Weekly auto rail, with tips on moms and cars, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.

Tip of the Week

For most moms, their automobile is an important part of their daily lives, getting them to the grocery store, soccer practice, their kids' school and the many errands involved with being a parent.

To help moms become empowered owners when it comes to their cars and tires, Kim Danger, savings expert, mother of two and author of "Instant Bargains," has collaborated with automotive expert Ricardo Rodriguez-Long and Uniroyal Tire in the creation of a new e-book, "Mommy's Guide to Cars & Tires." Download the free e-book at www.UniroyalTires.com.

"When driving, your tires are the only thing between you and the road," Danger says. As moms carry around precious cargo, it is important to keep everyone safe. Keeping the right tire pressure is easy to do and a key component in tire longevity and safety.

With more vehicles on the road than ever before, it is crucial to be prepared for emergencies. Be sure to keep an updated emergency kit in your vehicle at all times.

Busy moms often become the taxi driver for their families. Making sure the kids are safely and securely fastened-in is crucial. Take the time to get your car seat inspected by a child passenger safety technician.


The List

Here are the top 2010 cars in the “small car” segment, according to an annual rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

Honda Civic
Kia Forte
Kia Soul
Mitsubishi Lancer
Nissan Cube
Scion xB
Subaru Impreza
Toyota Corolla
Volkswagen Golf Sedan

Did You Know

Nissan is going to build a four-door model of the Smart car that will go on sale in late 2011.

Car Q&A

Q: I own a 2005 Honda Pilot with 86,000 miles. There is an occasional noise while driving the vehicle on the highway. While the noise is present two to three minutes, the tachometer reading is erratic.

A: Without getting more information and or actually driving the vehicle, it’s impossible to point you in any direction. The one item that does lead me to a transmission area concern is the engine speed is not consistent if the tachometer is reading correctly. Let a service technician take the SUV home for a weekend and drive it around and see if it acts up on him.

- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist

GateHouse News Service