Top Five New Vehicles of 2020

Top Five New Vehicles of 2020

This is a great time to be a car enthusiast. Several exciting new vehicles of 2020 have emerged. Here’s a look at the five coolest vehicles of the year.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette

For good reason, the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette has triggered a great deal of excitement. Chevy has taken this American sports car’s performance capabilities to the next level. Its redesigned LT1 V8 engine cranks out a thrilling 495 horsepower. Even the entry-level trim is capable of accelerating to 60 mph in a blistering 3.1 seconds. Because the new Corvette’s engine is now positioned behind the passenger area, it has a near-perfect weight balance. Handling is better than ever.

Many people are drawn to the new Corvette’s drop-dead gorgeous styling. It has an exotic look that instantly turns heads. Meanwhile, a more luxurious interior makes the Corvette an even better car for long-distance traveling. For these reasons the latest Chevy Corvette is #1 on our top five new vehicles of 2020.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

#2 on our top five new vehicles of 2020, without a doubt the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. This is the most powerful Mustang to ever come from the factory! The all-new 2020 Shelby GT500 comes ready to hit the track.

Under the hood sits a supercharged V8 engine, which cranks out a jaw-dropping 760 horsepower! Although you can’t get the Mustang Shelby GT500 with a manual transmission, its seven-speed automatic is remarkably quick and precise. When accelerating from a stop, you can hit 60 mph in about 3.4 seconds.

While the new Mustang Shelby GT500 is a beastly performance machine, it’s still comfortable enough to drive on a daily basis. Plenty of premium amenities are available, including heated and cooled seats.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator is the ultimate pickup truck for serious adventure-seekers, earning this Jeep seat #3 on our top five new vehicles of 2020. Although the all-new Gladiator is based on the popular Jeep Wrangler SUV, a versatile bed and higher towing capacity help set it apart. Motivating the Gladiator is a Pentastar V6 engine with 285 horsepower. Every trim also comes standard with a capable 4WD system and rugged skid plates.

Asheville drivers will love the Gladiator’s removable roof. Life in the summer will be especially fun. A spacious backseat and active safety technologies also make this trail-ready pickup truck a more than worthy family vehicle. Of course, everyone on the street will notice the Gladiator’s iconic Jeep styling.

2020 Hyundai Sonata

Folks in the market for a new midsize sedan should take a serious look at the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata, sitting at #4 of our top five new vehicles of 2020. Its sleek exterior styling makes a bold statement. A gaping front grille and cool LED headlights help this car to truly stand out.

Hyundai also engineered the Sonata to offer a more pleasing driving experience. A wider stance and sportier suspension tuning enable the sedan to take curves like never before. Drivers also enjoy the responsiveness of the new turbocharged engine, which kicks out competitive 180 horsepower. There’s a lot of new technology available for the Sonata. While a Blind-Spot View Monitor makes lane changes safer, Remote Smart Parking Assist enables the Sonata to park itself without you even being behind the wheel.

2020 Nissan Sentra

Many automotive reviewers are touting the 2020 Nissan Sentra as the best compact sedan on the market. And we agree! That’s why this stylish & efficient sedan slid straight into seat #5 on our top five new vehicles of 2020 list. Its upscale appearance will win over a lot of people. Many of the Sentra’s styling cues were taken directly from the latest Nissan Altima. Larger 18-inch alloy wheels and a contrasting black roof give the SR trim an extra wow factor.

Although the Sentra isn’t a sports car, it does benefit from much-improved handling. Furthermore, every trim now comes standard with an advanced safety package.

