Tag Archives: Vehicle Safety

The Most Reliable Cars Today

The Most Reliable Cars Today

When you decide to buy a car, whether it’s new or a used vehicle, it is crucial to choose one you can count on. You want to make sure the vehicle you drive off with is one that you can depend on for many years. In other words, you need to make sure it is reliable. Although this might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when choosing a car, especially when you’re focused on the looks, gas mileage, and customizability of the vehicle, the importance of a car’s reliability cannot be understated.

At Red Mountain Funding, we know how critical it is to have all the facts when buying a vehicle. This is why we want to spread the word about the importance of reliability. In this blog post, we will answer all your most pressing reliability questions, including “What is the number 1 most reliable car?” and “How do I choose the most reliable vehicle for me?” We will also teach you about the top five most reliable vehicles on the market and identify which models have the fewest problems. That way, you can make an informed choice when deciding what vehicle to purchase.

What to Look for to Determine a Car’s Reliability

If you want to know whether a car is reliable, doing a little digging into customer and critic reviews about the following factors can help tremendously:

Annual Repair Costs

You need a car that will not frequently break down and require repairs time and time again. Vehicle downtime will take you off the road and force you to rely on friends, public transportation, rental cars, or ride-share services to get you where you want to go, and you won’t be able to even use the car you invested in. You need a durable car that rarely needs upkeep. If other drivers frequently report low annual repair costs, you can get a sense that the car is reliable.


A car’s fuel efficiency can tell you a great deal about its reliability. Efficient cars tend to use more advanced technology and can often better withstand the wear and tear of being on the road than other vehicles. If a car has a good efficiency rating, it is usually a sign that you can depend on it to take care of you for a long time – not to mention a fuel-efficient vehicle can save you money on gas.

Fuel Efficient Vehicle

Brand Reputation

Well-known brands with a long history of producing top-performing cars are the most trustworthy when it comes to purchasing a reliable vehicle. Reliability is often confused with luxury and a high price tag, but that’s not always the case. Your car does not have to be expensive for it to be reliable. What is important is that it is safe and is known for having few technical glitches.

Learning about this information can make all the difference when it comes to saving money and time on your vehicle later.

What Is the Most Reliable Car Brand Today?

Currently, many experts say that the most reliable car brand you can find today is Toyota. Whether you are buying a vehicle that can take you and your family on an epic road trip, you need a daily driver for beach trips and soccer practice, or you are just looking for a reliable vehicle that you can count on to run well without many repairs, Toyota has you covered. Since 1937, Toyota has been making cars with long life spans that you can count on to give you minimal problems and perform well come rain or shine.

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid, in particular, is hearing praises far and wide for its reliability, as is the 2022 Toyota Prius and Toyota Prius Prime. Whether you are looking to buy a used model or purchase one that’s brand new, these comfortable, practical cars are filled with convenient technology and boast predictable performance. That way, you can be sure you can get where you need to go.

What Are the Top 5 Most Reliable Cars?

It comes as no surprise that Toyota makes more than one appearance on the list of top five most reliable cars as our most notable reliable brand. These are vehicles that real drivers have rated and reviewed, noting them time after time as ones that are cost-efficient and rarely present problems that need severe repairs.

1. Toyota Corolla

There’s a long list of good reasons why the Toyota Corolla is often seen on the road. This compact, comfortable ride is full of technology that can make your life behind the wheel much easier, like lane departure warning and electronic power steering (EPS). Toyota is also well known for its rigorous testing when developing its vehicles and for using durable engines and materials that are designed to hold up for long periods of time. From a long-lasting engine to fabrics in your seat that will withstand years of use, the Toyota Corolla is one of the most reliable automobiles on the market.
Toyota Corolla

Toyota Camry

2. Toyota Camry

Another loyal fan favorite is the slightly larger Toyota Camry. With its durable structure and power engine, the Camry is a sophisticated vehicle that will have you riding in style for many years. Although the Camry rarely needs major repairs, when it does need some maintenance, it is easy to work on and parts are readily available, which means the repair costs tend to be more affordable. Going with a Camry means you are again benefitting from the strong Toyota technology and comprehensive warranty packages that provide coverage for all kinds of components.

3. Lexus GX

The Toyota-owned brand Lexus has also historically made some of the most dependable cars that you can buy. For example, the Lexus GX has received rave reliability reviews. With its comprehensive safety system, detailed command center, and climate control features like roof-mounted climate vents, you can count on this classic for a comfortable, easy ride.

Lexus GX

Subaru CrossTrek

4. Subaru CrossTrek

The Japanese car brand Subaru has also consistently proven its reliability across several models. The Subaru Crosstrek has been determined to be one of the brand’s most reliable cars on the market. With its world-renowned symmetrical all-wheel drive system, the Subaru Crosstrek’s engine is aligned with the transmission and drivetrain, which makes sure that power is symmetrically divided between all four wheels. Its boxer engine also aims to enhance the car’s stability, while its off-road capabilities make it an ideal choice for one-of-a-kind road conditions.

5. Honda Civic

Another ride that has proven to be predictable and dependable is the Honda Civic. With its efficient engine, ability to keep going even with high mileage, and low annual repair costs, it comes as no surprise that it has been a top choice among consumers for decades. As it is also one of the most common cars in the US, parts and skilled mechanics are typically very accessible.

Honda Civic

What Car Has the Least Problems?

The brands with the fewest problems are great choices if you want a reliable vehicle that is not going to cause you a headache. One of the ways you can find out if a brand is known to have problems is to research how many problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) it has had in the last year. Some of the brands with the fewest reported issues all around are the following:


Lexus holds the current crown for the fewest problems. With a score of only 133 PP100 in 2023, you can expect to encounter very few problems while driving your Lexus vehicle. We think you’ll find a long-time reliable partner in this comfortable car.


The South Korean automobile manufacturer Kia has been one of the brands encountering the fewest problems for many years. The company has worked hard to exceed construction and engineering standards and focus on quality control. From the compact Kia Forte with its trustworthy, fuel-efficient engine to the spacious Kia Cadenza with its great warranty and advanced safety features, you are likely to encounter few to no problems when you go with a Kia.


The luxury vehicle brand Genesis is an unproblematic legend. It has long been at the top of the ranks alongside Kia and Lexus for the automobile company with the fewest problems. Known for its impressive extended warranty and high-quality construction, Genesis prioritizes customer satisfaction and works hard to minimize problems to ensure you buy a reliable car.


Buick is an American car company that has ranked high on the list for many years in a row and is known among car lovers as one of the most dependable American car brands. Its unique Buick IntelliLink system, which makes navigation more accessible and reduces technical glitches, makes for many unproblematic drives. Buick cars also boast an electronic stability control system that boosts reliability.


Also known as Chevy, this classic American brand is one of the pillars of the industry for good reason. Whether you and your family decide to go with the Chevrolet Blazer, the Tahoe, the Bolt, or one of Chevrolet’s many other models, you can rest assured that it is one of the safest vehicles you can choose from. With features like collision warning and blind spot monitoring, Chevy works hard to keep its drivers from encountering safety risks and prioritizes quality control to reduce the chances of technical problems.


