injury liability coverage

This is pretty simple: This is meant to protect you in the event that you hit or injure someone with your car.

Personal injury protection coverage

This is meant to help cover the cost of any injuries that you take on from an accident.

Property damage liability coverage

This is meant to cover damage done to another persons property. This is very broad and can apply to a lot of objects, aside from a car (fence, post, mailbox, etc.).

Collision coverage

This is meant to cover damage taken on by your car in most circumstances, aside from hitting a deer. That is covered with comprehensive.

Uninsured motorist coverage

This is meant to protect you in the event that you get hit by uninsured drivers.

Comprehensive coverage

This is meant to cover the cost of replacing your car in the event of a total loss from something non-collision related. This includes natural disasters/weather and even vehicle theft.

orange and white traffic cone on green grass field

One of the most common insurance types that drivers pay for is PL/PD (personal liability/property damage). This is considered a very bare bones insurance policy. The upside to this is the lower auto insurance rates tied to it.

The other common insurance type is people opting for full coverage. This includes every policy listed above, protecting the policyholder from most situations they can find themselves in. Full coverage is typically the most expensive car insurance rate because of the vastness it covers. However, it also gives the most peace of mind for drivers.

One way to potentially decrease a drivers premium is to raise the deductible. By doing this, the driver is saying that they will pay more out of pocket for damages.

In the event an accident occurs and the driver is at fault, the at-fault policyholder could see rate increases.

Why does the type of car matter?

While this is a smaller part of the equation, it is still an important one. Insurance providers will look at the year, make, and model of your vehicle. If a car is newer, it will be more expensive to insure.

If the car has anti theft features, then the cost of car insurance might be lower because it is deemed “safer” by a car insurance company.

Insurance companies and auto insurance

cars on asphalt road

Another factor to consider is whether or not to pay per year, biannually, or monthly. This is ultimately down to the policyholder.

There is a wide berth of insurance companies out there, with major ones being State Farm, Farmers Insurance, Progressive and Allstate to just name a few. Each provider might be offering different deals and discounts on coverage, especially if a driver is bundling home and auto insurance.

It is important to shop around with the different providers and compare quotes to see the best rates. Insurance coverage is a crucial part of owning a vehicle. It’s best to research different car insurance companies and choose what’s best for you and your budget.

One of the best automotive insurers out there is State Farm because they offer highly competitive rates. Student drivers can take advantage of their Drive Safe and Save discount, which discounts auto insurance rates by 25%.

Parting thoughts

Maybe we are looking at the question “why is car insurance so expensive?” incorrectly. We should be looking at it as “what can we do to reduce car insurance?”

To sum it up, having a clean driving record, a strong credit score, a decent car, and making sure you are only paying for what you need policy-wise are easy ways to reduce the cost of car insurance premiums. It’s important to not make a cars insurance more expensive than it needs to be.

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Best commuter car (2022)

Tyler Wall

cars on asphalt road

In a world where driving everywhere is an important part of functioning in a society, having a commuter vehicle that can complete that job is absolutely instrumental. There are several things that create the best commuter car experience, ranging from apple CarPlay and android auto to basic “necessities” like cruise control and everyday safety features.

What is the best commuter car?

blue car parked on street

Choosing best commuter car will depend on the length of your commute and budget. While not every car provides an S Class experience, they certainly do a good job of trying to match it. The best overall, though, is the 2022 Honda Civic.

2022 Honda Civic

Courtesy of: automobiles.honda.com

The 2022 Honda Civic feels like a Honda’s prologue of their sedan segment–mostly because it is. However, this car is a great value (especially used) provide the most modern safety features, as well as some more standardized “luxury” features, like heated front seats in higher trim levels, a full fledged infotainment system and blind spot monitoring.

Further, the Honda Civic is excellent on gas mileage, which is an important part of commuter cars. The Civic gets 33 mpg (miles per gallon) city and 42 highway–fantastic numbers for a rather stripped down vehicle (at least by modern standards).

If you’re looking for something a little more fun to drive, you can opt for the Civic Si and eek out some extra performance (albeit, only a slight power).

All of this combined makes the Civic one of the best commuter cars on the market.

Tyler's take

It's hard to go wrong with owning a Honda. They've managed to maintain a level of class that is pleasing to a normal person and pair that with solid gas mileage and feature set - the perfect storm for an excellent commuter car.

2022 Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is the equivalent of the Honda Civic, however the Corolla is more aggressively designed.

This front wheel drive car is notorious for its reliability, especially if you get the six speed manual to avoid future CVT maintenance. However, manual transmissions (generally) get worse fuel economy than their automatic transmission counterparts.

In terms of fuel economy, the standard Corolla gets about 30 city/38 highway. However, if you step up to the hybrid model, that fuel economy figure leaps to 53 city/52 highway.

These are also priced reasonably well, starting at $20k, and can be a great commuter. The infotainment system screen is bigger, which can be of greater value with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay too.

2022 Kia Soul

The Kia Soul has come a long way since its hamster car days. Despite it’s rather boxy design, it still gets decent fuel economy: 29 city/33 highway on the non-sport variants. This commuter also has some fun features, like changeable interior LEDs that can react to the music.

Android Auto? Yup. Apple CarPlay? Yup. The Kia Soul has come a long way since its hamster car days and will make any daily commute a breeze.

2022 Toyota Prius

Courtesy: Wikipedia.com

The antithesis of car lovers: The Toyota Prius. Despite it’s perhaps oversimplified nature, the Prius is VERY friendly on fuel economy. The secret to its success? A hybrid powertrain.