Top Five New Vehicles of 2020
Photo Courtesy of Nissan USA
Automatic Transmission - Vehicle Engine: Protect Your Most Expensive Car Parts

Automatic Transmission – Vehicle Engine: Protect Your Most Expensive Car Parts

Automatic Transmission - Vehicle Engine: Protect Your Most Expensive Car Parts

Some car parts, such as brake pads and filters, need to be replaced every so often. Meanwhile, other components can last for the life of the vehicle when properly maintained. No driver wants to have to replace things like their vehicle engine or automatic transmission as these major auto repair components always come hefty price tags. Additionally, catalytic convertors, fuel pump & filter, & also replacing a car or truck battery are infrequent maintenance needs that can surface.

Here’s how to protect your vehicle’s most expensive parts from premature wear and tear.

Engine

To prevent costly engine repair, take the necessary steps to protect your vehicle’s most expensive part. It’s especially important to get an oil change at the recommended interval. This routine service can extend the life of your engine by thousands of miles.

It’s just as critical to keep the engine cool. Overheating can cause an extensive amount of damage, including a blown head gasket and warped cylinders. If you happen to notice your temperature gauge approaching the danger zone, pull over as soon as possible. Some of the common causes of an overheated engine include coolant leaks, malfunctioning radiator fans, and a bad water pump.

Automatic Transmission

Automatic transmissions have become more sophisticated than ever. Because transmission repair can be so expensive, you must make maintenance a top priority. The transmission fluid will eventually need to be changed. Over time, heat and dirt cause this critical fluid to break down.

Another way to help preserve your auto transmission is to allow it to properly warm up, especially on cold days. When leaving home, simply drive gently for the first few miles. Far less stress will be placed upon the various moving parts. Contrary to popular belief, modern vehicles shouldn’t be allowed to idle for long periods of time. This is not an effective way to warm up the engine and automatic transmission. After allowing the engine to idle for about a minute or so, it’s safe to hit the road.

Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is part of your vehicle’s emission system. It’s specially designed to limit the amount of pollution emitting from the exhaust. The cost to replace a damaged catalytic converter can be up to $1,500 on some vehicles.

In Asheville, a malfunctioning catalytic converter will result in a failed NC state inspection. In many instances, poor maintenance is the primary cause of a catalytic converter going bad. It’s important to repair oil leaks. When oil drips into the catalytic converter, it’s only a matter of time before you experience trouble. You also shouldn’t wait to replace worn spark plugs, which can cause unburned fuel to enter the exhaust.

Fuel Pump

It’s easy to forget about your vehicle’s fuel pump. This component quietly does its job without making a fuss. When your fuel pump starts to become noisy, expect the worse.

You must remember to have the fuel filter replaced every 40,000 – 80,000 miles. A dirty fuel filter will put extra pressure on the pump, thus shortening its life. Never make the mistake of driving on a near-empty tank of gas. This could cause your fuel to severely overheat.

Hybrid Battery

Some of today’s vehicles feature a hybrid battery. On average, you can expect a hybrid battery to last for at least 100,000 miles. However, there are ways to get even more life out of a hybrid battery.

According to experts, drivers should coast when traveling down hills and coming to a stop. A hybrid vehicle uses kinetic energy to replenish the battery. Also, try to park in the shade whenever possible. Extreme heat will ultimately shorten the battery’s life expectancy.

In conclusion, all cars & truck require minimal amounts of regular maintenance. Maintaining the proper maintenance schedule for your vehicle may seem small & insignificant, but in fact, it is HUGE. Always follow the recommendations of your vehicle manufacturer. Regular oil changes will likely minimize the chances that  you will need to replace your automatic transmission & in some cases even vehicle engines! Maintaining a clean & working auto fuel filter may extend the life of your fuel pump as well as potentially prevent the need for a new catalytic converter on down the road.

 

Six Big Car Care Mistakes Made By Vehicle Owners

Six Big Car Care Mistakes Made By Vehicle Owners

Six Big Car Care Mistakes Made By Vehicle Owners

As a car owner, you need to take care of your ride. Not only will your vehicle last longer, but it’ll also provide a safer driving experience. Here’s a look at six of the biggest car care mistakes to avoid.

