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

Tip of the Week

As cooler temperatures arrive, so does the opportunity to prepare your vehicles for winter driving conditions. Although you may not want to think the warm weather is behind you, taking time now to prepare and protect vehicles can save significant time, money and hassle later. A few tips for vehicle winterization and safe travels this season:

- Clear vision: Having full view of what's ahead and behind your vehicle at all times is vital, so be sure to check your windshield wiper blades and washer fluid before winter precipitation hits. For colder climates where you may experience ice or frost, you may want to keep a bottle of de-icing windshield spray handy.

- Auto armor: Did you know that within 30 days, a small scratch or nick in a vehicle's paint finish can rust? Add some freezing temperatures and a small problem can quickly escalate to a larger, more expensive one. Luckily, fixing scratches is quick, easy and affordable, thanks to touch-up paint.

- Tired out: One of the most important aspects of winterization is ensuring you have a safe grip on the road. Like the soles of shoes that prevent you from slipping, quality tires help keep your vehicle securely on the road, especially in slippery rain or snow conditions.

- Engine protection: Extreme temperatures can cause major issues in a vehicle's engine, so testing your coolant system before winter is very important. Checking the level and concentration of anti-freeze in your vehicle could save you costly engine repair and should be done twice every year. Choose an extended life coolant for ultimate protection, which can be used in nearly any year, make or model vehicle worldwide.


The List

According to CNBC.com, some cars are more expensive used than new. Here’s their list of vehicles that make that list:

- Mazda CX-7 i Sport 4-Door SUV (2.5L 4cyl 5A)

- Dodge Dakota ST 4-Door Extended Cab SB (3.7L 6cyl 4A)

- Mazda MAZDA3 i Touring 4-Door Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5A)

- Mitsubishi Outlander GT 4-Door SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

- BMW Z4 sDrive30i 2-Door Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

- Acura ZDX 4-Door SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.7L 6cyl 6A)

- Volkswagen Eos Lux 2-Door Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

- GMC Savana LS 3500 3-Door Ext Van (6.0L 8cyl 6A)

- Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ 4-Door Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.3L 8cyl 6A)

- GMC Canyon SLE 4-Door Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.7L 5cyl 4A)

Did You Know

Chrysler’s Fiat 500 was awarded a "Top Safety Pick Award" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Car Q&A

Q: I have a 2010 Honda Pilot LX. It does not have the outside ambient temperature readout. However, I can see on the LCD display of the dash cluster where it would read if it were hooked up. Could I just get the ambient air sensor and plug it in? Or will it take more than that? I have called many Honda dealers and they do not seem to know for sure. I would really like this feature to work.

A: This is a loaded question, and no one has been able to answer it for me. I can tell you that the outside temperature sensor is inexpensive and it’s just a simple plug-in sensor. I would gamble the small price for the sensor. There is the possibility that the body control module may need to be programmed for the additional sensor.

- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist

GateHouse News Service