Weekly auto column, with car-resale tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
"It's important to keep your car or truck in top physical condition," says Jack Nerad, executive editorial director of Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "Late summer to mid-fall is peak car-buying season, and those planning to purchase a used vehicle will look at everything from the state of the fabrics to sun damage to the condition of the paint. The sun can cause more damage than even the wind or rain."
Nerad advises car owners to take the little steps that will yield big results in the long run. "If you're trying to get the most re-sale value for your car or truck, it's more than worth your time and investment to protect both the inside and outside of your vehicle," he says.
- Add mileage to your car - and you, too. With record-breaking temperatures across the U.S. this summer, keeping your car cool and blocking harmful UV rays is as vital as ever. Many drivers aren't aware that windshields are typically the only window equipped with the capacity to block out harmful UVA rays. That means every passenger in a car is vulnerable to severe sun exposure. A simple solution is to install window films - they may only require a one-time application, but they achieve long-lasting results. By reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the interior of your car, you not only protect your health, but you preserve the condition of your vehicle's interior.
- What about that spiffy paint job? You may think you're doing all the right things to maintain its glistening coat, like parking in the farthest corner of the lot, cautiously opening your car door, or minimizing recreational off-road adventures. But how do you combat stealthy predators like Mother Nature from preying on your ride? Paint protection films are a sleek, but subtle means of outfitting your car with UV protectants that help keep its exterior from fading. Once applied, the enhanced surface will be virtually immune to everyday concerns like pebbles, debris, bug acids and other harsh conditions. Ensuring that your car's paint stays looking fresh means its resale potential stays high when the time comes.
- Interior stains are a turn off for buyers. Nothing can predict the bump in the road that sends your coffee flying, but wouldn't it be nice not to worry about spillage stains? Fabric protectors hold off spills before they sink in by keeping liquids on top of the surface. "The appearance of your vehicle, both inside and out, is crucial when trying to sell your automobile," Nerad says. "Potential buyers will take one look at the vehicle, and if it's not in peak shape visually, there's no chance of getting top dollar for it."
Here are the 2010 vehicles with the most rear legroom, according to www.edmunds.com:
Lincoln Town Car
BMW 7 Series
Did You Know
Volkswagen recently reported that its July sales worldwide were up 2.9 percent.
Q: I purchased a 2005 Dodge hemi pickup. The selling dealer said they recommended the use of synthetic oil, and another dealer said they had problems with synthetic oil in the hemi. What do you recommend?
A: Let it be known to date I have never heard of or encountered a problem with the use of full synthetic oil in any type of internal combustion engine, especially street-driven vehicles. I have no idea what the dealer adviser was thinking of when he said he has had problems with synthetic oil semi blend or full synthetic.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service