1. Driving On “E”

Whether you’re short on cash or simply don’t feel like stopping by the gas station, it’s never a good idea to drive on a near-empty tank. This is among the most costly car care mistakes. A low level of gas can cause your vehicle’s fuel pump to overheat, thus making it more prone to failing. This is why you should always keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle.

2. Using the Wrong Motor Oil

Most drivers recognize the importance of getting regular oil changes. However, it’s just as critical to use the recommended type of motor oil. If you use the wrong motor oil grade, you could experience a loss of fuel economy or decreased performance. Even worse, the wrong grade may not provide an adequate level of protection. The extra wear and tear could noticeably decrease engine life.

3. Buying Inferior Brake Pads

In an attempt to save a few bucks, some drivers choose to use the cheapest parts available. Installing cheap brake pads is a big car care mistake. During heavy braking, low-quality pads are far more prone to fading. This means you’ll experience diminished stopping power. Cheap brake pads can also lead to warped rotors, which is yet another safety hazard. For your own personal security, spend the extra money on quality brake pads.

4. Failing to get a Wheel Alignment

Most automakers suggest car owners getting a wheel alignment once a year. Unfortunately, many drivers tend to neglect this important maintenance item. Failing to get a wheel alignment can cause your tires to wear down much sooner than expected. When your wheels aren’t properly aligned, your vehicle also won’t handle as well. If your vehicle is difficult to keep in a straight line, this is a tell-tale sign that a wheel alignment is needed.

5. Hiring a Backyard Mechanic

Think twice before taking your vehicle to a backyard mechanic. This could prove to be one of your most regrettable car care mistakes. Although these amateur handymen may offer you a great deal, the best approach is to take your vehicle to a certified automotive professional.

If a backyard mechanic makes a mistake, you stand to lose thousands of dollars. Some of today’s modern cars are engineered with sophisticated technologies, which makes them more complicated to work on. The average do-it-yourselfer doesn’t have the knowledge or equipment that it takes to perform certain repairs.

6. Ignoring Issues

When encountering potential car problems, always get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. Taking action could prevent you from becoming stranded on the side of the road. In most instances, car issues gradually become worse over time. This means you’ll likely end up spending even more money on repairs. Strange noises, check engine lights, and funny smells should all catch your attention.

Vehicle Won't Crank? Check Out The Most Common Causes...

Vehicle Won’t Crank? Check Out The Most Common Causes…

Vehicle Won't Crank? Check Out The Most Common Causes...

For many car owners, nothing is more frustrating than a vehicle that fails to start. This is especially true for Asheville drivers who’re stranded away from home. If your vehicle won’t crank, check out some of the most common causes listed below.

Bad Vehicle Battery

As expected, a bad vehicle battery is near the top of the list of reasons why your vehicle won’t crank. Although high-quality car batteries can last for five years or more, the cheaper ones often start to deteriorate after only a year. When purchasing a replacement, always choose the best battery that you can afford. During cold weather, you need maximum juice to start the engine.

Remember, even a quality battery will eventually need to be swapped out for a new one. Take a look at your battery’s expiration date. If it’s on the verge of expiring, order a replacement ahead of time.

Battery Corrosion & Loose Connections Can Also Be To Blame When Your Vehicle Won’t Crank

Before you waste money on a brand-new vehicle battery, first check your connections. Loose cables will prevent the battery from being able to send power to the starter. This potential cause for why your vehicle won’t crank is actually a very quick fix. And it only requires one or two basic hand tools to repair.

Corrosion around the terminals is another common problem. You can get rid of this corrosion by scrubbing the parts using a toothbrush. Simply dip the toothbrush in a mixture of baking soda and water. To prevent this problem from happening again, apply anti-corrosion gel to the terminals.

Dead Fuel Pump

A dead fuel pump will ultimately force you to call for a tow. When properly maintained, some fuel pumps can last for 150,000 miles or more. However, you need to take the necessary steps to extend its life.

