Why is the car shaking when I brake?

Automotive Industry

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.

Table of Contents

Why is car insurance so expensive? (2022)

Automotive Industry

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)

Automotive Industry

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.

Table of Contents

Best Vans for Van Life

Automotive Industry

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.

Table of Contents

The 5 best aftermarket headlights by brand

Automotive Industry

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.

Table of Contents

Best Honda Civic models of the 21st Century

Automotive Industry

A list of the Honda Civic generations from the past 20 years, including the answer to the age old question: What is the best Honda Civic?

a black honda civic car

The Honda Civic, Honda’s compact car line up, has been around since the late 70s. Since then, there have been 11 generations of the Civic, ranging from regular Civics to variations of the hot Civic Si and Type R. This was (and is) Honda’s way of taking advantage of the booming small car market.

Going even further than that, there have been several different Civic body styles, ranging from a Civic wagon (primarily a Japanese model) to an EK three door hatchback. 

Of course, these different Honda Civic generations have come with highs and lows. Here is a list of the best and worst Honda Civic generations of the 21st century.

What's the best Honda Civic?

photo of parked red honda

It all depends on what you want out of a Civic. Generally speaking, the most recent iteration is the best Honda Civic, but not necessarily the most recent model year. The mid generation refreshes rarely offer anything new, so finding a deal within that given generation can provide great value that includes the most recent safety features.

If you want something sporty, then the Honda Civic Type R might be your cup of tea. It really is a proper enthusiast machine, especially with some of the previous generations. 

If you’re looking for something more practical and less flashy, then a more base model and less sporty Civic trim might be right for you.

However, this isn’t an article about the different Honda Civic trim levels; this is a look into the the Honda Civics of the past, present and future.

The seventh generation Civic

courtesy of: wikipedia.com

The seventh generation of Honda Civic’s was introduced in 2001 and ran until 2005. This generation contained the normal Civic sedan lineup, but also had a more rare spec in it: The Honda Civic Si, but in the form of a 2 door hatchback. This was a model that the automotive world seemed to be asking for — that being an enjoyable fun car — even though it had very limited sales.

With its four cylinder engine from an Acura RSX, the Civic Si hot hatch made 160 horsepower. As with all Civic Si models, this was only offered with a manual transmission (a 5-speed in this particular model). Interestingly, the shifter was located on the center stack, rather than near the center console. 

As for the more run-of-the-mill Civic models in this generation, they were, and continue to be, fairly reliable Hondas. It was offered as a 4-door and coupe body style. While there was a Civic Type R model within this generation, it was only offered overseas in Europe and Japan. When this Honda Civic Si was sold in Canada, it was badged as a Honda Civic SiR.

With this being a Honda, there was an abundance of trim levels for the sedan variant: The DX, VP, LX, Civic EX, LX Special Edition, EX Special Edition and hybrid. With the Honda Civic coupe, there was the same ones plus Si and RAJ.

The good

This generation had the rare Honda Civic Si hatchback that the community wanted. With this limited run, this particular model is starting to see an increase in price and collectibility.

The bad

The starting model year has had many complaints related to transmission failure and slipping. However, the following 2002-2005 Civic model years seem to have ironed out those issues. Consumer reports also noted that the 2009/2010 model years had battery life issues.

The eighth generation Civic

courtesy of: wikipedia.com

The eighth generation Honda Civic had a production run from 2005 to 2012, with a facelift refresh in 2008. This was also introduction to the odd front end edge shape. As with most of the Civic generations, the overseas Honda Civic has slight variations in body style.

This generations marked the end of the Civic Si in its hot hatch form, at least for the time being. It was replaced with a 2 door Civic coupe that made 197 horsepower, a 37 horsepower increase over the previous generation Civic Si.

Even though this was a more conventional Si model, enthusiasts were still excited for a continuation. For those looking for more practical-fun, the Civic Si was still offered in a four door configuration. These looked like a regular civic, but was only identifiable as an Si from the minimal badging on the outside. Once again, only overseas countries would receive a Civic Type R.

The Regular Honda Civic averaged about 26 mpg, but the hybrid model achieved a combined 42 mpg, giving it a fuel economy advantage.