The Toyota Prius has a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine and an electric motor that give it a staggering mpg of 55 city/53 highway (this varies by 1-2 points depending on the trim level).

While the previous generation Prius had a rather soft design, the more recent one has replaced the soft edges with a more aggressive, angular design (similar to every other vehicle in Toyota’s lineup).

In terms of safety features, the Toyota Prius has all the modern bells and whistles, including lane assist, front collision sensors and adaptive cruise control. This allows the driver to stay safe while commuting to and from their destinations.

The best electric commuter cars

Electric cars are at the forefront of every automakers mind (and fleet). The demand has proven to be there, with Tesla still dominating the game, though traditional automakers have proven to be a threat. While the gas powered engine isn’t going away anytime soon the electric motor has proven to be very cost efficient compared to gasoline.

2022 Kia EV6

The Kia EV6 is Kia’s flagship electric vehicle. It has state-of-the-art technology, equip with only the most bleeding edge equipment. The entry level models are more sufficient as commuter cars because of they’re less powerful than the GT model, which gives it a slightly longer range.

The downside is the price. The EV6 starts at $46k, almost 2.5x higher than a Corolla. The base models are only equip with rear wheel drive. In terms of “fuel economy”, the range that Kia lists is 232-310 miles on a charge, which isn’t very impressive. But hey, at least you get heated front seats.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

front view of white hyundai car on wet road

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the sister of the Kia EV6, so they share a lot the same features. The interior is clean, with a very strong presence of Apple-like simplicity. The Ioniq 5 has the same “fuel economy” of the EV6, sitting at 300 miles on the larger battery models.

The Ioniq 5 (and EV6, for that matter) is a very forward-thinking vehicle and is a very nice EV package that provides a lot of nice-to-have-features for a commuter. This is standard with AWD, ensuring great stability and traction in any climate.

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

car vehicle chrome classic

The Mustang Mach-E feels like the first major competitor to Tesla. While it has suffered from several recalls, production is starting to ramp up again. While it may have a controversial name, it is still a quality vehicle with a range of 310 on the extended battery models.

The more powerful GT model can go 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, though it comes at a steep price of $65k. Like every other EV on this list, it is chocked full of features (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, a solid infotainment system, etc.), so if you can get past the range (and recalls, and the name having “Mustang”), then this is a solid contender for being a great commuter car.

What makes a vehicle a good commuter car?

cars on asphalt road

Many things add up to make a commuter car just that. This includes a variety of safety features, fuel economy, automatic emergency braking and more. While more expensive, hybrid engined vehicles tend to get greater fuel economy without any sacrifices.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is the base of a strong commuter car. If it maintains a great gas mileage, then it will also help you save some money at the pump. In the hierarchy of vehicle types, the most efficient and practical is a hybrid vehicle, followed by an electric vehicle and the gas powered engine.

Adaptive cruise control

Adaptive cruise control is a nice luxury to have when doing long-distance commuting. This technology will adjust your vehicles speed when the speed of traffic changes. Commuters would find this to be a nice feature and it’s becoming more common in your everyday Nissan.

Lane departure warning

Lane departure warning is another feature that is becoming more common on cars. This feature lets the driver know that their car is starting to drift into the other lane, which can be helpful on the highway.

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Best Vans for Van Life

Tyler Wall

surfboard in a van

In recent times, one unexpected trend has taken the world by storm (or at least the United States): van life. Van life is when you convert a van into a living space–think a tiny home on wheels. Of course, new van lifers need to start in the same place. They need to choose a van for their base, which is unquestionably the most important part of the process. This list of best vans to live in will help YOU decide which passenger van is the right choice.

What is the best van for van life?

a couple on the road

The short answer is the Ford Transit or Chevy Express, however it all depends on your budget and needs. If you need more space, then a different type of van, like a camper van or converted school bus might be a better solution than a passenger van.

When choosing a van, make sure do extra research on the specific trim levels, as well as extra research (pulling the carfax) if it is a used vehicle. These vans (generally) have a long life to live as long as you take care of them.

Here’s a list of the best vans for van life.

Ford Transit

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Ford Transits are a tried and true, reliable passenger van that can host your life on the road and is one of the best vans to live in. Available in all four wheel drive, these can be converted into a Ford Transit Camper, with or without the aid of conversion companies.

The Ford Transit is a readily available in various trim levels. The newer models are equip with a multitude of safety features, including a backup camera. As for gas mileage, the Transit gets 15 city/19 highway, for a combined 16 mpg.

This van’s initial intent was to be a cargo van, however retrofitting them to you on-the-go lifestyle is very achievable for vanlife. This is one of the best vans for van life on this list.

Mercedes Sprinter Van

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Another popular van of choice is the Mercedes Sprinter van. Although it’s standard with rwd, all wheel drive is an option. Like the Ford Transit, the Mercedes sprinter van has plenty of space for a van lifestyle, albeit with a slightly higher price tag.

Mercedes Benz has a track record with reliability issues, but as long as you are doing regular and consistent maintenance, your sprinter should be ready to hit the road. This van does, however, have a slightly nicer interior because of the brand it’s associated with, making your van life experience slightly more comfortable.

Because this is just a Mercedes Sprinter cargo van, it will fit in any regular parking space, meaning you can sleep in all the Walmart parking lots you want.

