Buying a car today is a tougher decision than the average person realizes. With a combination of growing environmental awareness, rising oil prices, a depreciating American Dollar and increasingly complex automotive engineering practices – not to mention the fact that there are more vehicle choices than ever before – it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when choosing your next car.
We’ve all been here: You start up your car in the morning and begin to back out of the driveway. Before your hand reaches the volume dial on the stereo to crank up your favorite morning radio duo, you hear a noise coming from your car. A vehicle shouldn’t make that noise, yet yours is. And it sounds bad. But is it?
Some vehicles come with either "all-wheel drive" (AWD) or "four-wheel drive" (4WD), and you may have wondered if there's any real difference between those terms. Cars only have four wheels, after all, so when "all" of them are doing the driving, that's four-wheel drive - isn't it? The logic makes sense, but AWD and 4WD have actually evolved into technical terms that refer to distinct mechanical systems. Whether you're shopping for a car or yours needs repairs, you'll want to take an educated approach, so let's walk through the ins and outs of each system.
Sluggish. Squealing. Unreliable. Vibrating. If any of these descriptors fit your vehicle’s recent behavior, it just might be trying to tell you something – like it’s time for a tune-up.
Today’s vehicles differ significantly from their decades-old brethren that required a tune-up every 10,000 or 20,000 miles. With newer vehicles, it’s increasingly common for manufacturer-recommended service intervals to stretch to 100,000 miles before certain maintenance items, such as replacing the spark plugs, should be completed.
Cold weather and vehicle performance aren’t necessarily the best of friends. “Every mile is two in winter.” That quote is attributed to the English poet George Herbert. Even though he wasn’t referring to driving an SUV with heated leather seats, his philosophy still applies today. Winters can be hard, cold, long, and dark.