Weekly auto rail, with used-car-buying tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
Here are the top items you should inspect when buying a used car:
1. Look for paint and body repair. Evidence of bodywork could mean the car has been in an accident.
2. Check for fluid leaks. Any leaking fluid, from oil to windshield washer, could mean the car needs a costly repair.
3. Look at the engine. Does it sound smooth or rough? Does it smoke excessively?
4. Evaluate the overall wear and tear on all parts of the vehicle. Is the wear commensurate with the age and mileage on the vehicle?
5. Has the car been driven by someone who smoked in it? Transported pets or small children in it? All those things can leave odors behind in the vehicle - smells you might have to live with or go to great lengths to eliminate as the new owner.
6. What was the primary usage of the vehicle and are most of its miles highway or local driving?
7. Are all accessories in working order? The sunroof is great ... unless the motor to open it doesn't work.
8. How is the drivability? Do the brakes squeak? Does something in the passenger cabin rattle? Does the steering vibrate?
Here are the year’s “most important new cars,” according to Forbes.com:
- 2012 Ford Focus
- 2011 Ford Fiesta
- Chevy Aveo RS Concept
- 2011 Chevy Cruze
- 2011 Buick Regal GS Show Car
- 2011 Chevy Volt
- GMC Granite Concept
- Toyota FT-CH
Did You Know
General Motors says it will spend $494 million to create more-fuel-efficient engines. The move also will create about 500 jobs for the company.
Q: With our gasoline having alcohol already added, do I need to use gas-line antifreeze during the cold winter months?
A: I would not recommend the use of any form of gas-line antifreeze unless you know there is some water put in the gas tank.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service