Dodge Ram Promaster

Courtesy: Wikipedia

The Dodge Ram Promaster is similar to both the Mercedes Sprinter and the Transit (are you sensing a theme?), however this can be come with a turbo diesel engine. I would heavily advise against that particular model, do to a multitude of reliability concerns with the Diesel engine. However, the 3.6 liter V6 engine model is more reliable (Promaster 3500). This is also a front wheel drive vehicle.

With these commercial sprinter vans, you’ll have to get creative with storage space (although the Ram Promaster is decently sized), but proper van conversions will ensure that your vehicle is ready to be a full time van for life on the road.

Chevy Express

Courtesy: Wikipedia

The Chevy Express is just the GM version of the Ford Transit cargo van, and has a similar cost as well. This is a classic choice. With all of these vans, it’s important that your van-of-choice has reasonable ground clearance to accommodate for different terrains or crappy roads.

The Chevy Express is slightly longer than the Transit, allowing for more space for your van life lifestyle. This is another one of the best vans to live in.

Nissan NV

Courtesy: Wikipedia

The Nissan NV is much like the other cargo vans, however this has a higher roof than the rest, especially on the Cargo model. If you opt for the passenger model, then the shape is much more squared off, which might be more aesthetically appealing to some.

In terms of price, this is very similar to the other vans and starts at about $30k. In terms of quality of product, as well as brand reliability, this is one the best vans for van life.

Camper Van

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Camper vans are a fantastic alternative if you want something that’s plug-and-play. Of course, this might come at an increased cost–not to mention that the different sizes and quality will have a vast range.

One money saving opportunity on the camper van front is to just get a camper and tow it with a truck. This really only saves money if you already have a truck. You do have the added benefit of your vehicle not intruding your van life living space.

Why picking the right van for van life is important

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Everybody has different amounts of stuff that they’re bringing into the van life lifestyle. Therefore, not all cargo vans are one size fits all and choosing from the best vans for van life is very subjective. The larger the van, the more space there is for a bed. Also, finding a van with a high roof will help with being able to stand up (see the Mercedes Sprinter). As previously stated, cargo vans may or may not be tall enough. However, they might have a pop top to act as a skylight.

With van conversion kits, doing research on the conversion kit company is crucial. If you do enough research, you can do it yourself. A lot of people also buy a school bus and do various bus conversions, which is optimal for more space (although mileage takes a massive hit. You have to choose your priorities).

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Some people also opt to live in a classic VW bus, which is the original van life vehicle. Automotive technology has come a long way since then, but if you’re into the classics, then that might be a viable option for van life.

With a camper van, you might need a truck to pull it, which is an added cost if you don’t already have one. It will be important to make sure your truck makes enough power to tow the camper.

One other honorable mention is the Class B RV camper van. While these are certainly more expensive, they are the next step up from the smaller camper van.

Once you choose your home on wheels from this list of the best vans to live in, you’ll be ready to go wherever the wind takes you on your van life journey.

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Best microfiber car cloths (2022)

Tyler Wall

a woman cleaning a car

Car detailing is an important part of keeping up regular maintenance and ensuring that your vehicle is in tip top shape. This involves cleaning your car regularly to prevent rust from forming. One “tool” in every persons tool belt should be a set of microfiber car cloths.

Microfiber towels are a fantastic way to dry a vehicle after a car wash because of their soft qualities, reducing the likelihood of ruining your cars paint.

What is the best microfiber towel?

person holding gray and black towel

There are many different microfiber cloth brands, especially in the age of Alibaba and Amazon. There are a lot of factors that make for a quality microfiber cloth, like being machine washable, lint free, absorbent, soft, and safe for all of your vehicle surfaces.

Here’s a list of some of the best microfiber car cloths.

The Chemical Guys Wooly Mammoth Drying Towel

Most microfiber towels are the size of a wash cloth. The woolly mammoth microfiber drying towels by the Chemical Guys are large and thick, coming in at 36 inches by 25 inches. The ultra plush material has a high level of absorbency and is great for toweling off the exterior of your car while preventing scratches.

These super soft towels from the Chemical Guys have great reviews (4.2 stars) and can dry an entire car with just one pass. These towels are also machine washable.

Mighty Cleaner Premium Microfiber Drying Towels

The Mighty Cleaner microfiber towels are perhaps the cheapest option on this list, sitting at $15 on amazon for a 6 pack. Because of their 12 inch size, these microfiber cloths can be stored in the glove box of a car. They are safe to use on any car’s paint and remove the dirt without leaving any streaks behind.

These microfiber car cloths are a good balance of quality and cost, providing the best entry level microfiber car cloth experience.

Nexgen Microfiber Towels

Another strong contender in the microfiber towels game is the Nexgen Microfiber Towels. These 16 x 16 inch towels last for over 40 uses before needing to be replaced AND come with a 100% money back guarantee.

These plush microfiber cleaning towels come in pack of 1, 3, 6 or 10.

Meguiar's Water Magnet

Meguiar’s Water Magnet microfiber car cloths have proven to be a strong contender in the microfiber drying towel space within the automotive industry. These are 24 inch x 16 inch soft microfiber cleaning cloths for cars are machine washable and highly absorbent.

These towels help keep a scratch free cleaning when a washing a given car surface, including glass. These towels start at a decent price, starting at about $9 for a three pack.