Last but never least, Toyota’s PP100 rating is the basis for its crowning as the most reliable car brands. As mentioned, Toyota vehicles are known for their ability to drive miles and miles without problems. Cars like the Toyota Camry and the Toyota C-HR are known for their driver assistance, which makes you feel like the car is on your side as you navigate the roads. These Toyota cars and more are known for their low annual repair costs and their longevity.

Reliability is the Key

When it comes down to it, you cannot dismiss the importance of reliability when buying a car. Other factors are important as well, like new technology, design, comfort level, and price. However, it is important to look into how dependable the vehicle you are considering is because a reliable vehicle stands to save you the most money and hassle in the long run.

Purchasing a vehicle without a solid reliability rating can be problematic for many reasons. You will have not only dipped deep into your pockets for your new set of wheels, but you will also find yourself doing that again and again to keep up with the vehicle’s issues. If you check to make sure a vehicle has a record of reliability first, you can avoid this pricey predicament.

Of course, no car can come with a perfection guarantee, but cars like the Toyota Camry, Subaru Crosstrek, and Honda Civic have proven that they are like loyal old friends. They have consistently shown that they do not need a lot of expensive upkeep, have few problems that will keep you off the road, and were created by brands that put their customer satisfaction first.

Here at Red Mountain Funding, we know how much thought you need to put into purchasing a car, and we know what you need to prioritize in your search, like how dependable the vehicle you go with is. If you want informed guidance as you buy or restore your vehicle, check out our website for additional information and handy tips. Our broad range of car-buying topics can be key to helping you find the right ride for your needs.


  1. Most Reliable Cars for 2023 and 2024. (n.d.). Car and Driver. Retrieved November 13, 2023, from
  2. Schulz, B. (2022, November 15). Consumer Reports ranking for the most reliable cars of 2023 are in. Here are the winners. USA TODAY.
  3. CarMax. (2022). Carmax.com.
  4. New Car Market: 10 Most Dependable Cars in 2023. (2023, May 25). Yahoo Finance. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/more-money-most-least-reliable-201135669.html
  5. Rivers, S. (2022, December 11). Driven: 2022 Lexus GX 460 Is An Old-Schooler You Can Rely On. Carscoops; Carscoops.
  6. Jones, M. (2023, April 25). Subaru Crosstrek Reliability: What You Need To Know – autopom! Autopom.com.
  7. Rivers, S. (2023, February 10). The Most Dependable Brands And Models In J.D. Power’s 2023 VDS Study. Carscoops; Carscoops.
  8. 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study(VDS). (2023, February 9). J.D. Power.
  9. Akpejeluh, P. (2023, April 15). 5 Most Reliable Kia Models To Buy Used (5 To Stay Away From). HotCars.

Getting Ready for Road Trips: How to Prepare Your Vehicle and Stay Road Trip Ready

Getting Ready for Road Trips

My last road trip caught me off guard – and surprisingly unprepared – when a tire blew en route to Las Vegas. While emergency situations like this aren’t uncommon, they can be a punch in the gut to the person who thought they planned for every eventuality. For women, especially when traveling solo, taking a little extra time to prepare yourself for scenarios such as these can not only empower you to do hard things in the future but can also greatly increase your chances of tackling a tough situation on your own while prioritizing your personal safety.

To reap the benefits of being prepared, start with a road trip checklist: it will give you a great visual of what you need and why, so you can have peace of mind as you pack and throughout your journey. Covering these basics won’t take much of your time, and it will save you stress and aggravation while enabling you to protect yourself and your belongings from the unscrupulous and the unknown.

Basic road trip tips include quick checks like filling up your tires, checking fluids in your vehicle like washer fluid, engine coolant, and oil, adding a first aid kit and an emergency supplies survival kit to your trunk, and letting basic automotive tools and safety equipment tag along for any emergency fixes.

Step 1. Time for a Check-Up: Car Prep and Maintenance

Go over the outside of your vehicle first by checking tire pressure and airing up to the ideal amount. If you don’t have a pump rattling around in your garage, just go to the closest gas station. You may save yourself money and a major headache if you discover a slow leak or a nail embedded in your rubber before you hit the road.

Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
Pencil Tire Pressure Gauge
AstroAI Digital Tyre Pressure Gauge

Tire Pressure Gauge For Cars


Next, open the hood and top up your fluids. Add washer fluid and coolant, and if you’re caught up on your oil change, use the gauge to see if you need to add a bit of fresh oil. If you’re a DIY-er and want to attempt an at-home oil change, this is a simple process with the right tools and supplies. Otherwise, schedule a quick change at your local repair shop or dealership for peace of mind and a smooth ride for you and your machine.

Midwest Can 2310 Quick-Flow Gas Can – 2 Gallon

If you’re traveling long distances or you anticipate being far from gas stations or towns, you can also consider bringing small containers of extra fluids to top up dwindling supplies. If your vehicle’s gas mileage isn’t awesome, a canister of gasoline will afford you peace of mind if you’re skittish about an empty tank.


Quick-Flow Gas Can

Step 2. Prep for First Aid on the Go

We’re not advocating toting trash around town, but there are a few staples that should live in your trunk on the regular, especially for trips out of town. One of these is a first-aid kit. You can find these at any drug store or big-box store, or you can make your own at home. Depending on what you want to include in the kit, you may choose a larger plastic container with a snap lid or another type of tight-fitting latch if you’re crafting your own.

Typical items to include in your kit are a variety of adhesive bandages in different sizes, antibiotic ointment, cortisone cream, rubbing alcohol wipes, cotton swabs, sterile gauze pads, sticky first aid tape, and tweezers. You may also consider adding painkillers like Tylenol or Advil for headaches, back pain, or eye strain, an antihistamine for allergies, antacids for tummy trouble, and any prescription drugs you take normally.

Typical items to include in your kit are a variety of adhesive bandages in different sizes, antibiotic ointment, cortisone cream, rubbing alcohol wipes, cotton swabs, sterile gauze pads, sticky first aid tape, and tweezers. You may also consider adding painkillers like Tylenol or Advil for headaches, back pain, or eye strain, an antihistamine for allergies, antacids for tummy trouble, and any prescription drugs you take normally.

Step 3. Line Up Navigational Support Both On and Offline

Your sense of direction may be excellent, but you still need to map out your route and have a flexible attitude when navigating. You may come across construction, unexpected road closures, accidents involving other vehicles, or unanticipated local events that clog up your smooth sailing. Potentially the most important part of this step is taking your navigation both on and offline.

Relying on technology like Google Maps is a no-brainer, but make yourself bulletproof by downloading the offline version, too, as well as arming yourself with a paper map (or two) to make sure you can orient yourself anytime, anywhere. If you anticipate hiking in the wilderness during your journey, you might feel even safer with an emergency GPS device–in a true emergency, if you can’t get a signal on your cell phone, this will get help to you as quickly as possible.

Step 4. Survive a Snack Attack

Okay, this isn’t actually for situations when you’re just “hangry.” Having extra food and water for emergencies is key for a road trip. If you’re traveling during hotter months, your chances of getting dehydrated multiply, and if you’re in a real emergency and need clean water, it will be there waiting. Getting stuck in other types of inclement weather means you’ll need supplies tostay nourished, too. The best option is to grab 1–2-gallon jugs and keep them handy for this.

