Weekly auto rail, with pre-winter car-care tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recommends taking the following actions before winter hits:
- Get your car serviced to see if you have any major issues that could leave you stranded in bad weather.
- Make sure your battery has enough power to start your car in cold weather.
- Make sure you have the proper amount of coolant to avoid freezing, and consult your owner's manual to see if you should change the coolant/water ratios.
- Fill up on wiper fluid and inspect your windshield wipers.
- Check tires for cracks and worn tread. Make sure your tire pressure is at recommended levels as colder air can cause them to deflate.
- Stock your vehicle with emergency items like a shovel, sand, blankets and jumper cables.
- If you drive a truck, spray-on truck bedliners can help protect your truck bed from rust and other negative effects of road salt and extreme temperature changes.
- Wax your car before winter hits. While you might think of waxing as more of a cosmetic treatment, it can also protect your car's paint from road salt and scratching caused by extra sand on other debris on the road.
- Wash your car frequently in the winter to remove rust-causing agents. Pay special attention to the undercarriage of your vehicle and the wheel wells, as these are often the first areas to rust.
Here are the five best states for drivers, according to a report on Forbes.com:
1. South Carolina
4. North Dakota
Did You Know
Toyota recently recalled 1.6 million vehicles, bringing its yearly recall total to about 14 million vehicles.
Q: I own a 1995 Oldsmobile purchased new. Current mileage is only 46,700 miles. Five months after my purchase, it developed oil leaks, everything from the oil pan, oil pump drive o-ring to the intake manifold gasket, all within four years. Now again it has many oil leaks at a cost of $1,000 to seal up. I do not drive a lot and do not know what to do. What do you suggest?
A: I would get a second opinion for a different shop. With such low miles and your limited driving, do the leaks warrant repair again?
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service