Weekly auto rail, with used-car 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?
According to Autodata Corp., here were the top-selling vehicles of 2010:
1. Ford F-Series
2. Chevrolet Silverado
3. Toyota Camry
4. Honda Accord
5. Toyota Corolla
6. Honda Civic
7. Nissan Altima
8. Ford Fusion
9. Honda CR-V
10. Dodge Ram
Did You Know
Japan’s top-selling vehicle of 2010 was the Toyota Prius.
Q: I recently purchased a 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited. The car is exceptional except for the harsh ride. I also have always used a fuel additive, but the dealer and manual say not to add any additives to the gas. What are your thoughts?
A: The car you purchased does have a tight suspension, and that’s the way it is designed. The tire size and profile are all engineered into the design of the car. There is nothing you can do about the ride, and as for additives, not needed in this and a lot of late model vehicles.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service