Shelf-stable snacks are another necessity. These are easy to store and don’t take up much space. Whether you need instant energy or know you will not be able to get any supplies while you’re stranded, keep small containers of nuts, dried fruit, energy bars, crackers, and beef jerky available.

Step 5. Junk in The Trunk: Tools You Actually Need

If the thought of using tools on your vehicle in a pinch makes you nervous, order a basic roadside assistance kit and familiarize yourself with its contents. Finding yourself and possibly other people stranded with a dead battery or trying to tinker on the engine in the middle of the night (possibly in a rainstorm) is so much worse without the right tools and gear. A proper emergency roadside assistance kit usually contains items like jumper cables, duct tape, a waterproof flashlight, extra batteries, cable ties, a screwdriver, a poncho, and if it’s from a well-known company like AAA, contact information and accident guidelines.

Other tools seasoned road trippers swear by for emergency roadside scenarios are a pencil gauge for checking the air pressure in your tires, a jump starter if you’re worried about breaking down without another vehicle coming along in time, flat tire sealant, a small car fire extinguisher, a car jack, and a spare tire. If you haven’t changed out a tire yet in your lifetime, shop around online for a jack you feel comfortable with, and do a mini-YouTube dive on some DIY tire change videos to get an idea of the process in case you experience a blowout. Consider a compact toolkit with a few extra items like a wrench and pliers that will make your life easier if you have to make any under-the-hood adjustments.

Step 6. Craft a Comfort-Focused Makeover for Your Car’s Interior

There are plenty of ways to make the interior of your travel vehicle more comfortable and road-ready while you drive (or relax while someone else does.)

Let’s talk about your tech first: for cell phone communication and navigation on the road, don’t leave your device to slide around on the seat or fall on the floor. Invest in a magnetic dashboard mount that will secure your device and leave it handy for you to access directions or take and make calls. Don’t forget the power cords and chargers, either, and be sure to test out the cords and charging blocks before you leave so you’re not lugging around non-functioning paraphernalia.

Seat covers, wheel covers, and durable floor mats are other types of accessories that can protect the inside of your car from dirt, mud, debris, and spills while also enhancing comfort as you travel. Shoes can safely come off for kiddos in the back, while the soft covers will prevent the seats from scorching skin if the car has to be left in the sun. You’ll have easy cleanup when you come home and can simply remove the covers and throw them in the washing machine. Then, take out the floor mats and give them a good shake and scrub before either stowing them for the next time or putting them right back into your vehicle.

If you have passengers who like to bring everything but the kitchen sink, try using car seat organizers that hang over the back of the driver and passenger side seats. These are multifunctional and have plenty of pockets to store books, small games, stuffed animals, devices, drinks and snacks, and accessories like sunglasses and hats. You won’t need to worry about constantly handing things back and forth to your tiny travelers, and they can take ownership of their belongings while gaining experience keeping track of what they need throughout the trip! As a bonus, the organizer protects the back of your seat from little legs that accidentally kick and scuff the fabric.

Step 7. Gather Protective Paperwork

Your glove box may be neat as a pin, or it could be a veritable treasure trove of old receipts, expired coupons, empty chip bags, and other inexplicable items. Take five minutes to get rid of anything that’s trash, and make sure the rest of your legal documents are accessible and available should you need them. Insurance cards, vehicle registration, the user manual, roadside assistance contact information, paper maps, and your most recent service documents.

If there’s still room, feel free to stash a couple of plastic bags for trash, an energy bar, a couple of pens, and a small pad of paper so they’re out of the way but there if you need them.

Road Trip Preparation Checklist

Now it’s time to craft your checklist. A basic one is provided below, but you know your own needs best and what you may need to add or omit.

Use this as a starting point to get your car’s interior ship-shape, your exterior road-ready, and your emergency scenarios accounted for:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance Kit
  • Basic Tools and Equipment
  • Emergency Food and Water
  • Check/Top Off Tires and Fluids
  • Check/Fill Tires
  • Add Seat Covers and Floor Mats
  • Plug in Cords and Charging Blocks
  • Affix Phone Holder or Magnet
  • Sort and Stash Important Papers in the Glove Box

It may seem like a lot of work upfront, but trust us: using this list will get you in the habit of always preparing for the worst so you can relax and enjoy your road trip. You’ll have what you need in case of an emergency, the confidence to tackle the problems you can, and the peace of mind of knowing who to call if you can’t. When you tackle the list, use your common sense and consider the season, the duration, the destination, and the company while you get ready; anticipating both needs and wants makes for a memorable and joyful journey.

Memorable And Joyful Road Trip

Need More Tips? Follow the Red Mountain Blog

Now that you’re prepared for the worst, you’ll be all set to have the best time. Should any of the scenarios we mentioned befall you, you’ll feel ready to rise to the occasion. For more car owner tips and tricks, as well as history, games, and tons of fun for car enthusiasts of every persuasion, follow the Red Mountain blog.

How Technology Is Making Driving Safer

This entry was posted in Driving and tagged on by .
Advancing Technology Is Making Your Car Safer

Technology is the core of the automotive industry. Without continuously advancing technology, it would have been nearly impossible for engineers to modify the original automobile into what it is today. Even now, the automotive industry is still undergoing significant transformation as technology continues to progress.

With the help of modern tech, the overall safety of automobiles has substantially increased over the past few decades. Today, automakers are still working to leverage new technology to create a safer future for automobile users around the world. Learn more below about how engineers are using state-of-the-art technology to change the industry for the better.

How Automakers Use Technology

Cars are filled with various forms of intricate technology, and automakers put this technology to work to help your car operate in essential ways. Every mechanism plays an imperative role in the function of your vehicle, as well as your safety.

The following are just a few of the varying forms of tech that you can find in the average car today:

  • Engines
  • Brakes
  • Airbags
  • Seatbelts
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Automatic windows
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Radios
  • Backup assistance
  • Cameras

Technology’s Impact on the Automotive Industry

Without mechanical technology, cars could not exist. Even the most basic forms of technology have played a role in enhancing automobiles over the years. By taking a look back at the first car ever made, you can clearly see the transformation that has occurred over the past century.

The original automobile was incredibly basic. Composed of just three wheels, a simple motor, and a steering wheel, the first design was patented by Karl Benz. However, this model was quickly modified into a more similar structure to the cars you use today. Soon after the release of the first few automobile designs, Henry Ford revealed the revolutionary Model T in 1908.

With four wheels, a retractable carriage awning, comfortable seating, and an affordable price, the Model T became the first widely used automobile in the United States. What really separated the Model T from other automobiles was Ford’s ability to mass produce it. The invention of this basic technology – now known as the assembly line – transformed the industry.

Model T

Once the mass production of the Model T began, engineers around the world began racing to create innovative technology that could help them create cutting-edge vehicles of their own. Due to the competitive nature of the industry in its formative years, however, there was more of a focus on producing vehicles than there was on safety for the drivers. It was not until the late 1940s and 50s that people began realizing the true danger that automobiles present to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

With the implementation of more secure seatbelts, more durable vehicles, and stricter safety standards by the end of the 1960s, engineers began using advanced technology to prioritize safety in cars. Today, safety regulations for vehicles are more meticulous than ever, ensuring that all vehicles that are created pass certain tests and meet requirements to protect their passengers.