The good

It’s a Civic that is still a decent car for its price point, especially used. Honda engines tend to be bullet proof, meaning an owner should be able to put hundreds of thousands of miles on it if it’s maintained properly.

The bad

This generation was known for having a failing passenger airbag sensor and motor mount issues, along with some electrical issues. The motor mount issues make this a hard generation to recommend, as well as the (subjectively) ugly wedge shape.

The ninth generation Civic

courtesy of: wikipedia.com

The ninth generation Honda Civic models ran from 2011-2017. This was a departure from the wedged front face design and hints at what the Civic would look like today–especially with the facelift model.

This generation also saw the beginnings of safety features, like a back-up camera. This was also when blind spot monitoring was catching on, if you selected the option. However, that wouldn’t come until later in the ninth generation run. 

The EcoAssist technology from the Honda Insight also appeared in this Civic generation, with the exception of the Si. This was also the first Honda Civic to have a factory screen in the center console.

This generation also saw the revival of the Honda Civic HF model, which was aimed towards maximizing fuel economy. It “featured” a retuned Honda R18 engine to achieve a combined 41 mpg.

The good

This generation, particularly post-face lift, was the start of a push for better safety features. Continuously variable transmissions (CVT) were helping with fuel economy, although they are an expensive repair (which is something to consider).

The bad

Unfortunately, this generation has had many complaints of wind noise and being cheaply made (but it is a cheap car, with a sticker price starting at 19,000). However, it was bad enough to warrant consumer reports taking it off of their recommended vehicles list.

The tenth generation Civic

an automobile on the asphalt road

This generation of the Honda Civic ran from 2015 to 2022.

After years and years of being teased by the foreign markets, North American markets finally got the Honda Civic Type R. This new sporty Civic hatchback received much praise from the automotive community, especially given the increased power output of the turbocharged engine. 

Honda going with the five door hatchback body also kept the Type R relatively practical and usable for everyday driving (assuming you’re okay with its flashy appearance). Some have complained about the lack of all wheel drive, but given its power output, front wheel drive is good enough.

The Honda Civic Si remains in the line up as a sporty civic sedan and coupe. However, the coupe was discontinued in 2021. This was the year that the Honda swapped out the naturally aspirated engine with a turbocharged 1.5 liter four cylinder engine.

Once again, the CVT was standard (with the exception of the Si and Type R), but all models had the option for a six speed manual transmission. Even though the regular Civic’s performance was pretty average, not every model is supposed to be exciting. The Civic has always been a practicality-first vehicle.

In terms of features, the later 10th generation Civics saw the addition of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Of course, they also came with a large amount of safety features, like forward collision warning.

The good

Especially in the tail years of this generation, the safety features were a great addition. The icing on the cake was adding the Honda Civic Type R and a regular Civic hatchback to the line up.

The bad

Within the earlier years of this generation, there were some complaints about A/C failure and electrical problems. To avoid that, you’re better off opting for the latter years of the generation.

The eleventh generation Civic

black and red honda steering wheel

The eleventh generation of the Honda Civic was just released in the 2022 model year. When looking from the front end, nobody could blame you for confusing it with a Honda Accord, the Civic’s big brother. 

The major change between this generation and the 10th generation is mostly the standardization of the same safety features across all trim levels. Everything from lane departure warning to adaptive cruise control are standard. 

The heated front seats in the higher trimmed EX and Touring models will keep you warm on those cold winter days. Don’t forget about the rain sensing windshield wipers.

Especially on these new Civics, the interior provides a very clean, professional look. Again, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard. The larger screen is front and center for all infotainment wants and needs.

Just recently, Honda announced their refreshed Civic Type R that appears to have a toned down exterior.

The good

The design refresh was welcomed. With it being a similar look to the Accord, it makes it feel a bit more important, but that might just be me.

The bad

Although there are no recalls thus far, there have been some complaints about various electrical issues.

So, what are the worst Honda Civic models?

courtesy of: wikipedia.com

The 2016/2017 model years should be avoided because of the recalls and continued issues. Similarly, the 2006-2008 model years have multiple electrical issues and the motor mount issues.

The only thing to be weary of is the CVT in recent generations, especially high-mile Civics. Once they get over 100,000 miles, it’s probable that they’ll need to be replaced.