Kirkland Signature Premium Microfiber Towels

Last, but certainly not least, is Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand of microfiber towels: Kirkland Signature Ultra High Pile Premium Microfiber Towels. These are similar to the other microfiber towels on this list, but at the Costco discount when you buy them at the bulk store. These ultra soft towels are great for car care and car drying and everything auto.

Interestingly, you can purchase these on Amazon (with free shipping for Prime users) and they come in a pack of 36. These towels are 80 percent polyester and 20 percent polyamide, allowing for a chemical-free cleaning.

Why Choosing the Best Microfiber Towels for Cars is Important

blue car parked on street

Choosing a high quality microfiber towel will help prevent scratches when car cleaning. Further, it will also ensure that your paint is protected and while detailing. At the end of the day, if it’s getting the job done, then it’ll work for you. The more expensive your vehicle is, the more thought you should put into the brands you should use.

How to Use a Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

hand holding a yellow microfiber towel

Using a microfiber towel is as simple as it sounds, HOWEVER it is highly recommended that you pre rinse your car so you aren’t wiping dirt around and creating micro scratches in your paint.

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The 7 best cars with red interior (2022)

Tyler Wall

black coupes

Car interiors come in many different colors, with the primary ones being black, gray and a brown/beige. These are considered “safe” options and will match any exterior color and there’s nothing wrong with that. One of the more difficult colors for a car to pull off is red interior. However, despite that difficulty, there are several cars that can do it with swagger and style. Here’s a list of some of the best cars with red interior.

What are the best cars with red interior?

Really, it comes down to personal preference. However, this list contains 7 of the best cars with red interiors that would even convince haters of the color red that it has a place, plus a couple bonus cars at the end. There is a mixture of luxurious cars, performance cars and affordable cars.

Kia Stinger GT 2

The Kia Stinger GT 2 is a is Kia’s answer to the need for a sporty sedan–and a disappearing breed, unfortunately. The GT 2 is the Stingers premium package with a twin-turbo V6 producing 365 horsepower. This car also has AWD. For an additional cost, a buyer can opt to red interior. However, it is a very nice option, with the seats being a Napa red leather for extra grip.

The red color isn’t a candy apple; rather, it’s more of a muted cherry. It can be paired with any of the available exterior color options, but would (probably) look best with one of the grayscale colors–or maybe a blue. The lower spec package–the GT line–also has a similar interior option.

If you’re looking to save some money, the 2021 Kia Stinger GT was also available with red interior.

Porsche 718 Boxster

The Porsche 718 Boxster is a fantastic performance car that produces 400 horsepower while maintaining the luxurious name that Porsche has grown. This sports car is also available with red interior.

It can either come in two-tone red and black, with the seat cushions and leather door inserts being red, or a completely red interior, meaning anything that is leather in the interior is red (certainly an acquired taste. This includes the steering wheel, dashboard, seats, door panels, and center console.

The Porsche 718 Boxster can also get a red soft top to match the interior if it is your hearts desire. If you’re looking for something a little more practical, the Panamera also has red available as an interior option.

Lexus LC

The Lexus LC, or LC500 depending on the year, is Lexus’s luxury performance coupe with a V8 making 471 horsepower. This is also available in a hybrid for improved fuel efficiency. The hybrid’s mpg is 26 city/34 highway and has a good ride experience. This model is available with red interior and is done tastefully and minimally, with it only being in the seats.

The LC is has a fairly strong technology package, although the navigation of the infotainment system could’ve been handled better. Red seats are a standard option across all LC trim levels. While this high end vehicle starts at $91k, it is an excellent option if you’re trying to marry luxury, performance and reliability.

BMW M Series

gray sport car beside purple car on road

At this point, BMW makes a wide range of models that have several different trim options. The vehicles in their lineup that make the most sense with optioning red interior is their M series models. 

Similar to the LC, the M series red is in the seat padding. As a whole, BMW has always been on the cutting edge with its technology package. The M series engine ranges from a twin turbo inline 6 to a twin turbo V8 on the M5, M6 and M8. 

The seats being accented with red goes along very well with the red line in the M series logo. BMW does offer a M model in their sport utility vehicles, but it does not have a red option for the interior. It does offer a “sakhir orange”, which is awfully close to red. If it’s an SUV you’re looking for, then this might be the one.

Kia K5

The Kia K5 GT-line is available with red interior, albeit slightly more abrasive. However, this is the most affordable car on this list, with a sticker price of $30k for the this model. It’s important to note that is only this specific trim that the red interiors available. If you chose a trim too high (“GT”), it isn’t available anymore. It’s weird, I agree.

While this is technically a “GT-line” car, the Kia K5 it only makes 180 horsepower. However, its turbocharged 1.4 liter four cylinder engine gets 27 miles per gallon city and 37 highway. While it isn’t a powerful engine, it’s certainly fuel efficient.

Acura TLX

The Acura TLX is a sporty looking sedan, available with a Type-S trim that pushes more power in the engine, bringing 272 horsepower to 355 horsepower. This cars red interior option is vibrant, yet soft at the same time. The color works, especially with the Type-S branding as an “aggressive” car–although that remains up for debate.

With a turbocharged V6, the Acura TLX engine gets 19 miles per gallon city and 25 highway. While the sticker price is high–$55k–you still get a good amount of features from Honda luxury brand. 355 horsepower certainly isn’t nothing, and the technology in the vehicle is on par with all other modern vehicles.

If you’re something a little cheaper with a price of $27k used, the Acura ILX is a discontinued model that you can pick up used with a similar interior option. It is much slower and on par with the K5, but still has the luxury of an Acura.