Suggested Reading: Most Iconic Auto Designers

Recent Technology Has Transformed the Auto Industry

Over the past two decades, the safety and functionality of automobiles have greatly improved.

Some of the most innovative technologies that have aided in improving the basic automobile include the following:


Because camera technology has also seen significant advances over the recent decades, automakers were finally able to add functional, reliable cameras to their vehicles. The addition of cameras in cars has made an immense difference in the safety of both drivers and pedestrians.

For example, backup cameras have become an essential feature in almost every vehicle that is produced today. They not only allow drivers to back out of difficult spots with ease, but they help them to avoid people or objects that they may not be able to see. Some cars even add cameras on your vehicle’s side mirrors, helping you to see blind spots when you’re driving or reversing.


The addition of automated sensors has also made a remarkable difference for drivers. Sensor technology, including radars and a light-based tech called LiDar, helps cars to accurately alert drivers of objects in their path, read the speed of the vehicle, and more. Sensors are added on the front, sides, and rear of the vehicle in hopes that they can prevent future accidents and make driving easier for everyone involved.

Automobile Sensors

In most cars that use sensor technology, the vehicle will beep if the driver is approaching an object. The beeps may become more intense the closer an object gets to your car; in some vehicles, your automatic brakes may even be activated to prevent a collision. By combining sensors with camera technology, cars have become much easier to operate, and countless potential accidents have been avoided.

Computer Software and Digital Tech

Cars have become increasingly dependent on computer software as their design has progressed.

The digital technology that is implemented in your car helps to provide you with a wide collection of important features, including:

  • Parking assistance
  • Touch-screen control centers
  • Temperature readings of your engine and your car
  • Temperature regulation
  • GPS
    • Cruise control
    • Miles per gallon information
    • Emissions monitoring
    • Speed information
    • Accurate camera images for reverse assistance

automotive digital technology

Electric Engines

The introduction of the electric engine to the automotive industry has induced widespread change across the field. With the environment heavy on automakers’ minds, the industry has consistently been testing new methods to cut emissions and make cars more eco-friendly.

Electric cars are much better for the environment than vehicles run by your average gas-powered engine. This is because electricity is a renewable resource, which eliminates the need to cause environmental harm while obtaining fuel. It also releases much less carbon dioxide than an engine that is powered by gas.

Suggested Reading: Which Electric Car Should I Buy

Modern and Future Changes in Automotive Technology

Technology is constantly improving. This allows the automotive industry to use new developments to their advantage. While the future of technology in this industry is still unknown, it is clear that advances are transforming vehicles immensely. Some changes you can expect to see in the future of the automotive industry include the following:

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is currently one of the most popular conversation topics across the globe. AI is a form of technology that is designed to be able to “think” for itself. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, the automotive industry benefits in a multitude of ways. From being able to design a new vehicle on its own to acting as an autonomous component to assist you while driving, artificial intelligence offers endless possibilities for the development of automobiles.

Self-Driving Vehicles

Self-driving technology has been conceptualized for decades. Just recently, this concept has finally been brought to life and coupled with the understanding that human error is the largest cause of automobile accidents. Whether the driver was distracted or failed to follow traffic laws, negligent drivers often cause dangerous accidents that can result in injury. While autonomous vehicles have still not reached their full potential, automakers who are currently developing them hope that they will be able to eliminate human error.

In addition to the potential for increased safety, self-driving vehicles could also be a promising addition to public transportation. Artificial intelligence that is used to help operate the vehicle can be assigned to a regular schedule, which would allow a bus or car to make stops as they are directed.

Increased Personalization

Personalization options have only expanded since the inception of the first car. With cutting-edge technology, automakers are working on broadening the personalization choices for every vehicle. This can involve providing more options for features a driver can add to their car as well as the use of intelligent technology to customize a vehicle’s settings. The digital technology used in these vehicles will act similarly to a computer but most likely use aspects of AI. This will allow it to listen to instructions, observe driving behavior, and help to provide the most personalized driving experience yet.

Suggested Reading: Five Tech Add-Ons for Your Car

Upgraded Safety for Passengers and Pedestrians

Car accidents have the potential to seriously injure someone or even take their life. Because of this, automakers are constantly looking for ways to enhance the safety of a vehicle. While additions such as automated sensors and backup cameras have already changed the world of driving drastically, new improvements to vehicles with the help of developing technology are highly anticipated.

How Is AI Influencing the Car Industry?

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing countless industries, including the automotive industry. With its implementation in the automotive field, all areas of the industry are seeing advantageous change. Below are some influences that AI has had on the car industry.

More Efficient Manufacturing

AI has already had an exceptional influence on the vehicle design and manufacturing process. The use of intelligent robots during assembly means there are fewer problems that occur as a result of human error. This makes for a more efficient assembly process which ultimately results in factories producing high-quality cars at a faster rate.

More Efficient Manufacturing

Increased Safety for Passengers and Pedestrians

As mentioned, intelligent software installed in a vehicle can help make driving safer for passengers and other people on the road. When artificial intelligence, cameras, and sensors are combined, they can be a powerful tool to aid drivers and help prevent accidents. Artificial intelligence is also getting to the point where it can operate a vehicle on its own. When it acts as an autonomous vehicle, this can eliminate the human error that often makes driving so dangerous.

Higher Quality Vehicles

Artificial intelligence, simply put, is like a more intelligent version of a human employee. This means that when it is used during the automotive design and manufacturing process, it can help to create higher-quality products. AI has the ability to design, craft, and monitor the objects it creates. This allows it to easily notice when issues occur, making it integral to the quality control process. With a more regulated manufacturing system, AI works to create higher-quality vehicles more efficiently.

Enhanced Driving Experience

The driving experience is changing greatly with the power of AI. Vehicles are becoming more customizable, easier to use, and more comfortable to drive or ride in. Artificial intelligence enhances the driver’s experience by offering assistance while they are offering the vehicle. This includes backup and parking assistance, hands-free phone and radio capabilities, and even the ability to ask your car questions.

Find a Car with Technology That Keeps You Safe

It’s clear that as technology continues to advance, so will cars. From the changes in the production process to the creation of innovative new vehicles, recent developments in technology have transformed the automotive industry forever.

If you’re considering buying yourself a new vehicle, it’s critical to focus your search on safety as well as style. Visit our DIY car maintenance tips for insight on safety and saving money.

Why Seasonal Tires Can Wear You and Your Car Out in Arizona

This entry was posted in Car Maintenance and tagged , on by .

Disclaimer: Some links on this page are affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase through these links. See our full disclaimer here.