Never drive your car on a near-empty tank of gas. This can cause the fuel pump to overheat. It’s also important to change your fuel filter at the recommended interval, which helps collect dirt and other contaminants.

Vehicle Won’t Crank Still? Maybe A Failed Starter Is The Problem

Starters are extremely durable. However, motor oil dripping onto a starter can dramatically shorten its lifespan. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to repair oil leaks.

Many people often mistake a failed starter for a bad battery. If you hear a few loud clicks when turning the ignition key, this is likely a sign of a worn-out starter. Some failed starters will also produce a high-pitched squealing sound.

Bad Spark Plug and Bad Wires

Typically, modern spark plugs are engineered to last between 40,000 and 100,000 miles. In the event that your vehicle is having trouble starting, it could stem from bad spark plugs. This is especially true when also experiencing issues like rough idling and hesitation.

Although your spark plugs may be fine, the ignition wires could be worn out. When installing new spark plugs, these wires need to be replaced at the same time.

No Engine Compression

If your mechanic discovers that your engine doesn’t have any compression, this is definitely bad news. You will likely have to buy a new engine. No engine compression can certainly be the reason your vehicle won’t crank.

A blown head gasket is among the top causes of low compression. While a head gasket can fail due to a manufacturing defect, most blow as a result of owners allowing the engine to overheat. Which is one of many reasons why drivers need to properly maintain their cooling system at all costs.

Five Problems That Can Cause a Failed NC State Inspection

Five Problems That Can Cause a Failed NC State Inspection

If your vehicle is registered in Asheville, a yearly NC State Inspection is required. Not only will the vehicle be checked for safety issues, but it will also be given an emissions test. Here are some of the most common causes of a failed NC State inspection.

1. Malfunctioning Exterior Lights

For good reason, burned-out headlights and taillights will result in a failed NC State inspection. When one of your vehicle’s exterior lights aren’t working, you are far more likely to be involved in an accident. Contrary to popular belief, headlights don’t just help you to see at night. They also make your vehicle more noticeable to other motorists during inclement weather.

The truth of that matter is that most people don’t intentionally drive around with blown lights. Often times, they are completely unaware. Fortunately, most replacement bulbs are reasonably priced.

2. Slick Tires

When performing an NC State inspection, the technician will be taking a close look at the condition of your tires. Tires have a big influence on your ability to avoid danger on the road. If you are low on tread, traction won’t be good. This is especially true while traveling on a rain-soaked street.

While tires can be a big investment, they typically last for thousands of miles. You can further increase tire life by getting regular wheel alignments. Rotating your tires every 5,000 miles is just as important.

3. Bad Catalytic Converter

Your vehicle’s catalytic converter is responsible for limiting exhaust emissions, which ultimately helps improve air quality. Even if you could care less about the environment, a defective catalytic converter will cause your vehicle to fail the NC State inspection. Because catalytic converter can be a bit expensive, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prevent damage.

Poor maintenance is among the biggest reasons why catalytic converters fail. For example, old spark plugs can foul the converter by allowing unburned fuel to get into the exhaust. An oil leak can also cause damage to occur.

4. Leaking or Missing Gas Gap

After stopping to refuel, many people unintentionally drive off without their gas cap. Although this may not seem like a big problem, a missing gas cap quietly allows harmful fumes to escape into the atmosphere. A loose gas gap is nearly just as bad.

If your check engine has recently turned on, your gas cap simply may not be tight enough. Meanwhile, a lost gas cap can be easily replaced for less than 10 bucks. You can then avoid the hassle of experiencing a failed NC State inspection.

5. Horn Is Not Working

Many drivers tend to overlook the importance of their vehicle’s horn. Although a horn is a relatively simple device, it could actually save your life. If another driver is on the verge of crashing into your vehicle, you can honk the horn to alert him or her.