Which Honda Civic model is best Honda Civic model?

a blue honda civic si

I’m personally drawn to the early 2000s Civic Si hatchback, but that’s just the design and raw nature calling to me, as well as it being an enjoyable small car.

In reality, most of the Honda Civic generations have something to offer, depending on what you’re looking for. Want a turbo engine? Get a newer Civic, where they are standard. Want something sporty? Get a Civic Si. Want something sporty-er? Get a Civic Type R (if you’re willing to shell out the cash).

In the end, as long as you do your due diligence before making a car purchase — and are willing to spend the money on repairs (*cough* CVT) — then you’ll be just fine.

Table of Contents

The 5 best cameras for car photography

Automotive Industry

Picking a camera to be stressful. Here's a list of the several of the best cameras for car photography.

unrecognizable female photographer taking photos and reflecting in rear window
courtesy of: amazon.com

Best budget:
Sony Alpha a6000

This camera offers a lot to photographers on a budget. The mirrorless design and OLED viewfinder offer a lot at this price point.

Courtesy of: amazon.com

Best overall:
Fujifilm X-S10

This is a fantastic one-stop camera. While it may be pricey, has a lot to give, with its 26 MP camera and 5-axis image stabilization.

courtesy of: amazon.com

Best beginner:
Canon EOS Rebel T7

When looking for somewhere to begin, look no further than this camera. It gives the essentials and remains an excellent starter camera to get a handle on the basics.

Automotive photography and photographing cars is a growing niche market within the car industry. Further, it’s important to be taking high quality images when showing a car on a blog, social media, for a career…the list goes on and on. This is a list of the 5 best cameras for car photography.

What is the best camera for car photography?

The right answer to this question depends on experience level and type of photography (stand still, motion, etc.). There are many options out there that can meet the needs of a car photographer and help continue to grow their niche by upping their image quality and automotive photography game.

Important features for a camera to have (image quality)

When choosing a camera, it’s important that it has certain features (fast shutter speed, full frame sensor, high tech processing system, etc.). This ensures that the image quality is great and crisp. Some people also prefer a DSLR camera versus a mirrorless cameras.

Like all photography, there is an art to car photography. Because of this, understanding different car terminology and how it works is important, like image stabilization and ISO range. A lot of this is learned by using a camera and being out in the field.

Without further ado, here is a list of some of the best cameras for car photography.

Courtesy of: amazon.com

Notable features

3-inch multitouch pivoting color display
5-axis image stabilization
26 MP sensor
18 film modes
4K video

The Fujifilm X-S10 is the only camera you’ll need in your arsenal. With its wide array of features, including 4K video, taking photos with superb image quality or videos is a breeze. Thanks to its quad-core processor, autofocus is a is snappy and sharp, and gives great in body image stabilization to get high quality images.

This compact camera has a 26 MP sensor is the highest on this list in the handheld camera section, giving all car photos a crisp and sharp finish to them and allows you the freedom to edit the high resolution image after the fact. The X-S10 also has excellent low light performance with a wide iso range.

This mirrorless camera has a Fuji X mount system to attach other Fujifilm lenses, like an ultra wide angle lens, and uses Fujifilms fantastic image processing engine. For these reasons, the Fujifilm is the all-round best camera for car photography.

With its quick shutter speed, the X-S10 is able to shoot fast moving cars without the motion blur associated with it. In a similar regard, its 5-axis image stabilization reduces camera shake significantly, making this a great full frame mirrorless camera.

courtesy of: amazon.com

Notable features

24 MP sensor
WIFI-enabled
Full HD video
EOS utility software
Fixed screen
9-point autofocus system

Canon is a household name at this point. Any potential customer could walk into a Target and find a Canon camera, and for good reason. The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is an updated camera in a familiar package. 

With their most recent T7 iteration, it updates the megapixel count to 24 for the previous T6. This is an increased pixel count by 33%. The lowlight ISO increased, making the T7 higher performing in lowlight. The added bonus? There are 333 Canon lenses available for the T7. 

All of this combined with the simple UX experience and going back-to-the-basics with it being a DSLR, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 lands itself as the best beginner camera in the lineup of best cameras for car photography.

courtesy of: amazon.com

Notable features

Retractable lens
Mirrorless
OLED Viewfinder
Multiformat memory slot
11 FPS shot speed

Sporting a 24-megapixel sensor, the Sony Alpha a6000 is no slouch in the field, providing great image quality. Its retractable lens helps with storage and travel, ensuring that the lens is safe.

