Weekly auto rail, with car-shopping tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
Savvy automotive shoppers get the most for their money by weighing all options in advance. Start your search with these factors in mind.
- Fuel economy: Consider whether you drive enough to make fuel economy important. Double-check your math for hybrid vehicles. Unless you're a road warrior, a hybrid's fuel savings may not offset the higher price.
- Safety: Safety should play a role in every car-buying decision. You can find most crash test ratings at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website, www.iihs.org.
- Reliability: Objective research tools such as Consumer Reports offer predictions of reliability based on their own road tests, consumer surveys and other data.
- Insurance costs: Your age, where you live and how you drive affect your insurance premiums. But your car makes a difference, too.
- Financing: Don't wait until you're at the dealership to discuss financing. A lower annual percentage rate could save hundreds of dollars over the life of the loan, even if it means passing up a dealership cash rebate.
According to TrueCar.com, here are the top cars that males buy but females rarely do:
- Rolls Royce
Did You Know
Ford recently expanded its recall of F-150 trucks; it went from 144,000 trucks to about 1.5 million.
Q: I purchased a 2008 Ford Edge in October 2008 and did not take an extended warranty. The car has just over 29,000 miles, and a few weeks ago I noticed a transmission fluid leak on my driveway. I also had a problem with the driver window not functioning properly. Ford could not give me an explanation for this. Can you help?
A: Some of the parts in today’s vehicles are not of the best quality and fail at an early age. Some vehicles with low mileage parked outside during the long cold winter months seem to have a much faster deterioration of parts due to rusting. If you did buy an extended warranty, the cost would have been $1,500 or more. If there are no more major expenses, you are ahead of the game. On average, the Edge has a good track record.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service