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How to Find a High-Quality Car Repair Shop

Finding a trustworthy repair shop is one of the most important parts of keeping your vehicle properly serviced.. It can be a challenge, but CR’s expert guidance can help you size up service facilities like a pro. Start Your Search. Making Your Decision. Check Your Repair Estimate "Gauging a repair shop’s quality is tricky, and its size and cleanliness can only tell you so much about it," says John Ibbotson, chief mechanic at Consum...
Posted:Sat Jul 20 06:00:02 EDT 2024

Some Cars Will Never Be Crash-Tested, Leaving Consumers in the Dark

The Jaguar F-Pace, Land Rover Discovery, and Porsche Macan are all comfortable SUVs with extra trimmings and technology. Consumers can easily compare their fuel economy, 0-to-60-mph acceleration time, and cargo capacity. But when it comes to safety, consumers are left in the dark as to how they would hold up in certain crash scenarios. That’s because these vehicles have no publicly available crash-test ratings.. Nearly a half-mil...
Posted:Fri Jul 19 16:22:00 EDT 2024

Should You Buy a Prepaid Maintenance Plan for Your Car?

Prepaid maintenance plans are offered for the majority of new cars, as well as for used cars. They are usually pitched to customers by the car dealer’s finance and insurance manager (the "F&I" guy) while the final paperwork is being signed in the dealer’s finance office. These plans usually cover only the regularly scheduled maintenance prescribed in the owner’s manual.. For example, new Toyota models come standard with a two-yea...
Posted:Fri Jul 19 12:21:27 EDT 2024

Should You Always Replace Car Tires in Pairs?

Flat tires tend to happen one at a time. The ideal scenario is to replace all four tires, but that can be costly. So to address a tread puncture or sidewall tear, can you buy just a single tire or split the difference and replace a pair?. The first thing to consider is whether or not your car is all-wheel or two-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive cars have specific tolerances for how much your tires can differ in tread depth. Consult and fol...
Posted:Fri Jul 19 06:00:07 EDT 2024

Why You Might Not Actually Need Premium Gas

Premium gas sounds like it’s something special, but it translates into paying extra for a higher octane without any performance or fuel-economy benefits for many cars.. That’s what we found after running tests at our 327-acre track.. Some cars require premium gas, but others simply carry a recommendation that owners use it. We wanted to see whether owners can save money by using regular gas in those cars that merely recommend premi...
Posted:Thu Jul 18 13:51:20 EDT 2024

Talking Cars 449: Driving the Toyota Tacoma

Main theme: In this podcast episode, we’re talking trucks! We share our first impressions of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma, a perennially popular and traditionally reliable midsized pickup truck. We cover the 2024 Tacoma’s clean-sheet redesign, which adapts the platform from the latest full-sized Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV. Mainstream Tacomas, such as the SR5 we purchased for our test program, have a 278-hp, 2.4-liter turbocharged four...
Posted:Wed Jul 17 06:00:02 EDT 2024

Get More Money for Your Used Car

What to do with a car you don’t want anymore? You can trade it in for a new one, sell it to a dealer or to a private individual, or get a sight-unseen online offer for it. According to a recent survey of more than 14,000 Consumer Reports members, getting an instant cash offer online through a retailer such as CarMax or Carvana will get you the best price for your car and be the easiest overall experience. But each option has its pros...
Posted:Tue Jul 16 14:25:27 EDT 2024

Do Cars With a Dark Interior Really Get Hotter in the Sun?

There’s a common belief that if you live in a warmer climate, you should opt for a lighter interior when buying a car because a lighter interior will help to reflect ultraviolet rays and keep you cooler. But how much hotter are dark interiors vs. light interiors?. “Consumer Reports’ test engineers took two cars, one with a light-colored exterior and light-colored interior, and the other with a dark exterior and dark interior, and...
Posted:Mon Jul 15 13:18:07 EDT 2024

Do You Get Less Gasoline When Filling Up During the Hottest Part of the Day?

You may have heard that it’s better to buy your gasoline first thing in the morning, rather than in the heat of the day. That’s because mornings tend to be cooler, and like all liquids, gasoline expands when heated. It sounds logical—but is it true or just an urban legend? . We performed our own tests and interviewed experts and found that although basic facts are correct, the advice is not. Gasoline does expand and contract a l...
Posted:Mon Jul 15 10:59:03 EDT 2024

Tested: Does Eco Mode Really Save Gas?

Drivers are eager to boost fuel economy when gas prices are elevated. Could it be as simple as selecting the “Eco” mode found in many late-model cars and SUVs? . To find out, we tested Eco mode in several vehicles undergoing our routine fuel economy tests. We had a mild day with consistent temperatures ideally suited to such back-to-back testing. . As we have seen in the past, Eco mode proved disappointing in both the city and h...
Posted:Sat Jul 13 06:00:12 EDT 2024

Cars That Cost the Least to Maintain in the Long Run

We’ve crunched the numbers to present you with the cars recommended by Consumer Reports that have the lowest routine maintenance and repair costs. (There are many that are cheaper to maintain, but they’re not recommended.) These numbers are based on 10 years of CR’s data for each model, so autos that were introduced more recently than 10 years ago are not included. . We also show the average repair and maintenance expenses for ea...
Posted:Fri Jul 12 14:47:02 EDT 2024

Yes, You Can Buy a Car Online. But Should You?

When Tesla first started selling its Model S EV online in 2012, buying a new car over the internet was unheard of. Since then, a slew of new automakers, including Fisker, Lucid, Rivian, and VinFast, have followed in the footsteps of Tesla’s online sales model. Today, consumers have gotten used to the idea of purchasing an expensive vehicle—sight unseen—on a manufacturer’s website, eliminating the need to haggle with a salespers...
Posted:Thu Jul 11 18:37:02 EDT 2024

Preview: 2025 Mazda CX-50 Hybrid Promises 38 MPG

Entering its third model year, the Mazda CX-50 adds a hybrid powertrain for 2025, courtesy of Toyota. Borrowed directly from the laudable Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Mazda claims the 219-hp hybrid powertrain in the CX-50 is EPA-estimated to deliver 38 mpg. Beyond saving fuel, that efficiency gives the CX-50 hybrid 100 miles more range per gas tank than other versions. . The rest of the CX-50 line has some detail changes, such as the addition ...
Posted:Wed Jul 10 16:17:33 EDT 2024

Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Jeep Vehicles Recalled Due to Potential Airbag Issue

Chrysler is recalling 332,000 Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Jeep models because the front-seat airbag may not deploy as intended in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury.. The automaker is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this issue. The Details Vehicles recalled: Model year 2017–2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia; model year 2018–2025 Alfa Romeo Stelvio; model year 2024 Fiat 500E4; model year 2019–2023 Fiat 500X; mod...
Posted:Wed Jul 10 12:43:12 EDT 2024

BMW 3 Series Sedans and Station Wagons Recalled Over Airbag Risk

BMW is recalling more than 390,000 3 Series sedans and station wagons that could have a faulty Takata airbag inflator installed in the steering wheel. More on Recalls Takata Airbag Recall: Everything You Need to Know. .CR Recall Tracker. .50 Years of Airbag Safety—and Challenges. .CR Car Safety Guide. Over time, the propellant in these inflators can become unstable, creating an overly aggressive combustion when the airbag deploys t...
Posted:Wed Jul 10 12:13:46 EDT 2024