It doesn’t matter what time of year it happens. You could be on the way to the grocery store, picking up the kids from school, or on the I-17 freeway heading north going 75 miles per hour at 3:43 pm hoping to beat the afternoon rush hour traffic. And then, out of nowhere, boom! You hear that thud, thud, thud every second or so with the tire rotation as the point of contact churns over on the asphalt and that’s when you know – you’ve got a flat. But here’s the reality of the situation. Unless you’ve run over a nail or screw (thanks to the good economy and new construction), neglect or poor maintenance may have a hand in time spent at the side of the road. Prevention is key, and knowing whether seasonal tires in Arizona are the best option all year round is worth a discussion.

Tread Lightly and Carry a Big Wallet

One of the more frustrating aspects about having to replace a tire is that it’s never just one tire. Unless, you’ve had the unfortunate circumstance of replacing two or four tires at once and then getting a flat within a short amount of time after that, getting one new tire puts you and your vehicle at risk. It’s all about the tread. But how a tire wears during the extreme temperatures in an Arizona summer are very different to what’s important during a trip to Sedona or Flagstaff in January. We’re talking polar opposites here. So how do you determine which tire is best without blowing your bank account to shreds?


Smaller Tire Investment Equals Short Term Fix

Seasonal Tires

The best tires for your vehicle, should you drive in Phoenix, its surrounding areas, Tucson or in the high country near the Rim, require a multitude of must-haves in order to preserve the life of the car or truck and better ensure your safety on the road.

What to Consider When Buying Tires in Arizona

  • Frequency of use
  • Expected length of ownership
  • Type of vehicle
    • Car, SUV or Truck
    • 4WD, 2WD, FWD, AWD
    • High performance or standard
  • Weather conditions

Many people are quick to think that because Arizona doesn’t really have four seasons in the sense that other areas of the country do, tire tread doesn’t undergo the challenges that the Northeasterners or Midwesterners go through. This is a misnomer. Ever notice how many pieces of once-perfectly-good-rubber meets the road to its-death on Arizona freeways from May through September? Heat plays a dire role on the health of tire tread, which is why an all season tire in Arizona carries a lot of merit.

As a rule of thumb – less cost means less tread and that’s a dangerous choice.

One Tire Replacement Really Means Two

Not all tires will wear the same. The front tires are often thrown out of alignment from banging a curb or two. (Who does that?) Misalignment and imbalance will put additional stress on all the tires, accelerating wear and tear.

Even if only one tire needs to be replaced, say the front tire, to keep all tires working optimally and providing the most stability and life of the tires, two tires (one for the right side and one for the left) will need to be replaced. In addition, both new tires should be placed in the rear (if possible) as they affect overall stability.

Not All Tires Are Created Equal

When choosing between an all season tire and a winter tire, there’s a fine balance in determining how much grip you’re getting for the price. Often times, when looking for tire replacements, it’s easy to get enamored by the brand name or intricate groove patterns on the rubber.

What is important to take note of in winter and seasonal tires include:

  • Speed rating
  • Size
  • Brand
  • Warranty
  • Life expectancy*

Just because your first set of tires had a life expectancy of 50,000 miles, doesn’t mean that all tires carry the same longevity. Some are 20,000 miles. It depends on how long you plan on owning the vehicle and how often you drive.

It’s also important to stay with ‘of like kind’. When possible, replace an existing tire with the same make, model and size of the other tires. If you want to change the brand or model, talk to a tire specialist who can match size for size and performance metrics. Weigh the cost for replacement and the tire life expectancy to map out whether a change from the original is worth it long term.

For Arizonans, the decision on which tire is the right buy is based on many variables.

To Buy All Season or Winter Tires in Arizona, What’s the Answer?

One of the best aspects of living in or visiting Arizona is the diversity of terrain and temperature. If you plan on hitting the slopes during the winter and spring seasons, the right tire is essential to ensure that the rubber meets the road optimally no matter the situation (snow, sleet, ice, dirt).

Unless your pocketbook has an endless supply of disposable funds, an all season tire is the way to on the road bliss in Arizona, providing the right amount of traction in a variety of conditions for the long haul. There are even performance all season tires for higher end vehicles such as BMW, Porsche, Ford Mustang, and Audi TT or R8, just to name a few.

Top 5 Recommended All Season Tires
1. Cooper Discoverer A/T3
2. BF Goodrich Rugged Trail T/A
3. Michelin Primacy MXM4
4. BF Goodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S
5. Hankook Optimo H727

Before You Buy Any Vehicle, Make Sure to Look at the Tires before Purchasing


Best Used GMC SUVs: Which Models and Years Are Most Reliable Used SUVs?

Best Used GMC SUVs Models Years Most Reliable - Red Mountain FundingBest Used GMC SUVs - What Models and Years are Most Reliable

Most Reliable Used SUVs

All sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are versatile automobiles that sit higher than most passenger cars, and they are a better option for towing and carrying cargo. Larger models can even carry up to seven or eight people (counting the driver).

GMC, a General Motors brand, has many worthwhile SUV models to choose from, so we’ve selected a few of the most reliable used GMCs that we think are worth your attention.

GMC Acadia

GMC first put out its Acadia crossover SUV in 2007, and this model quickly gained popularity in a few short years. Over its more than 10 years on the market, the Acadia has earned several NHTSA 5-star safety ratings, and its design offers spacious seating and plenty of cargo space. The standard model uses front-wheel drive, but you can also find all-wheel drive models for more off-road capabilities.

The Acadia line is still going strong. While the newest models on the market make for a stellar driving experience, used Acadia SUVs are still reliable, stylish fun to drive and affordable for car buyers in the greater Phoenix, AZ area.

Best Used GMC Acadia Years

If the Acadia is your top pick for your next vehicle, then you’ll want to consider the year of the model. GMC has updated the Acadia several times over the years, adjusting the interior and exterior designs, as well as the size and weight of the vehicle.

You can also expect to find updates to the Acadia’s features and storage capabilities across models. Depending on how you want to use your vehicle, some years will better fit your needs than others. Continue reading to see what we mean.

2017 Used GMC Acadia

The 2017 GMC Acadia received several updates in terms of size and weight, making it a midsize SUV. This design swap is a marked improvement when it comes to drivability and efficiency. The once blocky exterior also has some softer edges, giving it a more modern appearance. You can also see reworking in the cabin with updated materials, design and infotainment system. With a powerful 3.6L V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission it’s a powerful midsize SUV.

While the 2018 GMC Acadia has some updates in terms of colors and seat availability, there’s not much change from the 2017. There is an All Terrain model with a new all-wheel-drive system, plus some extra features like a heated steering wheel.

2011 to 2014 GMC Acadia Models: Among the Most Sought-After Used SUVs

When it comes to safety, the 2011 through 2014 models all have 5-star safety ratings from the NHTSA.

If you want more reassurance than that, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) also gave the 2011 to 2013 models a “Top Safety Pick” designation. These models are still know for reliability ratings and for their safety designations today, making them some of the most popular choices around.

Worth noting is that 2013 was the year when the Acadia received a facelift, with higher-quality interior materials and updated exterior styling elements. There’s also a revised rear liftgate design for better functionality.

For the most luxurious experience, the Acadia Denali line has the highest trim level. You can find these models from 2011 onward.

If you find a good deal for a used GMC SUV, you should seriously explore the purchase, especially for models that fit into the best safety ratings time frame.