Lexus NX 300

Rounding out this list, the Lexus NX 300 is one of the few cars with red interior on all trim levels. However, if you’re looking at the Lexus NX 300, you may as well step up the the AWD model for a few thousand dollars more. This delivers 287 horsepower giving it all the power it needs to make good use of the all wheel drive system.

This is done as tastefully as the LC, but the it crawls up toward the stack and dash. This vehicle is equip-able with many a feature, but it depends what you want out of your sport utility vehicle. There isn’t much else worth mentioning. It’s a solid luxury SUV.

Honorable mentions

The majority of the list above are very expensive vehicles. The only exception is the Kia K5 and MAYBE the Lexus NX 300. Here are a couple cars with red interiors that are a bit more realistic and achievable.

Toyota Camry XSE

The Toyota Camry’s interior comes with an option for red. This sedan starts at $25k, but the color is only available on in the XSE/XSE Hybrid which starts at $31k. It makes a decent 206 horsepower and gets 27/38 mpg, making for solid fuel efficiency.

This color is in several places in the interior, primarily on entirety of the seat, door trim, and center console. The car is competitive with the K5 in price, but this has a slight edge in power.

Chrysler Pacifica Red S Edition

Yes, a Chrysler Pacifica is on this list. While this red-interior van isn’t available new anymore, there are several available on the used market. These had a special trim, dubbed the “Red S Edition.” It’s hardly affordable, sitting at $45K to own it used.

This is more comical than anything. If this is what you’re looking for, then go for it. It’s fully loaded with a “premium” package (or as premium as a Chrysler Pacifica can get) and gets decent gas mileage.

Mazda 3 Hatchback

The Mazda 3 Hatchback with red interiors is by far my favorite on this list. It’s a very deep color, venturing into a mahogany. The cheapest version it’s available on is the Carbon edition, which starts at $29k. It’s also available on the sport plus, which has a turbocharged four cylinder making 250 horsepower.

In general, Mazda does a good job with stretching the dollar and making a “luxurious,” premium experience as affordable as possible. Plus, they still offer manual transmissions with many of their vehicles.

Parting thoughts about cars with red interiors

This color is definitely an acquired taste. That being said, it can also really bring a unique experience into the cabin of a car. While there are cars that do it more tastefully than others, cars with red interior can be a fun way to spice up a vehicle. Just as important is making sure the interior matches the exterior.

No matter the color interior you choose, make sure you like it. It’s very difficult to change the color of it once it’s picked–and certainly very expensive if you want it done well and permanently.

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The 5 best car battery brands

Tyler Wall

open hood of a car

Choosing the best car battery brand when replacing an old one is crucial, especially with all the different car battery brands and battery manufacturers that are out there. Whether it’s an affordable car or a luxury car, there is a battery that will best suit its needs.

What are the best car battery brands?

Once you’ve tested your car batteries charge with a battery charger and determined it’s time for a new battery, you’re faced with a plethora of options. On top of the battery game right now is Optima.

Optima has been producing some of the best car batteries with their three different battery brands, separated by different colors: blue, red and yellow. Generally, all Optima batteries tend to last longer (up to three times longer than the typical service life, if you get the yellow top battery). They are also more resistant to leakage, as well as having a high vibration resistance.

The yellow top battery is Optima’s high performance absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery, with a high cranking power and long battery life cycle. The yellow top also features a deep cycle battery and optimal charging power. Optima uses their own spiral cell technology that gives them such a high battery life and vibration resistance.

A deep cycling battery is especially important in an EV, given the constant power draw. This high performance battery is great for vehicles with many modern features, like power sliding doors, memory seats, multiple screens, etc. 

The lower-powered (and cheaper) red top battery is a better fit for stock cars and RVs that are less feature heavy. Given the Optima battery quality and performance, as well as spill proof design, they are one of the best car battery brands, if not the best battery on the market.

DieHard has a wide range of batteries, going beyond cars and into watercraft and lawnmowers as well are heavy duty batteries for tractors. They offer a DieHard red, DieHard silver, DieHard gold, DieHard platinum and platinum AGM, and a DieHard EV. 

All of their batteries from the gold level up have a minimum three year warranty. The red, silver and gold models are a lead acid battery, while the others–the platinum AGM battery and the EV battery–are a different type of battery (AGM).

If you drive a modern car with a multitude of features, it is best to go with the platinum battery and up. However, if the vehicle is older and less feature-driven, the any of the red through gold will suffice (although, you may want to stick with the gold level to be safe).

DieHard batteries are very common, with a local auto parts store having a high likelihood of carrying them.

Similar to DieHard, Duracell has several different batteries in their line up–the Duracell Starter, Advanced, Extreme EFB, Extreme AGM, and Extreme AGM Backup. 

One of the more unique batteries offered by Duracell is the Extreme AGM Backup. That’s because it has a reserve capacity for when the battery dies. This saves a jump, and therefore time. All batteries from the Extreme EFB down are lead acid batteries. The different types of car will determine the best suited battery for it. 

The Extreme EFB battery is meant for environmentally friendly cars and has an auto start stop feature built into it.

The warranty on Duracell car batteries span from 2-5 years and if something goes wrong, they will give you a free replacement. These are also maintenance free and are spill proof.

ACDelco

Courtesy of: ACDelco

ACDelco offers two different levels of batteries: Silver and Gold. Silver is their “Advantage” level and Gold is the “professional” level. The Gold models are longer lasting, with a range of 24-42 months. They are sealed lead acid batteries, capable of powering a lot of accessories that conventional batteries may not be able to power. 

