Weekly auto rail, with fall car trip tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.

Tip of the Week

Pull that fleece jacket out of the back of the closet, order up a pumpkin-spice latte, and breathe in the crisp morning air. Yes, fall is here. And that means the trees are beginning their yearly transformation into blazing glory. And what better way to enjoy the show than to hop in the car, roll down the windows, and let the beautiful sights coast by. Here are the top scenic drives to see those vibrant leaves:

- Route 7 (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont)
Prime time: mid-September through early October

- Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee)
Prime time: mid- to late-October

- Natchez Trace Parkway (Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi)
Prime time: mid- to late-October

- Yosemite (California)
Prime time: mid- to late-October

- ARA

The List

According to a report by Forbes, here are the most expensive vehicles to insure:

5. Mercedes S65 AMG Sedan: $3,220.86
4. Mercedes SL63 AMG Convertible: $3,263.46
3. BMW 750Li Sedan: $3,280.70
2. BMW 750i Sedan: $3,280.70
1. Mercedes SL65 AMG Convertible: $3,543.81

Did You Know

Hyundais are so popular in the U.S. these days that demand is outstripping supplies, and some car buyers are traveling to other states to find the Hyundai they want.

Car Q&A

Q: I have a 2003 Jetta Wagon 2L non-turbo, and was told the oil drain plug threads on the pan were stripped. Should I have an oversize plug inserted or do I need to replace the pan?

A: I see a lot of worn and stripped treads on both aluminum and steel oil pans. As for installing an oversized drain plug, it depends on the damage to the pan. To replace the pan is a simple and inexpensive replacement. You need to have the technician look at the pan for his opinion. The majority of stripped oil pan treads is from the drain plug being over tightened. I do replace a lot of oil pan drain plugs and drain plug gaskets as a maintenance, when the drain plug treads show signs of wear.

- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist

GateHouse News Service