While this may not support 4K video or some of the features of the Fujifilm X-S10, this camera isn’t for the faint of heart and shoots clean full HD videos. It is still a great option for more advance photographers to take superb quality images.

With a shutter speed of 11 FPS, you don’t miss a single moment when taking pictures of moving cars. You’ll be able to catch every moment of a car screeching around the corner or all the smoke from a burnout. 

One big selling point on this mirrorless camera is the OLED viewfinder. This electronic viewfinder shows the user exactly what will be in a recording and, according to Sony, delivers “100% frame coverage.” 

courtesy of: amazon.com

Notable features

Durable, rugged design
5K video capture with 2.7k slo-mo
Hydrophobic lens cover
GP2 Processor
HyperSmooth 4.0
"Hindsight"

GoPro has become the go-to camera for more extreme circumstances. Thanks to its rugged design, it can withstand the elements of the outdoors while still being held up to great image quality standards. This camera also features a screen on the front so you are able to frame a shot from the front of the camera.

GoPro makes a multitude of attachments for this device, and there are a plethora of third-party accessories too. Some of them allow the user to stick the GoPro on the outside of a vehicle while it’s moving. The possibilities are endless with the Hero10.

Arguably, one of the best features is labeled Hindsight. This feature allows the user to see footage from 30 seconds prior to shooting. This makes it so no important moments are missed and acts almost as a continuous shooting feature.

While the Hero10 may not be the first car photography camera to come to mind, it definitely can capture images in any environment. This is an underdog in the best car photography cameras race, but it provides peace of mind when shooting cars because of its weather-proof design.

Courtesy of: amazon.com

Notable features

Built-in screen on controller
48 MP camera
Records at 4K
34 minutes of flight time
Tri directional obstacle sensing
No registration required (depending on country)

Why is a drone on a list for the best cameras for car photography? Simple: its versatility and ability to get exciting shots. DJI has been the leader of the drone game for several years now. The technology has progressed far enough to allow even the most novice of users to fly their products and shoot high resolution videos.

The large 5.5 inch display allows the user to see exactly what the drone sees to make sure the shot is perfect. Using this will give the opportunities for fantastic panning or following shots while shooting car videos, not to mention great aerial stills. The Mini 3 Pro also is great at shooting cars without motion blur.

With a battery life of up to 34 minutes, there’s plenty of opportunity for going site-to-site to get great picture and 4K video. Because it’s the Mini, the DJI Mini 3 Pro only weighs 249 grams, making it ultra portable in its collapsed form. This drone doesn’t require any registration, depending on the country.

Even though this is a video-first “camera,” stunning photos are still achievable and will still treat car photographers well.

Why is choosing the best camera for car photography so important?

Choosing the right automotive photography camera is important because different kinds of content requires different kinds of tools. From mirrorless cameras to DSLR cameras, there is such a wide variety of options for professional photographers and amateur photographers alike. The goal is always the same: to take high quality photos.

Further, every photographer is at a different level experience-wise. Thus, this list exists.

Whether it’s aerial footage of your car or close up still shots, this list provides you with a wide range of camera types for automotive photography. Each have their place in your lineup and will give you the best results for the money. 

Table of Contents

Top 7 American car manufacturers in 2022

Automotive Industry

architecture auto automobiles bridge

Since the success of the mass production of the Ford Model T, many different American car manufacturers that have been born (and died). From Ford to Tesla, the amount of innovation in the American car industry has been huge. That being said, not all manufacturers are created equal, so here are the top 7 manufacturers in the American car industry.

7. Jeep

Jeep has always been well known for their box-style Wrangler, but they’ve been dipping their toes into luxury vehicles with the Grand Wagoneer.

In 1940, Jeep was initially used as a wartime vehicle. Since then, it was acquired by Chrysler from the American Motors Company (AMC) in 1987.

Why are they ranked 7 out of the American car manufacturers? Jeeps are notorious for having extensive reliability issues, from death wobble to leaking problems to malfunctions. Cosmetically, Jeeps have been known to be riddled with panel gaps — even on their six figure luxury SUV. Unless you have to money to fix it, there are better options out their in terms of reliability AND affordability.