These do have a replacement warranty that comes with them. The Gold level are highly rated for cold cranking amps, meaning it is easier to start a vehicle in cold weather/cold climates. The company offers AGM batteries within the Gold level if it is needed.

ACDelco tests their batteries extensively and the battery terminals are corrosion-free. 

NAPA has some of the cheapest batteries on the market, making it the best car battery for the price. Starting at just $130, they will just drop in your car and get the job done. They offer a free replacement if something goes wrong within their 18 month warranty window. Like any other lead acid battery on this list, these batteries are valve regulated. The performance of these models are also very good.

This company is a great brand–and by extension, battery brand–at an affordable price that provides your car with everything it will need.

What makes for best car battery brands?

a person holding red and black hand tool

Having a strong warranty program that includes a free replacement is important, as well as having a long lasting battery. It is important to make sure you know what your cars battery needs are (high performance, modern features, etc.).

Finding a battery doesn’t have to be difficult, it just requires a bit of research and making sure that the technology in it is what your vehicle needs. Any of the batteries on this list are suitable to be the best car battery brands, especially in their given class.

The difference between car batteries

There are two main car battery types: lead acid batteries and AGM batteries. Batteries with lead acid have been around for years. These conventional batteries are valve regulated and are the tried and true choice for a car battery. An absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery is a newer battery technology that is much more efficient. 

Some batteries will feature a reserve capacity that will keep your car running in the event that your battery dies. It is good for a battery to have a good level of vibration resistance to make sure the ties don’t come loose form the battery terminals. Most batteries are maintenance free.

Lithium ion batteries are different than these two and aren’t typical in a gas vehicle, but are frequently found in EV’s and hybrids.

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Best tires for Honda Civic

Tires are a very important part of a car and will vary depending on their purpose. Here is a list of the best tires for Honda Civic.

Tyler Wall

car tire closeup photo

Tires are a very important element of a car. They are the piece of the puzzle that keeps connected to the road on tight corners and dry and wet surfaces. With that, there are several different tire types that vary depending on the conditions of the environment. To go hand in hand with our previous article on the best Honda Civic generations, here is a list of the best tires for Honda Civic by environment types.

Courtesy of: Tirerack

Best all season tire:
Michelin CrossClimate 2

Courtesy of: Tirerack

Best winter tire:
Bridgestone Blizzak

Courtesy of: Tirerack

Best summer tire:
Michelin Pilot Sport

What are the best tires for Honda Civic?

It all depends on the environment. The best all season tires for Honda Civic are the Michelin CrossClimate2 tires. However, there are also tires that increase fuel efficiency, aid in wet conditions and provide stronger wet performance, tires that provide better ride comfort and many more.

Best all season tires: Michelin CrossClimate 2

Michelin has always been producing high quality tires, and these are no exception. The Michelin CrossClimate 2 all season tires are great tire for your Honda Civic that are premium grand touring tires, and the best grand touring tires on this list. Their outstanding lateral grip allows for sticky traction and excellent steering response.

These tires give strong performance in various weather conditions, as well as having good ride comfort and good ride quality with little road noise. These are compatible with the 18 inch rims of the Honda Civic Sport, Grand Touring and SI models.

While these tires can certainly handle some level of track use, you should still get designated performance tires as the CrossClimate 2’s do have issues when they get too hot.

Best winter tires: Bridgestone Blizzak

The Bridgestone blizzard winter tires are some of the best snow tires on the market, especially for snow traction. This is the best winter tire for maintaining a level of performance thanks to its aggressive tread pattern that provides excellent traction.

These tires are particularly best for the Honda Civic because they allow you to keep playing with your Civic–particularly your Si or even Type R–in the winter time. While there is no warranty, the Blizzak’s have indicators for tread depth on the tires. All these reasons combined makes them a clear option for being one of the best tires for Honda Civic.

Best summer tires: Michelin Pilot Sport

The Michelin Pilot Sport tires are a high performance tire meant to give excellent traction in the ideal tracking environments. They have excellent braking performance, ensuring that driver is kept safe.

These are not good enough to be winter tires, but that’s because they are only meant to be summer tires for clear roads. This is because summer tires have a different tread pattern than what is needed for decent winter and ice traction. However, these are very high quality tires and will still do decently in dry and wet conditions.

Best tires for wet conditions: Bridgestone Potenza

The Bridgestone Potenza tires are another all season tire, but are also high performance. These tire have excellent wet traction in rainy environments, making them safe for practically any condition.

The tire compound is also high quality, making this a long last tire. For the Honda Civic and tires for Honda Civic, these tires are a one-stop-shop option as it pertains to finding a good touring tire, performance tire and winter tire.

Best budget tires: Yokohama Avid Touring S

For what you get, the Yokohama Avid Touring S tires are good for the price. While they aren’t high performance tires by any stretch of the word, they will get the job done for your Honda Civic. 

They also have great traction on dry and wet surfaces. They will be okay for light snow conditions, but aren’t perfect. However, their cheap price point makes up for that pitfall.The treadwear warranty on this tires is very good for the price at 65k miles.

Why choosing the right Honda Civic tires is important

vehicle tire

Every person buying new tires should consider there road conditions and purpose for the tires. Most people should just get all season tires and all weather tires, as they are the most versatile. Especially with an all season tire, getting a set that hold up well on wet pavement and wet roads is crucial.

