How Green Is Your Car’s Interior?

Going green in our cars means more than just getting better fuel economy. As early as 1998, Chrysler aimed to use recycled materials for the fabric roof liner of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Fast forward to the 2010s and the list of automakers using recycled materials has grown.

Since 2014, The BMW i3 has used natural fibers along with recycled plastics and aluminum. The 2015 Nissan Leaf incorporated 25 percent recycled materials, including steel for the body.

Ford stands out when it comes to using recycled materials; in addition to using recycled materials in the wire frame and under the hood, Ford incorporates recycled materials in tactile components of a car’s interior, such as seat cushions and fabric. In 2011, Ford began using soy foam for its seat cushions. Shortly after, the automaker incorporated Repreve fabric, made of recycled water bottles, in the 2012 Ford Focus Electric.

Ford isn’t just focusing its recycling efforts on one or two models. Instead, its efforts span multiple models, from trucks to compact vehicles.

It’s turned its attention to another interior component, with some inspiration from bees. Continue reading >>>

5 Essentials for the Perfect Spring Break Road Trip

The snow has begun to melt, the sun is sticking around longer each day, and for thousands upon thousands of college students, the next few weeks will be some of the year’s best. For many, Spring Break means precious days away from school and the opportunity to hit the road and get out of town. Every road-trip car needs plenty of space for food and snacks, a couple of pillows, and enough room to make sure the travelers on board don’t murder each other. But there are a few other essentials, without which an interstate odyssey could easily become a terrible long haul. Continue reading >>>

Headlight Replacement: Not What It Used to Be

I wonder if you, dear readers, share this same frustration in car ownership.

Back in the day, when a headlight in your car went out, you just went to your local parts store, bought a replacement headlight (not just a bulb, but the whole darn headlight), unscrewed the old one, screwed in the new one, and went on with your day.

I’m sure, unless you still drive a 1994 Tercel, you’re well aware that those days are long gone.

Headlight replacement has evolved into roughly the same category of difficulty as engine replacement. Continue reading >>>

Don’t Be One of the Million Motorists Stranded this Holiday Season!

winter car won't start

You’re bundled up, sitting next to the fire, hot cocoa in hand and perhaps a beautifully decorated tree behind you. Few moments can compete with the warmth and comfort resonating from the holidays. But have you considered that, while you’re enjoying the Christmas spirit, your car is shivering outside in the cold?

This holiday season is expected to be one of America’s biggest travel periods of the year, with AAA estimating over 107 million will be on the move during an 11-day stretch. AAA’s business revolves around assisting sidelined travelers and, with the holidays’ expected level of activity this year, business should be booming.

The Car Doctor himself, AAA’s John Paul, commented on the auto club’s expectations last year, saying that “AAA across the country expects to rescue almost one million motorists over the 11 day holiday travel period. The primary reasons are dead batteries, flat tires and people who lock their keys in their cars…Check tires on a regular basis for both air pressure and wear and always check you have your keys in your hand before locking your car or closing the trunk.”

The United Kingdom’s Automobile Association predicted that on the Monday morning following New Year’s Day, more motorists would be greeted by cars refusing to start than on any other day of the year. Luckily, there are some precautions you can take to make sure you don’t wake up to a dead battery after the holidays. From John Paul: “To avoid being one of these motorists, have your car’s battery checked if it is more than 3 years old—the typical life of a battery is 3-5 years depending where you live.”

The cold temperatures up north will accelerate your batteries demise but even if you’re enjoying a palm-tree Christmas, be sure to have your car battery’s age checked as you’re wrapping up your last-minute shopping. It’s easy to enjoy a few days off for the holidays, but extending that vacation because of a car that won’t start the next morning isn’t exactly beginning a new year on the right foot.

Thanks for another great year. Enjoy the holidays and drive safely!

-Matt Smith

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Winter Essentials: Key Safety Features for Your Holiday Travels

car stuck in snow

As a company based in New England, CarGurus understands that traveling at this time of year can quickly become perilous, and having the right vehicle for winter can make a world of difference. We’ve already seen our first batch of snow and expect more to arrive shortly. Of course, inclement weather can unfortunately coincide with some of the busiest travel times of the year. With the amount of traffic you’re likely to experience this weekend, and with the very real possibility of icy road conditions, we implore you to be proactive this winter and drive a vehicle that can perform well in less-than-ideal conditions. That’s the best choice for you and for other drivers on the road.

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How Do I Get In? A Look at Some Funky Car Doors

Renault Trezor Concept

Renault’s Trezor Concept

This year’s Mondial De L’Automobile Paris (Paris Motor Show) featured many automakers’ takes on the future of automobiles, but we wanted to take a moment to reflect on one of the more outlandish unveilings. While these shows tend to feature out-there concept cars and future iterations that never see production, the Renault Trezor electric concept has definitely been one of the more unique concept cars to hit the show floor. Just look at that “door.”

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Two New Tires Bring Fun Driving Year Round

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+

The Autumn Equinox is September 22, but when the kids go back to school, summer is unofficially over. Sure, there are plenty of warm days left, but the nights have started getting cooler, and it’s only a matter of time before the leaves change and the chill of fall and winter will take hold. Now’s the time to start thinking about tires.

Automakers routinely tout all-wheel drive as the best way to deal with challenging conditions, but regardless of which wheels get power, the tires are the only parts of a car that actually touch the road. A good set of winter tires can turn a rear-wheel-drive sports car into a competent winter commuter car, while a set of ultra-high-performance summer tires can render an AWD-equipped car useless in the snow.

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Don’t Forget the Little Things: Some Easily Overlooked Safety Tech

Henry Bliss Plaque

Take a walk down New York City’s Central Park West, and right at the intersection of West 74th Street, you’ll see an interesting little plaque. It’s as unassuming a corner on New York’s Upper West Side as can be, but the sign nevertheless marks the intersection as an historic site. On September 13, 1899—117 years ago today—while stepping off a street car across from Central Park, a real-estate dealer named Henry H. Bliss was struck by an electric taxicab. The car knocked Bliss down and crushed him. He was pronounced dead the following morning. Bliss’s death marked the first automotive fatality in the western hemisphere. Continue reading >>>

4 Surefire Ways to Become an Automotive Enthusiast

KB_VW

CarGurus is a wonderful resource for shoppers looking to find great deals from great dealers, but sometimes we wonder whether we’re serving the automotive enthusiast community as well as we could. Sure, we’ve got plenty of data connected to market values, used-car rankings, and new-car reviews, but how can we help drivers, new or seasoned, looking to bury themselves deep within the rich world of car culture? For some of you, this glimpse down the path toward gearheadedness will sound painfully obvious. For the uninitiated, we hope it acts as a roadmap as you earn your stripes (your C4 Corvette Grand Sport racing stripes, that is).

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How Fuel-Efficient Are Your Tires?

Illegal_tires

I just got a screaming deal on a 1999 Land Cruiser. The only problem is that it could have illegal tires.

The truck isn’t a daily driver, but will handle all towing duties and be called upon for those rare instances when my family of six is all together and needs to go to the same location. It’s also in great shape, runs strong, has a comfortable interior, and came wearing mostly new Hankook DynaPro off-road tires. They are chunky, have a beefy tread, and can take the Land Cruiser anywhere I want to drive it.

Of course, that’ll mostly consist of highways and paved back roads, which might make the tires slight overkill for what I need.

Plus, they could become illegal.

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