6. Chrysler

Founded in 1928, Chrysler is one of the first American car manufacturers. They’ve changed their name throughout the past century, starting with Chrysler Corporation and landing on Chrysler Stellantis in 2022. Even though it started as a single manufacturer, Chrysler has become a conglomerate of several manufacturers — Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Mopar, Alfa Romeo and Fiat.

Why are they ranked 6 out of the American car manufacturers? Aside from some reliability concerns, Chryslers are known for their lack-luster quality and uninspiring design. Because of their quality, Chrysler vehicles are readily available on the used car market for affordable prices. Does that make them a good option for people looking for a car? Maybe if it’s a first car for a newly licensed driver.

5. Dodge

Dodge was founded by the Dodge brothers in Detroit in 1900 as the Dodge Brothers Company. Since then, they’ve dropped the “Brother Company” and have separated their “Ram” devision from the main brand. Dodge is a part of the Chrysler conglomerate, shifting their mission from producing all vehicles to strictly performance vehicles. The lineup consists of 3 vehicles, aside for the Ram lineup: The Charger, Challenger and Durango.

Why are they ranked 5 out of the American car manufacturers? Aside from some quality concerns, their three vehicles haven’t had a major refresh in years. They are long overdue for a new look to breathe some life back into the lineup. That being said, the performance of the vehicles is matched only by few, especially with the Challenger Hellcat Redeye making a face-ripping 885 horsepower. If it’s an unchanged American muscle platform your after, then Dodge maybe be a viable choice.

4. GMC

Formerly known as GMC Truck Company, GMC was founded in 1911. It would be later acquired by automotive giant General Motors (GM).

GMC is known for their SUV’s and trucks, as well as the now-famous Hummer EV. Moreover, they are also known for their highest vehicle trim level: Denali. The Denali package contains the most modern safety features and a very nice interior.

Why are they ranked 4 out of the American car manufacturers? GMC is an interesting manufacturer for it being recognized as an almost premium brand. The Denali packages certainly help it get there. GMC trucks are expensive, and with the way trucks maintain value, it’s just as difficult to find an affordable GMC. Along with this, their initiative into exploring electric vehicles shows that there is innovation happening within the company.

3. Cadillac

Cadillac, founded in 1902, is considered GM’s luxury brand. It was founded by the remaining members of the Henry Ford Company after Henry Ford and several other left to start Ford Motor Company. 

Cadillac is known for their very recognizable design, as well as the seemingly universal choice of transportation by many celebrities, including the President.

Why are they ranked 3 out of the American car manufacturers? If someone is looking for cheap American luxury experience, then they should look no further than a used Cadillac. Cadillacs are notorious for their depreciation, making it easy to snag a deal. They’ve also have some interesting sport-ier vehicles, like the CT4 and CT5 Blackwing. 

2. Chevrolet

Chevrolet was founded in 1911 in Detroit (noticing a trend?) and was created to rival Fords Model T. In 1929, Chevy successfully passed them and became the best-selling car. Today, Chevy offers the whole spectrum of vehicles spanning from compact cars to heavy duty trucks, along with offering gas, electric and hybrid vehicles.

Why are they ranked 2 out of the American car manufacturers? Given Chevrolet’s wide range of vehicle options, that also means there is widespread availability at any price point — new or used. They’re also cheap to fix given the availability of parts.

1. Ford

Ford was founded by Henry Ford in 1903 and is one of the most recognizable automobile manufacturers in the industry. The Ford versus Chevy debate seems to have been going on for decades, but it really comes down to preference. While Ford has discontinued their car space, they continue to make the Mustang along with continuing the Shelby brand. The Ford F-series also continues to dominate the U.S. marketplace as the best selling vehicle.

Why are they ranked 1 out of the American car manufacturers? While they are by no means perfect, Ford has done a great job of making innovative vehicles accessible to the public. Their Ford Mustang Mach-E is quickly becoming a regular electric vehicle to see on the streets. The Ford Maverick has made buying a new truck more affordable (assuming you buy from Ford directly) with a starting price of 21k. Besides that, the heritage of Ford makes it an easy number one on this list.