Used GMC Yukon and Yukon XL

Another top GMC vehicle is the full size Yukon and stretched Yukon XL. These SUVs have extensive seating and high maximum tow ratings, making them very capable vehicles.

While the Yukon isn’t the nimblest SUV around, it’s still much more maneuverable than you might expect for a large SUV. For Phoenix residents who love to get away from the city and escape into the wilderness (with plenty of companions and gear along for the ride), the Yukon is the SUV for the job.

New Yukons are rather steeply priced, which is why a used vehicle is the way to go. You can count on newer models to have all the modern amenities you could ever want (and then some), but an older Yukon will serve you just as well.

Best GMC Yukon Years

GMC doesn’t provide too many distinctions between models close to each other. About every five years, the Yukon undergoes an upgrade that sets the standard for the next vehicles to come. Thanks to that, you don’t need to aim too carefully at a certain year when looking for a used SUV.

However, you can focus on which “generation” the car comes from instead. With the current generation starting in 2015, anything before that makes for a solid used option.

Third-Generation GMC Yukon (2007 to 2014)

Third-generation GMC Yukons are some of the best choices. In fact, 2007 was the year that the Yukon distinguished itself from the similar Chevy Tahoe. In this generation, you will find brand-specific equipment and more distinct styling, which helped these SUVs develop into the line they are today.

Yukons from 2009 and newer may be more appealing to drivers. Why? Third-row seats, Bluetooth phone connectivity and rearview camera systems started to become standard in these vehicles. There were also updates to the airbag system starting in 2009, enhancing the safety experience.

Crossover SUVs may have been more popular during this generation. Yet, the Yukon still had plenty to offer, and now makes for one of the top used SUVs on the market.

Second-Generation GMC Yukon (2000 to 2006)

Looking back further, second-generation Yukons provide a pleasant handling and ride experience. You’ll also find that front-seat side airbags are standard throughout this generation. But, if you want enhanced stability control, you’ll need to look for a 2003 model or newer.

If you’re looking for a Yukon Denali, though, note that the second generation for that line starts at 2001; the 2000 model is closer to its first-generation brethren.

Across all second-generation Yukons, keep a close eye on models that suffer from inconsistent build quality.

If you decide that you’d rather have a first-generation Yukon, then the 1996 through 1999 models are your best picks. Their updated V8 engines provide better torque and horsepower.

Best Used GMC SUVs for Sale in Metro Phoenix

When you’re ready to make your Phoenix, Arizona used SUV purchase, Red Mountain Funding in Mesa can help with the most reliable used SUVs.

No matter what, we can extend to you several low down payment and bad credit financing options, when you purchase from any Phoenix-area car lot.

Apply For Financing Online Today

Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most out of Your Car Wash

Car Cleaning Hacks Tips And Tricks Car Wash - Red Mountain Funding Mesa AZ

Washing your car may seem like an ordinary part of your weekly or monthly routine, but there are several ways you can make the most out of washing your vehicle. The result? It looks clean and brand new for as long as possible.

There are many commercial options for washing your vehicle, and you can easily buy the supplies you need to wash it at home. However you decide to handle your car washes in the future, keep the following tips in mind to get the most out of every wash.

Commercial Car Washes

The most common type of commercial car wash is a standard tunnel-style wash that uses water jets and brushes to clean your vehicle. The driver pulls his or her vehicle into the tunnel track, puts the car in neutral, and the car wash guides the vehicle through the different cleaning devices.

Automatic Washes Are Fast and Cheap

Touchless Car Wash Washworld - Red Mountain Funding

A Touchless Automatic Car Wash System (Twitter Photo/@Washworld)

An automatic car wash is a fast and relatively effective way to clean your vehicle, but it may not leave it entirely clean. Additionally, hard bristles or damaged brushes can actually scratch away at your vehicle’s paint and lead to rusting.

Ultimately, you get what you pay for when you drive through a traditional automatic car wash, and repeated automatic washings may cause expensive damage to your vehicle’s paint job.

Some commercial car washes have installed “touchless” washing systems that do not use brushes or bristles to physically touch the car. Instead, a touchless car wash uses a series of high-powered water jets and cleaning agent sprays to clean your vehicle.

While a touchless system is a viable alternative to traditional tunnel-style car washes with brush-based cleaning systems – which may damage your paint or sensitive parts like mirrors and antennae – it may not leave your car completely clean and spot free.

Professional Detailers

A professional detailing service will undoubtedly offer the best cleaning service, but it will also cost the most. A detailer will clean your vehicle meticulously by hand and will often offer various additional services, such as interior cleaning, cosmetic repairs, scratch and dent repairs, and window and headlight cleaning.

If you want an extensive cleaning, or your vehicle hasn’t had a proper, thorough washing in a long time, paying for a professional detailing service may be worth the expense.

Washing Your Own Car

Many commercial car washes offer tiered pricing for customers to combine exterior cleaning, interior cleaning, waxing and other services into a single wash session. While some commercial car wash companies offer membership discounts and frequent buyer programs, these options can be expensive, especially compared to the cost of washing your vehicle yourself. Washing your own car gives you complete control, and helps you save money.

Self-Service Wash Stations

Some commercial washing establishments offer self-service car wash stations. These buildings usually feature enclosed parking spaces with extendable tools that apply soap and water. A driver will park in a washing space and then put money into the system to pay for a certain amount of time (usually a few dollars for several minutes of washing time).

Next, the driver applies soap, scrubs the car with the supplied brush or sponge, and then rinses the vehicle with the water sprayer. Some self-service stations offer a wax coating spray as well, but these sprays rarely compare to a professional waxing job and may actually cause more water-spotting.

Washing Your Car at Home

Car Wash At Home angelmercado279 - Red Mountain Funding

At-Home DIY Car Washing (Twitter Photo/@angelmercado279)

Of course, if you plan to wash your car yourself, you can save even more money by skipping the self-service station and washing your vehicle at home. A hose attached to your home’s outdoor spigot with an adjustable head attachment will allow you to spray grime, mud and dirt off your vehicle with a high-powered stream of water. You can then adjust the sprayer for a gentler mist to rinse the car at the end.

If you plan to wash your car at home, make sure you research and purchase the car soap and other supplies needed. You should only ever wash the exterior of your car with a sponge or soft cloth to avoid scraping or damaging your paint and windows.

It’s also important for Mesa, AZ residents to follow the Mesa car washing guidelines the city has established. Due to the low annual rainfall in Mesa, the city’s water and sewer systems are more vulnerable to contamination from cleaning agents and runoff from dirty vehicles.

You’ll need to use phosphate-free detergents sparingly and make sure the wastewater doesn’t enter the city sewer system. The best method for washing at home is by hand using only water and a soft sponge.

Car Cleaning Hacks for You to Try

Clean Off Windshield Wipers mblagunaniguel - Red Mountain Funding

Maintain Your Wiper Blades (Twitter Photo/@mblagunaniguel)

The first step in washing your car in Mesa is to determine how extensive you need to be in your cleaning. Engine or undercarriage cleaning may require an appointment with a professional detailer, so that you don’t inadvertently violate the city’s car washing ordinances. You may also be able to wash your engine or undercarriage at a self-service station that allows this type of cleaning.

