Auto Bits: Tips for finding the right vehicle
Tip of the Week
In today's economy, every dollar counts. If you need to purchase an expensive necessity item like a car, you must do so with serious thought and attention to detail. Here are some things to consider.
- Select a sturdy, efficient car that has a proven track record of performance and dependability. Thought must be given to a variety things including: type of car, size, gas mileage, maintenance, service contracts and insurance. Some cars carry a higher insurance premium due to the theft ratio.
- With the automotive industry in crisis, be on the lookout for over-zealous car dealers who are trying to turn every consumer visit to the dealership into an immediate sale. Shop around various dealerships for the best bargain you can find. It is important to be an informed shopper. Read the automotive section in the newspaper to become familiar with prices and deals available.
- Consider your needs, lifestyle and road travel requirements. A mother with children who is active in the community car pool may consider an SUV to be the best fit, for example.
- Make sure you select a car that is affordable for your budget and lifestyle. It is important to select a vehicle that will have a payment plan that allows easy manageability along with other financial obligations such as mortgage, rent, food, utilities and recreation.
Consumer Reports recently rated the best and worst American vehicles. Here’s their best list, with scores based on 100 points:
83: Chevrolet Malibu LTZ (V6)
77: Ford Fusion SEL (V6)
77: Lincoln MKZ
77: Mercury Milan Premier (V6)
75: Cadillac DTS
75: Ford Taurus
75: Taurus X
75: Mercury Sable
For more information, go to www.consumerreports.org.
Did You Know
Detroit Electric and Proton are joining forces to make a high-quality electric car that they say will get 150 miles on a charge and can go 120 mph.
Question: I own a 2002 Buick Rendezvous with only 34,000 miles. Sometimes when I turn the key to start, nothing happens. I will put the shift in neutral to start the engine. No one has been able to help me. What do you think?
Answer: You will need to take the car to any good shop to check the position with a scan tool hooked up. The computer gets a signal from the transmission position selector that is sent to the computer. If the selector is out of range when in park, the starter will not engage. There could also be a voltage problem from the ignition switch to the starter motor. Whatever the fault, it will need to be checked by a qualified technician.
-- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service