In the event that your horn isn’t working, a wire may be disconnected on frayed. It shouldn’t be a hard problem for an experienced mechanic to fix.

Five of the Biggest Signs Your Vehicle Needs an Oil Change

Five of the Biggest Signs Your Vehicle Needs an Oil Change

When it comes to keeping your car in great running condition, nothing is more important than factory recommended maintenance. Getting a vehicle tune-up and also changing the motor oil regularly is especially critical. Here are the biggest signs you need an oil change.

1. Motor Oil Looks Nasty

Over time, motor oil gradually starts to become dirty. When this happens, your engine is far more prone to experiencing premature wear and tear. To be on the safe side, never wait too long to get an oil change.

As you check the oil, take note of its appearance on your dipstick. If the oil looks extremely dark and grimy, this is a tell-tale sign you need to schedule a trip to your local repair shop. Fresh motor oil typically has an amber color.

2. Illuminated Oil Change Light

If your vehicle features an oil change monitor, you’re already one step ahead of the game. By constantly tracking the engine-operating conditions, the system can determine exactly how much life the oil has left. Drivers love the extra convenience.

After seeing your oil light come on, you should plan to get an oil change within the next 50 miles. During this time, you can continue to drive your vehicle without worrying about jeopardizing its reliability.

3. Engine Sounds Louder Than Normal

If your car engine has started to sound louder than normal, have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible. You may simply need an oil change. When motor oil starts to break down, metal-on-metal contact within the engine is more likely to occur. Because there’s not as much lubrication, the engine naturally starts to produce more noise. This is one of the key reasons why car owners often report a quieter ride after getting a fresh oil change.

While an engine that’s running slightly louder isn’t extremely alarming, a knocking sound is especially serious. There’s a good chance you allowed the oil level to get too low.

4. You Notice Bluish Exhaust Smoke

Healthy gasoline engines should not smoke. Although smoking can stem from a variety of different issues, failing to get regular engine oil changes is a common cause. Some of the engine seals may have become brittle.

Although an oil change is clearly required, you could also need a few more repairs. Aside from replacing the worn-out seals, your mechanic will also need to inspect for sludge. Sludge, which is often a result of infrequent oil changes, can ultimately destroy an engine.

5. You’ve Racked Up A lot of Miles

Like so many other drivers in the Asheville area, you probably use your vehicle for commuting on an everyday basis. It doesn’t take long for a person to rack up a lot of miles, especially if their job is 20 minutes or more away.

In the event that your vehicle doesn’t have an oil monitor, be sure to keep tabs on your mileage. To find out your specific vehicle’s recommended oil change interval, consult the owner’s manual or ask your mechanic.

Get a Tune-Up & Keeping Her Running Strong: Five Signs It’s Time

Get a Tune-Up! Five Signs It’s Time

Many car owners fail to take the blame for their vehicle’s problems. They unfairly label their automobile as being unreliable. If you simply take good care of your ride and get a tune-up regularly, can make a big difference. Here are the key signs it’s time to get a tune-up.

If Your Check Engine Light Is On, It Could Just Be That Your Engine Would Like You To Get A Tune-Up…

Never make the mistake of ignoring your vehicle’s check engine light. If you see this light illuminated on your dash, don’t wait to take your car to a mechanic. It indicates that your vehicle has encountered a problem. While the issue could be something simple like a loose fuel cap, avoid taking any chances. You may need to get a tune-up.

Bad spark plugs and worn ignition wires can definitely trigger a check engine light. Although some modern spark plugs are designed to last for up 100,000 miles, some don’t even make it to the 25,000-mile mark. This is especially true for cheaply made aftermarket plugs. To ensure the reliability of your vehicle, the best approach is to have these components inspected every six months.

Your Vehicle is Slow to Crank

When experiencing a vehicle that’s slow to crank, many people immediately check their battery. While a weak battery will definitely make starting your vehicle more difficult, this may not be the problem. You could be dealing with an ignition problem.

