(Consumer Reports)

Consumer Reports Thinks Justin Bieber’s Car Sucks

Teen pop sensation/hair farm Justin Bieber received a chrome-plated Fisker Karma as an 18th birthday gift from his manager, and has been caught a few times in the kind of traffic violations you’d expect from an 18-year-old with a very fast luxury vehicle. Leonardo DiCaprio apparently owns one, too. The vehicle is a nice status symbol for rich dudes and dudettes, we guess, but our colleagues down the highway at Consumer Reports Cars weren’t as fond of it. They gave it a failing grade. The Karma’s first impression–breaking down almost as soon as it arrived at the test facility–probably didn’t help. [More]

Yes, You Can Actually Bake Cookies In A Hot Car

Yes, You Can Actually Bake Cookies In A Hot Car

During an oppressive heat wave, my cooking ranges from iced tea pops to cold pasta salads. But the fine folks at ThinkGeek and the Cedar Rapids Gazette are not me, and they combined heat and deliciousness in the pursuit of culinary science. They decided to find out whether you really can bake cookies by leaving them on the dashboard of a car. Verdict: Yes. And they are delicious. [More]

Best Buy Messes Up Remote Starter Install, Turns Car Into Non-Starter

Best Buy Messes Up Remote Starter Install, Turns Car Into Non-Starter

Michael paid Best Buy to install a remote starter in his car. The installer on duty went far beyond that, and destroyed the wiring so that eventually, the car wouldn’t start at all. Best Buy covered damage to the wires that became evident right away, but not problems that came up later. Michael has now spent more than $3,200 of his own money repairing damage that he says resulted from the botched installation. [More]

Survey: Fuel Economy The Leading Consideration In Picking A Car

Survey: Fuel Economy The Leading Consideration In Picking A Car

While I have an affection for cars with after-market, clumsily welded spoilers, it appears I am in the minority, as a new survey by our test-driving in-laws at Consumer Reports says that fuel economy — and not undercarriage lighting — is the leading consideration for folks looking to buy a vehicle. [More]

10 Signs Your Used Car Is Really A Rebuilt Wreck

10 Signs Your Used Car Is Really A Rebuilt Wreck

We often hear from readers horrified to discover that their perfectly lovely used car was once another owner’s total loss. They only find out much later, once something goes horribly wrong due to the previous damage. But once the vehicle is all fixed up and shiny, how is the average car buyer to know the difference? It turns out that there are distinctive signs that a car was previously in a crash or flood. Some you might notice yourself, and others require a mechanic’s eye. [More]

Why Did You Ditch Your Old Car Repair Shop?

Why Did You Ditch Your Old Car Repair Shop?

As has been demonstrated in episodes of both Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, the relationship between car owner and car repair shop can be all-too-similar to the relationships you have with your friends and loved ones. But what does it take to push consumers over the edge to the point where they break up with the people who fix their cars? [More]

Average Price For New Cars Hits High Of $30,000

Average Price For New Cars Hits High Of $30,000

It’s not just the used car market that’s hopping right now — new cars are selling for the record average price of $30,748. That’s 6.9% higher than a year ago, because consumers are feeling fancier these days and choosing expensive options for their new vehicles. [More]

Car Dealership And VA Team Up To Damage Wounded Veteran's Credit

Car Dealership And VA Team Up To Damage Wounded Veteran's Credit

When Kat and her husband traded in their old Ford Focus, the dealership told them that they would be able to pay off the loan faster than the couple could. This was true, if by “faster” they meant “not at all.” See, Kat’s husband was wounded while serving in Afghanistan, and is due a $19,000 grant from the Veterans Administration to buy a vehicle. This grant is a check cut directly to the dealership. Two months later, the VA, acting with all of the swiftness and efficiency that government agencies are known for, hasn’t sent the check yet. Naturally, instead of actually contacting the couple about the issue, the dealership just went ahead and didn’t pay off the loan as promised. They won’t until the check from the VA shows up. This is affecting Kat’s husband’s credit, and is just generally rude. [More]

If You Value Cheap Gas, Move To The Middle Of The Country

If You Value Cheap Gas, Move To The Middle Of The Country

As gas prices continue to rise, it’s easier to get jealous of locales that offer cheaper rates. Due to a variety of reasons, including demand, easier access to infrastructure and lower gas taxes, certain cities consistently sport lower pump prices. And most of those tend to be located in the central part of the U.S. [More]

Who Is To Blame When Car Dealer Sells $62K Nissan To Man With Dementia?

Who Is To Blame When Car Dealer Sells $62K Nissan To Man With Dementia?

A woman in California has a brand new, extras-packed Nissan Murano convertible worth a whopping $62,130 sitting unused in her garage. Why? Because she says the car dealership should never have sold the vehicle to her husband, who has been diagnosed with dementia. [More]

Man's Car Is Stolen, He's Left With $1,242 Towing Bill

Back in 2009, my little Daihatsu Charade hatchback was stolen from outside my Brooklyn apartment (presumably in some car thief contest to see who could swipe the crappiest vehicle). It eventually showed up two weeks later with less than a mile added to the odometer, and I got stuck with a $225 towing bill. But that’s pocket change compared to the fee being charged a Seattle driver. [More]

Gas Prices Have Gone Up 18 Cents In The Past 2 Weeks

If you’re running a little low on gas but don’t need to fill up until a few days from now, you might consider gassing up anyway. The way things are going, pump prices will be much higher by the time your tank is almost empty. Prices have shot up 18 cents in the past two weeks. [More]

Goodyear Recalls 41,000 Tires Over Tearing Concerns

Worried that its Wrangler Silent Armor line of tires are prone to causing very bad years for their owners, Goodyear initiated a recall of about 41,000 of the products. The company says that a small number of the tires, made for trucks, SUVs and vans, can tear and cause accidents. [More]

No, Of Course This Car We're Selling Has Never Been In A Severe Accident

Last year, Brandon’s car was destroyed in an accident, and he went shopping for a new-to-him vehicle. He found a nice 2008 Honda Civic at a good price with a clean Carfax report. Sweet deal! Now Brandon’s in the market for a new car. At another dealership, he learned that the Civic isn’t worth as much as he had thought as a trade-in, because the vehicle had sustained severe body damage in an accident, then was rebuilt. How did they know this? The now-updated Carfax report, of course. [More]

Mistakes To Avoid When Car Shopping

If you don’t know when you’re doing when you’re out shopping for a car, you can easily fall victim to savvy salesmen willing to take you for a ride. But if you know what to look out for and act decisively, the experience doesn’t have to be awful. [More]

3 Ways To Save Money On Your Car

It can be depressing to calculate the amount of time you spend working to pay for your car. Your ride siphons money from you in an overwhelming amount of ways, including your monthly payment, gas, insurance, registration fees, maintenance and repair. If you want to start living more frugally, you can cast a stink eye at your car to look for ways to start cutting back. [More]

Blame The North Sea For Rising Gas Prices

Experts continue to point their fingers at Europe for rising gas prices. Last month the continent’s credit crunch was the culprit, and this month it’s rising prices of Brent crude oil in the North Sea that’s guilty of pushing gas prices up to an average of $3.51 per gallon as of the end of last week. [More]

U.S. Car Buyers Seeing Less Difference Between Car Brands

U.S. Car Buyers Seeing Less Difference Between Car Brands

Not so long ago, saying the name of any of the top car brands — Toyota, Chevy, Ford, Honda, etc — conjured up very distinct associated images and preconceptions, especially when compared to the smaller and newer brands on the market. But it looks like that line between champs and challengers is blurring as consumers re-think what they prize in an automobile. [More]