The 2023 Toyota Supra MKV: Return of the manual transmission

Automotive Industry

photo of supra parked in front of building

When Toyota announced the Toyota Supra MKV in early 2019, it was met with a mixed response from fans and critics alike. In a collaboration between Toyota and BMW, the roadster looked reminiscent of the previous generation Supras with its style and design, but with the interior of a BMW. 

This car also had less power than some Supra fans wanted, making low 300s in horsepower. The biggest controversial decision, however, was the lack of a manual transmission option. After many years of research and development, how could they miss that? 

The short answer is that manual transmissions are becoming more and more obsolete, especially in a world where we are focused on fuel economy (and automatic transmissions are shifting faster than ever).

A brief history of the Toyota Supra

The Supra didn’t reach the point its at over night. It has been several decades in the making, with several generations leading up to the Mark V. The car started out as just another Celica, but would grow to be one of the most recognizable models in automotive history.

The Mark I

Toyota first began production of the Mark I Supra in 1978, starting a legacy that would carry on for over four decades (and counting). The Mark I Toyota Supra was really just a slightly sportier Celica trim level — the Toyota Celica Supra. The power output/engine was nothing to write home about because it was just another Celica.

The Mark II

The Mark II Toyota Supra came just a few short years after in 1981. This one came in two different specs: the Luxury Type (L-type) or the Performance Type (P-type). There are some differences between the two types, but one of the bigger deferences was that the L-type came standard with an automatic transmission (a luxury, at the time) and P-type with a manual transmission (a luxury now). There was no engine or power difference.

The Mark III

When the Mark III Toyota Supra came in 1986, it dropped the “Celica” and was just the “Toyota Supra” and came with a beefier engine. In 1987, it was offered with a turbocharged engine potion that helped push the Supras performance to 234 horsepower — a 30 horsepower increase from the first model year and a staggering 120 horsepower increase from the Mark I and II.

The Mark IV

The Mark IV Toyota Supra, released in 1993, is the Toyota Supra that introduced the 2JZ engine, and later, the twin-turbo 2JZ. This car had the iconic redesign and once again steep power increase (324 horsepower in the twin-turbo models) and this generation defined what we think of when we hear the word “Supra.” 

The Toyota Supra MKV: Where's the manual transmission?

The 2020 Toyota Supra MKV launched with a turbocharged engine making 334 horsepower, comparable to the Mark IV car. While the lack of increase in horsepower bothered some, only having an eight-speed automatic transmission sent Toyota Supra fans into a frenzy.

Despite the fact that the automatic transmission is decent (debuted in the BMW 7 series), the lack of a manual transmission remained a pain point. 

Recently, Toyota announced that the 2023 Toyota Supra will be launching with an optional six-speed manual transmission. Paired with the horsepower bump from the 2020 Toyota Supra (334 to 384 horsepower), this is an enticing package deal. Still not enough power? Add a charge pipe.

The only caveat with this is that the manual transmission option may cost extra when it comes to pricing. While that may seem “unfair,” it’s still a worthy addition to the purchase, especially for those who think it will give them an edge in performance. This option should be expected to cost 2000-3000 dollars.

Are manual transmissions still worth it?

This question seems to be getting more difficult to find an answer. While they may be worth it when shopping for older roadsters (Mazda Miata, Honda S2000 and other sports cars), automatic transmissions have reached the point where they are faster than manually shifting gears, thus improving performance.

The automatic transmission that the Toyota Supra received is a fantastic transmission that (probably) shifts faster than normal people. However, I also understand the heritage behind the manual transmission and feeling connected with the car and the road in that regard.

As for the rest of the 2023 Toyota Supra, it still has the same great suspension and handling as the 2020 Toyota Supra. The width of the center console needed to be widened to fit the manual gearbox, which eats into the passengers leg room. 

It’s important to note that the base model 2.0 Toyota Supra will not be available with the manual transmission, presumably because of the GR86 that is available with it. The GR86 has decent performance–and just an all round decent sports car at that price point–but it can’t compete with the Supra.

In an age where the manual transmission is a dying breed, it is nice to see automakers listening to their consumers. Perhaps this will keep the manual transmission alive in the car for a little bit longer before it can only be found in history books.

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