However, if someone is planning on taking their Civic to regular track days, then they should consider getting a high performance tire that can withstand the heat from the track.

These five tire types are some of the best tires of Honda Civic and should be thoroughly considered when shopping for your next set of new tires.

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Finding the best mpg sports car

Finding the best mpg sports car

close up of electric lamp against black background

Sports cars are a fun way to feel connected to the road, especially if it has a manual gearbox. However, the there is an expectation that a sports car will have a lower gas mileage, ranging between 15 and 25 combined. What if I told you that there is a way to enjoy a fast, fun car without compromising on at the pump? Is there a best mpg sports car? Sure, but it is an active list that changes. Thus, here’s a list of some of the best mpg sports cars.

What is the best mpg sports car?

blue honda civic type r

As said before, this is going to boil down to personal preference and some compromises. However, sports cars with a hybrid engine tend to have better fuel economy.

Here’s a list of some of the best sports cars with excellent fuel economy.

2021 Toyota Supra

photo of supra parked in front of building

Kicking things off with the MKV Toyota Supra, this car represents a culmination of several Supra generations. With it’s twin turbocharged engine, this two door does 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. 

With its rather luxurious interior–inherited from BMW–this is a nice car to be in, all while pulling off a miles per gallon (MPG) rating of 30 mpg highway and 25 combined. This is, of course, rated with the eight speed automatic transmission. However, when the six speed manual transmission is available, these numbers should stay about the same (maybe slightly lower). Not bad for a vehicle of this caliber. 

The Toyota Supra does require premium gasoline, but it’s worth it for the turbos. This vehicle would also make a relatively good daily driver if owned in a warmer climate, as it has plenty of trunk space, comfortable enough and pretty fuel efficient.

Mazda MX 5 Miata

parked red car on the road

The Mazda Miata is a small roadster created in the early 90s. The Miata has a decent sized fanbase and following, and for good reason. At its heart, the MX 5 is a raw roadster. It isn’t the fastest (the ND generation makes 155 horsepower), nor does it accelerate the fast (The ND does it in 5.9 seconds). 

However, it is the thesis of what a sports car is: fun to drive and easy to throw around with its enjoyable handling. This roadster also happens to have the lowers starting price on this list, at $27,000.

Armed with a six speed manual transmission (don’t get the automatic transmissions), the Miata is a blast to drive and averages 25-26 combined and runs on 87 octane.

However, you don’t necessarily have to get the most recent generation Miata. All of them fair similarly in gas mileage. The car market has plenty of Miata’s of all generations for sale, so finding one you like (NA, NB, NC or ND) shouldn’t be an issue at all. 

If you are looking for something with more power in a similar form factor, you might want to look at the Fiat 124 Spider, specifically the Abarth version. The 124 was a partnership between Mazda and Fiat, making the vehicle pretty similar to the Miata–with the exception of the exterior. This turbocharged engine eeks out some more horsepower, but it does cost more (and more to maintain).

Honda Civic Si

a black honda civic car

The Honda Civic Si is Honda’s sporty Civic trim (aside of the Type R, but that is a breed of its own). This four seater is a great way to get a little bit of pep in a sedan or coupe form factor. There are several different Civic Si generations.

While these aren’t particularly fast in any sort of meaning of the word, they are still relatively interesting in their six speed manual glory. Plus, it’s a Civic, so reliability isn’t (generally) a problem and it gets great gas mileage: 27 city/37 highway.

Honda Civic Type R

If you’re looking for something that is more performance based, then the Honda Civic Type R is a good option, although you do sacrifice some gas mileage (22 city, 28 highway). Equipped with an all wheel drive system, swift acceleration and sharp handling, this car has a winning combination.

2022 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

black Ford Mustang coupe on road

Is this a base model Mustang? Yep. The Ford Mustang lower trim levels have come a long way since its V6 days. The V6 was replaced with a 2.3 liter turbo four cylinder engine making 310 horsepower and has a 0-60 of 5.8 seconds. Sure, this isn’t anything impressive, and it isn’t traditional American muscle, but it will still get the job done.

As for fuel economy, this Mustang gets 21 city/32 highway, compared to its V8 big brothers 15/23 split. Mustang fanboys will argue that it isn’t a “real Mustang,” but it is still a a decent vehicle with rather reasonable fuel economy and makes this pretty good alternative to the traditional sense of the term “Mustang.”

If you don’t care about fuel economy, then older 5.0 V8 Mustangs can be found for similar prices of the EcoBoost Mustang.

2022 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

hyundai veloster parked in a dark room

Looking for a more affordable-yet-sporty hot hatch with solid fuel economy? Look no further than the newest Hyundai Veloster Turbo. With a quirky 3 door setup, this little hatchback is pretty good for the money. 

The Veloster Turbo gets 28/34 mpg and does so while maintaining a sports car like feel. Its low center of gravity allows you to get behind the steering wheel and on a winding road with no issues. The 4 seat design also makes this a fairly practical choice. This is one of the few front wheel drive cars on the list, making it an easier vehicle to drive in more northern climates.

2022 Lexus LC 500h

photo of red sports car

This is the most expensive vehicle on this list. However, the Lexus LC 500h is also one of the fastest cars on this list. This luxury couple has a 0-60 of 4.6 seconds, it has a top speed of 168 mph. This hybrid V6 produces 384 horsepower, more or less matching the Supra.