Old spark plugs don’t fire nearly as well. As the electrodes start to wear down, it’ll take longer and longer for your vehicle to crank. A simple tune-up could be the answer to your troubles.

The Leading Cause Of Poor Gas Mileage Is Simply Neglecting To Get A Tune-Up…

Like so many other Asheville drivers, refueling your vehicle is probably one of your biggest car expenses. If you want to save more money at the pump, be sure to get a tune-up at the recommended interval.

When your spark plugs are in need of replacement, gas mileage tends to plummet. A dirty fuel filter will also have a negative impact on your vehicle’s efficiency.

Performance Issues Typically Point Back To A Poor Service History. Get A Tune-Up, It May Just Solve Your Performance Problem…

A vehicle in need of a tune-up won’t deliver optimum performance. When accelerating, you may experience some hesitation. Expect to notice a big drop in overall power. In severe cases, your vehicle could even stall at a traffic light.

Rough idling is another common performance issue. At times, it may feel as if your entire vehicle is shaking. If this occurs, be sure to visit your mechanic for an inspection.

Strange Noises and Smells…

You can use your nose to sniff out car problems. When a tune-up is needed, it’s not uncommon to notice a fuel smell. This is a definite red flag.

Also, keep your ears open for any strange noises. A knocking sound when climbing hills indicates a major problem. Continuing to drive your vehicle in this condition could lead to costly engine damage.

Your Car Hasn’t Been Serviced Lately…. GET A TUNE-UP… Your Car Will Thank You…

Ideally, you should get a tune-up at least once a year. If it’s been quite some time since your vehicle’s been serviced, now is probably a good time to schedule a visit to your local repair shop. Some of the key components that need to be checked during a tune-up include the filters, belts, spark plugs, and PCV valve.

Cheap Transportation: Five Great Used Cars for Daily Commuting

Cheap Transportation: Five Great Used Cars for Daily Commuting

If you commute on an everyday basis, you may want to reconsider buying a brand-new vehicle. After you start to pile up the miles, it’ll quickly start to lose value. You can save a lot of cash by opting to purchase a pre-owned vehicle. Here are five great cheap used cars made for the daily grind.

Toyota Corolla

Toyota has earned a reputation for producing long-lasting automobiles. For good reason, the Toyota Corolla is one of the best-selling cars in history. Even pre-owned Corollas are well worth the money.

Although this compact sedan isn’t designed to offer a great deal of performance, it’s extremely reliable and inexpensive to maintain. You can also expect the Corolla to deliver good fuel economy. If you desire a bit more fun, go for the Corolla SE. A sports-tuned suspension enables it to handle with more poise.

Honda Civic Si

Like the Corolla, the Honda Civic proves to be an ideal daily-driver. It’s efficient, dependable, and comfortable. However, Honda offers a high-performance version of the Civic. You can expect the Honda Civic Si to deliver years of driving excitement. A quick-revving engine and sweet manual transmission make it one of the most fun cars in the segment.

When searching for a Civic Si on the used car market, be sure to have it fully inspected by a certified mechanic. Because the Civic Si appeals to a lot of younger drivers, it tends to experience more abuse.

Acura TSX

Although Acura TSX stopped selling the TSX in 2014, it remains a highly recommended used car. This small luxury sedan posted some of the highest reliability scores in its class. North Carolina drivers also appreciate the TSX’s sporty performance.

In many ways, it’s a more luxurious version of the Honda Civic Si. You’ll find a similar engine under the hood, which equates to strong acceleration. A smoother ride adds to the TSX’s appeal. Unlike its counterpart, the Acura TSX offers niceties like heated leather seats.

Mazda Mazda3

Available as a hatchback or sedan, the Mazda3 is another great compact car to consider. Although the Mazda3 is priced like an economy vehicle, its quality is top-notch. When serviced at the recommended intervals, owners rarely experience any major engine or transmission problems.