There are several car cleaning hacks that can make your car look even better, and some of them might surprise you:

  • Did you know that a hair conditioner with lanolin creates a just-waxed shine and even repels rain? Apply hair conditioner to your vehicle after washing and then rinse clean for a spectacular shine.
  • You can also use window cleaner and an old pair of pantyhose to make your headlights shine again. Over time, headlights become cloudy and may actually pose a safety risk when driving at night.
  • If you’re looking for a simple window and windshield cleaner, mix one part household ammonia with four parts water in a spray bottle. Keep the spray bottle in your vehicle and spray and wipe clean whenever your windows or windshield become dirty.
  • It’s also a good idea to check your wiper blades regularly. If your wipers are dirty, they’ll streak your windshield instead of cleaning it. You can clean the blades with a mixture of a 1/4 cup ammonia and 1 quart of cold water. Soak a soft cloth or paper towel in this solution, wipe it along both blades and then use a dry cloth to wipe off the solution before lowering the blades back into place.

Protect Your Vehicle from the Arizona Sun

While Mesa residents don’t have to worry about rainfall too often, the Arizona sun can pose serious problems for any vehicle here. Intense heat and direct sunlight can damage your vehicle’s exterior as well as the interior. Grime, dust and salt that stays on your car for too long will bake in the sun and cause additional damage.

Your vehicle’s dashboard receives the brunt of the sunlight that enters your vehicle through the windshield, so consider investing in sun shades. Sunlight can also damage the cloth or leather of your vehicle’s seats and cause them to discolor or fade over time.

Learn more car care tips for dealing with the Arizona sun by visiting our previous article:

Protect Your Car from Arizona’s Intense Sunlight

Used Cars in Mesa Under $5000: Can You Find a Dependable Car at That Price?

Best Used Cars Under $5000 Mesa AZ - Red Mountain Funding

If you’re in Mesa, Arizona, or the East Valley, you might be wondering if you can find a used car under $5,000 that will get you to work and back every day and that can handle all of your errands with breaking down. You’re going to have to be patient and sift through a lot of ancient and/or troublesome vehicles in this price range, but you can find a dependable vehicle if you look hard enough.

In this article, we’re going to tell you what kind of car to look for if you have $5,000 or less to spend, including how to refine your search. Additionally, we’re also going to offer some food for thought on looking at newer, higher-end vehicles that lie a little outside of your current price range.

What Kind of Vehicle You Can Expect for $5,000

If you have $5,000 to spend on a vehicle, you’re likely looking at something with 100,000 to 150,000 miles on it. With $5,000, you shouldn’t have to settle for a car with 200,000 miles or more.

How old? Expect vehicles in this price range to be about 10 years old or older.

The type of vehicle? You’re probably looking at a sedan, coupe or possibly a compact SUV or truck. You can pretty much forget about a full-size SUV or pickup unless it has a ton of miles on it and was made in the ‘90s (or earlier).

Vehicles such as Toyota and Honda (and Lexus and Acura, for that matter) are going to be harder to find in this price range unless they are much older and have a lot of miles on them. Therefore, your best bet might be a domestic vehicle, such as one by Ford, Chrysler or Chevrolet. For foreign makes, Mazda, Nissan, Kia and Hyundai are typically more affordable than their competitors.

Where Can I Find a $5,000 or Less Vehicle?

In your price range, you can look to private sellers, major new-car dealerships that also sell used cars, and independent car lots that feature used vehicles exclusively. Keep in mind that while looking for cars at this low of a price, you’re not going to be able to haggle the price down by $1,000 or more.

Your wiggle room here, if the price of the car is already near true market value, is about $500, at most. The only exception would be if you’re talking to a private seller who’s not a very good negotiator.

Get the Vehicle Inspected and Do Your Own Research

With any vehicle you’re seriously considering, you should look up what kind of history it has, and you should have a professional inspect its current state.

Start by running a free vehicle history report by entering the VIN of the vehicle into either CARFAX or AutoCheck. The report will tell you if the car has been in a serious accident or if it’s had major problems in the past; some reports even show the car’s service records.

Now, don’t necessarily cross off every vehicle you see that has been in an accident. An accident may not be that bad if:

  • It was minor.
  • It happened years ago.
  • The vehicle has been driven many thousands of miles since then.

Yes, ideally you’re going to want something with a squeaky clean record. But, with this price range and the miles that these cars will have, you’re going to come across several that have had at least a minor accident. We’re just saying, if you really like a certain vehicle but it was in an accident years ago, don’t write it off until you dig deeper.

Also, yes, most cars in this price range are going to have little dings, chips and scrapes. It comes with their experience. But, so long as it doesn’t have major, unfixed body damage, what you should really be worrying about is how the vehicle runs. That brings us to our next point.

Get a Prepurchase Inspection

Before buying any used car, you should submit it for a prepurchase inspection. If you’re buying from a dealer, they should be able to do this on site or through a trusted partner nearby. Many mechanics around town offer this service, as well, which is especially helpful if you’re looking to buy from a private seller. If you already have a trusted mechanic for your current vehicle, you can try to see if they will inspect the vehicle you’re considering buying.

Keep in mind this service will likely run between $100 and $200, whether you have the dealer or an independent mechanic do it. The prepurchase inspection should be a 100-point (or more) check of the vehicle, with a detailed report to follow.

This service should not only unearth any problems under the hood, but also any damage to the body or interior of the vehicle. This includes problems that go undetected by the average consumer, such as flood damage, hidden rust and poor previous repair work.

Best Used Cars Under $5000

Just for reference in your search, we would like to point out some of the top vehicles of 2018 according to two authoritative sources.

Kelley Blue Book released a list earlier this year of the top 10 used vehicles that run about $5,000. In order, here are the 10 vehicles that made the list (along with their average price in Mesa, AZ in parentheses):

  1. 2003 Toyota Avalon ($4,266)
  2. 2003 Toyota Camry ($4,276)
  3. 2004 Honda Accord ($4,477)
  4. 2004 Toyota Corolla ($4,339)
  5. 2005 Honda Civic ($3,854)
  6. 2004 Subaru Forester ($4,084)
  7. 2004 Toyota Matrix ($5,015)
  8. 2003 Acura TL ($4,060)
  9. 2004 Subaru Outback ($4,023)
  10. 2006 Mazda M3 ($4,629)

15 Additional Used Vehicles Worth Mentioning

Also, U.S. News and World Report published a list in June of the 15 best used vehicles under $5,000, in no particular order. For reasons unexplained, all vehicles listed were from 2009. Here are the 15 vehicles that made the list (along with their average nationwide price in parentheses):

  • 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser ($4,358)
  • 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit ($3,123)
  • 2009 Mitsubishi Galant ($4,373)
  • 2009 Scion xD ($4,459)
  • 2009 Pontiac Vibe ($4,548)
  • 2009 Toyota Yaris ($3,913)
  • 2009 Chevrolet Malibu ($4,786)
  • 2009 Mercury Milan ($4,698)
  • 2009 Hyundai Elantra ($3,325)
  • 2009 Saturn VUE ($4,641)
  • 2009 Scion tC ($4,405)
  • 2009 Scion xB ($4,874)
  • 2009 Saturn Aura ($3,455)
  • 2009 Ford Fusion ($4,637)
  • 2009 Honda Fit ($4,834)

We realize it may be hard to find one of these exact vehicles from either list. But, these lists should help steer your search, as far as make and models go. You may not be able to find a vehicle with the exact same year of production, but if you find the same make and model around the same year that is listed above, then you’re on the right track.