However, this coupe/convertible has high quality finishes and a roomy cabin. This all comes at a price, though: $99,000. This hybrid power terrain is fairly efficient, with a combined 29 mpg. 

2021 Tesla Model 3 Performance

pexels-photo-10029773.jpeg

While it may be cheating to put an electric vehicle on this list, it’s hard to deny the Model 3’s speed, accelerate and “fuel economy,” if you want to call it that. However, it truly is an efficient vehicle, despite its all-too-frequent quality control issues. 

While you may sacrifices a couple miles, jumping to the “sport” model is the way to go. This give the Model 3 a 0-60 of about 3 seconds and a top speed of 160 miles per hour. This is, of course, all straight line speed. However, it is a pretty impressive feat of technology

It’s important to remember that getting into the Tesla community requires a level of patience and lenience when it comes to delivery times and build quality. If you can get past that, then an EV is a good option for an efficient ride that is also sporty.

Why is fuel economy so important?

close up of illuminated text against black background

Not only does it determine how frequently and how much you spend at the pump, it also has a positive impact on the environment. There doesn’t have to be compromise when picking a fuel efficient, good gas mileage vehicle and marrying that with a sports car. Hopefully you got and idea of a best mpg sports car from the list above.

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The 5 best aftermarket headlights by brand

Tyler Wall

white mercedes benz cars

At every point in a cars life, they could use a new headlight assembly. Here’s a list of the best aftermarket headlights. Or, perhaps you just want to take a step up from the factory headlights. If so, this list of the best aftermarket headlights is for you.

What are the best aftermarket headlights?

There are plenty of different headlight assembly brands out there, however it can be good to find ones that are similar to the OEM headlights. Because of this, the best aftermarket headlights brand is Replace XL.

Best overall: Replace XL

Courtesy of: carports.com

Features

Available in various light types
Wide range of models
Wide range of prices

There are many different make and model years in aftermarket headlights that are available from ReplaceXL. While they don’t have a parent site, there many third party sellers that amen these headlights available to the public

ReplaceXL provides many different headlight types, ranging from halogen headlights to LED headlights. Their different aftermarket headlight assemblies come with all the parts necessary to replace it. Bulbs are included with the purchase.

ReplaceXL also has different light types from all around a vehicle, like fog lights, blinker lights, and more. They are a great choice and are ranked the best aftermarket headlight assembly manufacturers.

Best value: Replacement

Courtesy of: carparts.com

Features

Sells headlight assemblies as a package deal
Variety of options
Not just a headlight assembly seller

Replacement is a fantastic value, especially since they offer lights in a package deal. All bulbs are included with each purchase. This brand is compatible with LED lights, halogen bulbs, and xenon headlights. 

Their headlight assembly is meant to look like an OEM headlight assembly, making these a low-profile and inconspicuous option, as well as easy to install aftermarket headlights.

Similar to ReplaceXL, Replacement includes everything to get the job done. Even though these look like stock headlights, they are are an upgrade, especially if they’re being put into a car that hasn’t had the headlight assembly replaced. Because of this, they are on the list for the best aftermarket headlights.

Best budget: Anzo

Courtesy of: carparts.com

Features

Different styles
bulbs included
Different light types

Anzo headlights are a great option if you are looking for something a different headlight assembly than the OEM headlight assembly. To make it even better, they are the cheapest headlight assembly on this list. They can be bought in sets and come with the headlight housing and headlight assembly.

Like the other headlight brands on this list, this aftermarket headlight assembly are compatible with halogen bulbs, LED bulbs and xenon bulbs. This combined with their different looks (projector headlights or crystal headlights) puts them on the list for the best aftermarket headlights.

Yitamotor

Courtesy of: yitamotor.com

Features

Modern design
3 layer design
Wide price range

With Yitamotor headlights, your car will can have a sleek, modern appeal . The lights are also equip with parking and turn wheel steering. They have free shipping on all their headlight assemblies. While they do mainly cater to the truck fan base {particularly Chevy, Dodge, Ford and GMC), there are other high quality aftermarket headlights available.

Opting for these modern headlights will be an improvement over the stock headlights and give your truck (or car) a new look. The light output is great on these, making them a great option for aftermarket headlight shoppers.

Spyder Auto

Courtesy of: spyderauto.com

Features

Bolt on design
OE and ISO certified
Different headlight types

Spyder Auto headlights have a lot to offer, despite their limited compatibility. They offer projector headlights, crystal headlights and fog lights. These lights are also fairly affordable, matching a lot of what other brands have to offer.

With the light bulbs themselves, they offer halogen bulbs (both high beam and low beam bulbs), as well as LED bulbs (high beam and low beam bulbs). This will vary depending on which series you choose: signature series, platinum series and apex series.

Spyder Auto’s bolt-on aftermarket headlight assembly allows people to customize their vehicles with their affordable and unique looks. This also makes them a direct OEM replacement contender and easy to install.

What to look for in aftermarket headlight assembly brands

As with any sort of shopping, researching what brands will fit your vehicle is extremely crucial to ensure that you don’t have to return anything. LED headlights are more efficient than halogen bulbs, which is why automakers are shifting away from halogen headlights and to LED bulbs.

Aftermarket headlights have gotten cheaper and cheaper over the years, making them more accessible to people who couldn’t afford them in the past.

One important step to the search for new headlights is checking the aftermarket headlights legal status. An easy way to avoid this problem is to ensure that they are OE and ISO certified, meaning you won’t run into issues with the law.

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