When it comes to driving fun, very few cars in this price range can outshine the Mazda3. It handles like a legitimate sports car. You can also expect the Mazda3’s 2.4-liter SkyActiv engine to have a powerful punch. Although a high-performance MazdaSpeed model was offered, drivers looking to save money should avoid it. Maintenance costs for the turbocharged MazdaSpeed3 are notably higher.

Nissan Sentra

The Nissan Sentra is among the best cars for commuting. It’s especially ideal for drivers who have a family. A big backseat gives everyone plenty of space to spread out. Although the automatic transmission is a popular pick, it sacrifices a bit of performance. You can get up to speed quicker with the Sentra’s manual transmission.

Base Sentra trims have a rather plain appearance. Fortunately, there’s a more stylish option. Featuring a sleek body kit and larger wheels, the Sentra SR is destined to catch your attention.

No SUV? No Problem. Five Great Cars for the Snow

No SUV? No Problem. Five Great Cars for the Snow

With Asheville being so close to the Blue Ridge Mountains, there’s always a chance for you to experience wintry weather. Having a vehicle equipped with all wheel drive (abbreviated as AWD) is a big plus. Although trucks and SUVs are typically recommended for snowy conditions, some cars can also handle the job. Here are five cars that perform well in the snow.

 

Dodge Charger GT

Long known as one of the most exciting muscle cars ever, the Dodge Charger was never a good winter vehicle. Its rear-wheel-drive platform resulted in poor traction during icy weather. However, Dodge now offers the Charger GT. Standard all-wheel drive makes it one of the best cars for traveling on snow-packed streets.

Although the Charger GT isn’t available with a traditional V8 engine, it still packs enough performance. Dodge tunes the sedan’s V6 engine to push out a competitive 300 horsepower. A sports-tuned suspension also enables the Charger GT to dance around curves.

 

Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima has always been one of the best-selling family cars in America. With the arrival of an optional all-wheel-drive system, this sedan has become even more appealing. You won’t find this traction-enhancing feature on cars like the Honda Accord.

While Nissan’s more powerful turbocharged engine isn’t offered on the AWD-equipped Altima, its standard four-cylinder engine is strong and efficient. Because the Altima’s system AWD system is only part-time, you’re able to save fuel. The sedan tops out at 36 mpg, which means it favorably compares to cars without all-wheel drive.

 

Volvo V90 Cross Country

If you desire a more luxurious ride, check out the Volvo V90 Cross Country. Not only does this Swedish wagon provide lots of passenger and cargo room, but it also comes ready for the snow. It’s one of the few cars that are a legitimate alternative to an SUV. Standard all-wheel drive and extra ground clearance help the V60 Cross Country to conquer an unexpected blizzard.

On the road, the Volvo V60 Cross Country impresses with its balanced handling. There’s also a lot of muscle under the hood. Volvo tunes the Cross Country’s advanced engine to develop a healthy 316 horsepower. You’ll have no trouble surging pass slow-moving cars on the interstate.

 

Subaru Impreza

Subaru has a reputation for building great winter cars. If you’re looking for a fun car that’s easy on the wallet, consider getting a Subaru Impreza. Unlike other compact cars, it comes standard with Subaru’s renowned Symmetrical AWD system.

Under the hood rests a “Boxer” four-cylinder engine. This engine’s unique design allows it to sit lower to the ground, thus enhances the Impreza’s athletic handling. Strong fuel economy also makes the Impreza great for daily commuting.

 

BMW 3 Series

In terms of driving excitement, the BMW 3 Series ranks among today’s best small sports sedans. Superior performance capabilities make the 3 Series hard to beat. BMW’s outstanding xDrive AWD system gives the 3 Series yet another edge over the other cars in the segment. You’ll be able to have fun throughout the year.