A Loan Can Help You Get a Better Vehicle

Consider applying for a loan for a used vehicle, even if your credit score is less than appealing at the moment. Red Mountain Funding helps East Valley residents secure financing for a used vehicle, even when they’ve been turned down at another dealership. At Red Mountain Funding, we are our own financing institution, and we report to all three major credit agencies.

If you’re approved for a loan, you may be able to get a newer or higher-end vehicle, such as in the $8,000 to $10,000 range. Even if you stick around $5,000 and get a loan for a vehicle in this range, you now have the chance to make payments and build up your credit. This helps you get an even better vehicle when you go to look for your next car a few years down the road.

At Red Mountain Funding, we encourage you to apply for a loan to see if you can get financing for a vehicle around (or perhaps higher than) $5,000.

Apply Online for an Auto Loan

Understanding Tire Tread Wear and Vehicle Tire Safety

This entry was posted in Car Maintenance, Tips & Tricks and tagged on by .
Understanding Tire Tread Wear and Vehicle Tire Safety - Red Mountain Funding

Disclaimer: Some links on this page are affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase through these links. See our full disclaimer here.

There’s a reason that a skydiver meticulously checks the parachute and safety equipment for signs of wear before each jump. Skydivers understand the direct connection between the parachute and safety.

Think of your tires as your parachute. The health of your vehicle’s tires can directly impact the health and safety of the occupants of the vehicle.

Tires Get Ignored

Too often, tires are ignored, and the driver doesn’t realize that the tires are worn until someone else points it out. Frequently, an automotive person points it out, and the driver discounts it as a sales technique. The best thing to do is educate yourself so you can tell the difference. Tires are expensive and keep you safe on the road, so it’s important to invest a little time caring for them.

Tire tread wear will affect the handling of the vehicle, lower gas mileage, and decrease the chance of an accident or breakdown.

What Affects The Tire Tread?

There are three main aspects of your tires to consider when it comes to wear and tear:

Wheel Alignment

If the vehicle’s wheel alignment is off, the tires will wear unevenly. The inner or outer edge of the tire tread may be more worn than the center tread. Replacing tires without fixing the wheel alignment will cause the same safety issue with the new tires and shorten their life considerably.

Tire Pressure

When a tire has too much air in it, it is overinflated, and the center of an overinflated tire pushes out slightly. This causes the center to have more contact with the road, so they will end up with more wear in the center of the tire and wear out faster than the sides. They are also at greater risk of rupturing.

Conversely, when a tire has too little air in it, it is underinflated. An underinflated tire will show excessive wear on the outer edge, with more tread evident on the center strip. An underinflated tire is at greater risk of losing control when driving around sharp curves and dips in the road.

A tire that has had a nail puncture repaired with a plug is at greater risk of being underinflated. When a tire plug dries out, the tire may develop a slow leak. In the heat of the Arizona sun, this is a distinct possibility.

Wheel Balance

Unbalanced tires can cause cupped (scalloped) dips to appear on the tire. Most people have their tires balanced when they purchase them and never think of it again. The general recommendation is to have the tires balanced every 6,000 miles.

Since 6,000 to 8,000 miles is when the tires should be rotated, it may be easier to remember to have them balanced each time they are rotated. Other things can cause cupped tires, so be sure to have the tie rods, ball joints and suspension checked, as well, if this is the pattern seen on your tires.

Tire tread is what keeps the tires on the road. It provides traction that grips the road, especially during rain and snow. The grooves in the tire are there to allow water to pass through the tires. If the grooves are too shallow or non-existent, then the tire becomes separated from the surface of the road by a thin layer of water and slips. This is what’s referred to as hydroplaning.


Tire Safety Checklist

Taking care of tires is much easier than most people think. Best practice is to check them each time the tank is filled. If that’s too much, though, plan to do it monthly.

Although it’s best to check tire pressure when the tires are cold, most people don’t have an air compressor at home. Plan to do the initial inspection at home and then go to the closest filling station to your house with an air compressor if the tire pressure needs to be adjusted.

Check the Tread

Although tire tread depth gauges can be purchased at any auto parts store, no fancy tools are needed to check the tread of a tire. A simple Lincoln penny will do the trick. With the head side of the penny facing you, put it head-down into the groove of the tire tread.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says that the tires should be replaced when the tread depth has reached 2/32 or 1/16 of an inch. The tire tread depth is above that threshold if the tire tread still covers the top of Lincoln’s head.

Keeping in mind that a new tire typically has a tread depth of 10/32 to 11/32 inches, but waiting for it to reach 2/32 inches is not recommended for safety. Most professionals recommend 4/32 of an inch as the minimum before replacing the tires.

Visually Inspect for Tire Tread Wear

Don’t just walk around the vehicle. Crouch down and look closely at the tires. For Arizona tire safety, don’t skip this step. The heat is brutal on tires. Check for cracking, cuts and for tread or sidewalls separating or bubbling. Look carefully for uneven wear or areas that appear too smooth.

Test Tire Pressure

Eyeballing the tire pressure isn’t enough. A tire pressure gauge is needed to do this check properly. Follow these easy steps:

Determine Correct Tire Pressure

On the sidewall of the tire, there is a number followed by the letters PSI. PSI is pounds per square inch. That’s what the tire pressure gauge is measuring.

The number listed on the tire is the maximum pressure to which the tire should be filled. There is also a number on the tire that indicates the maximum threshold. The number in the owner’s manual or on the vehicle’s door jamb is the recommended tire pressure for the vehicle based on its load capacity.

Use Tire Pressure Gauge to Check the Pressure

Each tire has a valve stem with a cap on it. Gently unscrew the cap and place it somewhere safe (they are easy to lose!). Press the tire gauge straight down on the valve stem and read the result.

It’s best to do this a few times, as it can be tricky to get it just right. If all three readings are the same, it’s likely accurate.

Adjust Tire Pressure

If the tire pressure is too high, press the center of the valve stem to release a little air. Each time you release air, test the pressure again until the pressure is correct. If the tire pressure is too low, add air using an air compressor until the desired pressure is reached.

Some air compressors have pressure gauges on them. It’s best to recheck with the same gauge that you used to check the pressure, so the readings are consistent. Don’t forget to put the valve stem caps back on.

Safety Is the Key

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 11,000 tire-related automobile accidents and 200 fatalities each year.

It’s common to think of tire-related accidents as equipment failures rather than behavior-related incidents such as driving while intoxicated or speeding. However, 1 in 4 cars drives with at least one underinflated tire. Only 19 percent of drivers check and inflate their tires properly.

Using these tire maintenance tips, about 15 minutes each month is all it takes for a driver to perform this basic inspection to maintain vehicle tire safety and minimize the risk of failure.

See Our Comprehensive Used Car Maintenance Checklist