Weekly auto rail, with tire tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
As the weather outside gets frightful, it’s time to make sure your vehicle's tires are prepared for snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Sixty-three percent of Americans are concerned about skidding and icy roadways as the thermometer's mercury drops, according to a recent survey commissioned by Hankook Tire America Corp. To ensure safety and peace of mind as you venture out on a snowy day, here are some tire tips to consider:
- Buy your loved one a set of winter tires: The Hankook Tire Winter Gauge Index revealed that 84 percent of Americans would not mind receiving tires as a gift and 35 percent would actually love it. In these tough economic times a new car may not be in your budget; however a set of tires can be a more affordable way to upgrade your current car and keep your loved ones safe on the road.
- Plan accordingly when putting winter tires on: Winter tires are optimized specifically for icy and snowy conditions, providing enhanced traction to prevent skidding. Put snow tires on your car one to two weeks before the first anticipated snowstorm of the season. Also check your tire tread before the first storm. Worn tread is the No. 1 cause of skidding. If the tread is low, consider replacing your tires with a winter tire.
- Check your tire pressure: Every 10 degree drop in air temperature can actually cause a vehicle's tires to drop up to 2 pounds per square inch (psi) in tire pressure. Improper tire pressure can result in increased tread wear and lowered performance, factors that are highly detrimental to one's safety in undesirable weather conditions.
- Have a kit handy: Because winter weather is unpredictable, it's important to be prepared. Always keep in your car a winter driving kit consisting of a spare tire, ice scraper, snow shovel and brush, booster cables, a flashlight and a blanket.
- Check your tire carrying capacity and speed rating: Never overload your vehicle. Check the tire load carrying capacity indicated on the tire or owner's manual for the maximum recommended load. Also, when replacing tires, the speed rating of the replacement tires must be equal to or greater than that of the tire being replaced to maintain the speed capability.
According to Forbes, here are cars that can run for more than 200,000 miles:
Lexus RX 350
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Did You Know
Swedish carmaker Saab recently filed for bankruptcy, and the brand appears to be dead.
Q: I own a 1995 Cadillac DeVille. My problem is, when I drive the car to the store, for example, then shut the engine off and come back in 10 minutes or so, the starter does not turn the engine over. If I wait a half hour or so the engine will start right up. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
A: The most common solution to this complaint is a starter motor failure. However, before the starter is replaced, a voltage check is needed. First have the battery tested, then the connections at the battery, starter and, yes, the engine ground wire at the engine block. If you can drive the car to the shop, explain the problem to the technician, then (I hope) he will suggest you take the car for a ride and bring it in so when they go to check the car it will be in a no start condition.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service