Although you can get the 3 Series with a twin-turbo V6 engine, its base turbo four-cylinder engine is strong enough for you to embarrass most cars. BMW has a history of underrating the output of its engines. Although the 3 Series is listed to develop 255 horsepower, there’s no overlooking its extra kick. You can hit 60 mph in around 5.5 seconds.

Worth the Money? Here are the Best and Worst Vehicle Modifications

Worth the Money? Here are the Best and Worst Vehicle Modifications

To help their vehicle to stand out from the crowd, many people choose to customize their ride. Unfortunately, vehicle modifications are not always a good idea. While some modifications prove to be a great investment, others are simply a waste of money. Let’s take a look at the best and worse things to spend your money on.

Worst Vehicle Modifications

Aftermarket Headlights & Taillights

Admittedly, some aftermarket lights do have a cool look. They are readily available on sites like eBay and Amazon. The bad news is these custom lights often suffer from a lack of quality. Some are cheaply made, which leads to performance issues.

Moisture buildup is among the biggest problems. During rainy weather, it’s not uncommon for water to leak inside the seals. Even worse, you may not be able to see as well at night. Some aftermarket lighting systems don’t effectively illuminate the road. Instead of wasting your hard-earned cash, keep your stock headlights looking new by cleaning them regularly.

 

Modifying the Suspension

In an attempt to give their car a more aggressive stance, some people choose to install vehicle modifications such as lowering springs. However, this usually proves to be a terrible decision. Prepare to endure an especially rough ride. Drastically lowering your car can also negatively impact handling. To eliminate potential problems, choose a vehicle that already comes equipped with a sports-tuned suspension from the factory.

Suspension lift kits can be just as bad. When taking curves, trucks fitted with a raised suspension are more prone to experiencing a rollover accident.

 

Excessively Loud Mufflers 

Some aftermarket exhaust systems can give your vehicle a smooth, powerful tone. However, many of today’s younger drivers like to install vehicle modifications called “fart can” mufflers. Not only do these mufflers have an obnoxious sound, but they also fail to improve performance.

You should also consider the fact that extremely loud exhaust systems are illegal in North Carolina. If your car has an ear-piercing sound, local Asheville police won’t hesitate to pull you over.

 

Best Investment Vehicle Modifications

Upgraded Tires

High-quality tires are a great investment for any vehicle owner. If you’re looking to enhance road handling, all-season performance tires are well worth the money. When cornering, you’ll immediately notice improved grip with vehicle modifications such as these. The stickier rubber compounds will help your car to remain glued to the pavement.

Upgraded tires can also help give your automobile a smoother, quieter ride. Cheap tires are typically noisier and don’t absorb road vibrations as well.

 

A Better Battery 

To save a little bit of money, some drivers choose the least expensive vehicle battery on the shelf. Unfortunately, their attempt to be frugal usually doesn’t pay off in the end. Cheaper car and truck batteries tend to be of lower quality. Thus, you will need to replace them a lot sooner than you expect.

When the weather starts to get cold, drivers can appreciate the durability vehicle modifications like  stronger batteries. To start your vehicle in below-freezing temperatures, you need to have plenty of juice. The last thing you want is to get stranded on an icy day.

Upgrading Your Braking System

As you know, North Carolina has a large deer population. In the event a deer suddenly crosses your path, you must be able to stop quickly. The effectiveness of your vehicle braking system is of the utmost importance. To enjoy an extra peace of mind, upgrade to quality brake pads.

Also, consider replacing the rubber brake lines with ones made of stainless steel in your vehicle. This will help ensure optimum braking pressure during hard vehicle stops. Vehicle modifications worth every penny, better than average OEM brake rotors and brake pads.

Use Top Tier Gasoline

When it comes time to fill up your vehicle’s tank, try to use Top Tier gasoline. Research shows that Top Tier gasoline tends to have more detergent additives, which ultimately help the engine to perform at its best. Carbon deposits will be far less of an issue. A list of retailers that sell Top Tier fuel can be easily found online.

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