Do Your Tires Last as Long as You Think They Should?

worn tires

Who knew tires could be so controversial?

Back in 2009 we posted a blog about the need to replace new tires after just 20,000 miles. At the time I had a new vehicle that required new tires after just 22,000 miles, which turned out to be pretty common as evidenced by the people who left comments on the post.

In the years since, I’ve purchased other cars and other sets of tires. It seems there’s a new practice emerging of paying for a tire warranty. Are the days of 60,000- or 80,000-mile tire warranties gone?

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Volkswagen Golf Cabrio Coming to the U.S.

2016 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

Perhaps Volkswagen is trying to make amends for all the trouble it’s caused. Or maybe it just wants to do something to make up for all the diesels it can no longer sell here in the United States.

The VW brand will struggle for a long time to overcome the damage its emission scandal has done to the brand. On top of that, money that would have been used to develop new products will likely be diverted to pay for massive fines and recall costs.

So how can Volkswagen continue to sell new product and survive? It needs to try to make us forget about its indiscretions. One way to do that is to introduce cars that previously weren’t available here.

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The New Face of Police Cars Is a Mommy-Mobile

Explorer police

I thought I was caught.

As you know from yesterday, I am not a speeder. I’ve received my fair share of speeding tickets in my life, and I don’t want to receive any more. I rarely drive faster than 5 mph over the limit, which is the bane of existence for my lovely wife.

Last week, though, I thought I was going to get lit up, because a police vehicle had suddenly changed lanes directly behind me. I wasn’t speeding, but I was towing a trailer that had an expired registration and non-functional lights. I thought I was had. But then the “police vehicle” changed lanes again and passed me.

It turns out the Ford Explorer wasn’t a police vehicle at all—it was just an Explorer.

Who would’ve guessed that a family SUV would become the new face of police cars?

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Nine You’re Fine, Ten You’re Mine

80 mph

How fast is fast enough?

Last week I mentioned a spur-of-the-moment trip my wife and I took from Washington to Colorado. We embarked on the trip because we found a boat for sale that we had to have.

Yes, there were other boats closer to us, but this one was the correct year, with the correct engine, in great condition, and at a price we couldn’t pass up.

With a free weekend ahead of us, we set off on the 2,500-mile round-trip jaunt on Friday afternoon with the requirement to be back in town before work at 7:30 Monday morning.

I don’t mention this because I think anyone will care about the trip itself—I mention it because we experienced issues on the trip that anyone will experience when driving long distances. Today’s topic: the speed limit.

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Latest Recall Shouldn’t Diminish Kia Quality Drive

2016 Kia Optima photo

Kia announced that it will recall more than 377,000 of its 2011 to 2013 Sorentos. The popular crossover has a defect that could cause the car to move out of Park if enough pressure is applied on the gear lever, even without the brake being engaged.

The recall came just as Kia was introducing its new 2016 Kia Optima midsize sedan (left) to the automotive press in Colorado. A big part of the message is how far the Korean automaker has come in terms of quality.

Michael Sprague, Kia America’s chief operating officer and executive vice president, said the brand 10 years ago had little respect for quality. Kia was a brand you brought new as a last resort, with no money down and all credit levels accepted.

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The Neiman Marcus Special Edition Ford Mustang: We’ll Pass


You can buy a lot of car for $100,000. Think of the possibilities:

Jaguar F-Type R

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG S

Maserati GranTurismo

Nissan GT-R

BMW 7 Series

Porsche 911

Each of these are worth the six figures it takes for the privilege to drive one home, and each will tell the people closest to you that you’ve found success and can drop a cool hundred grand on a car.

There’s a new member of the $100,000 club, though, that’s akin to buying a bag of Cheetos on Rodeo Drive for a hundred bucks.

Some things just don’t make sense.

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Here Comes the $75,000 Honda

2016 Acura NSX

2016 Acura NSX

Hondas are known for their practicality. Ask anyone to describe a Honda in one word, and you’ll get responses such as, “reliable,” “safe,” “comfortable,” and of course, “practical.”

Honda is one of those quiet innovators in the car world. While its cars indeed fit the above adjectives, Honda is perfectly capable of unleashing a true performance car upon the world when it feels so inclined.

The Honda/Acura NSX, naturally, is the prime example of such supercar prowess. The Civic Type-R and the old S2000 are other examples of what happens when stodgy old Honda decides to have some fun.

With the all-new hybrid-powered NSX ready to jump off the line, Honda might have a little something else special planned as well.

It probably won’t come cheap, though.

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Could You Get By Without Owning a Car?

Drivenow BMW i3

Services such as ZipCar, DriveNow, and Car2Go are in, or planning to expand in, many of the larger cities in the United States. The concept is simple: Find a car, drive to where you need to go, park your car, and move on. Some companies, such as ZipCar, require the car to be returned to the same place where it was rented while other companies allow for the car to be left wherever it was parked.

BMW owns DriveNow and Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, owns Car2Go. Both companies have sizable investments in the short-term car rental business, but how viable is car-sharing when compared to car ownership?

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Jaguar Poised to Claw Back Up the Sales Charts


My wife and I did something crazy this weekend. More details will come in a later blog post, but we embarked on a spur-of-the-moment 2,500-mile round-trip road trip.

Over the course of two and a half days.

Why would we do such a thing? Well, as my mom said, because we’re the kind of people who like to do fun things in the amount of time other people think is impossible. So, after work on Friday and before returning to the grind Monday morning, we drove from Spokane, WA to Palisade, CO and back. Most of the way there we talked about cars, and one topic was Jaguar’s presence in America.

My wife respects the brand but thinks it’s on the way down. I believe the new XE and F-Pace will do for Jag what the Cayenne did for Porsche.

Then again, we can’t even agree on how to pronounce the automaker’s name.

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Don’t Use the Wipers! GM Issues New Recall


Another day, another recall.

Here’s yet another recall we could attack General Motors over. We could chastise the company for producing vehicles with faulty parts (again) or make fun of obvious holes in its quality-check system.

This time, though, we should praise GM, because it finally got one right.

In this new recall, which was made public late last week, GM is telling some customers to stop using the windshield wipers on certain SUVs, because the wiper motor could overheat and catch fire.

See how easy it would be to call out the ridiculousness of this recall? Before you do, though, read on, because GM’s handling of this recall just might make you want to buy a GM product.

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