Weekly auto rail, with garage tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
Colder weather not only has you shutting the windows and cranking up the heat but also bringing all your belongings indoors to protect them from the winter elements. This means it's time to get your garage geared up for the season.
Making sure all your belongings fit is one thing, but this space houses your workshop, truck, big toys and, in some cases, the man cave where you escape for a football game or afternoon of hanging out with some pals. This is the perfect time of year to make your garage the storage and hang-out space you need for those long winter months.
Here are a few tips that can help you turn your garage into a space that meets all your requirements for many years to come:
- Clean it up. While the weather is relatively warm, take the time to clean out the garage of anything not needed (broken car parts, duplicate tools, half-empty cans of paint or stain and even products you've outgrown) and find storage space for what's left over. Purchase storage containers and shelving, or build hanging racks to help keep items off the floor and out of the way. Wash down the floors, scrub the walls and let it dry out before putting everything back in.
- Protect your floors. After driving through the slush and snow, your car or truck is going to be bringing a lot of sand and salt chemicals into your garage. As it melts, this corrosive mixture congregates on the floor, developing pockmarks and cracks in the concrete. Give your garage floor a protective.
- Maintenance is important. Sometimes just cleaning the garage isn't enough. You may need to invest a bit of time and energy into the electrical and - if included - heating as well. Replace all the batteries in your garage door openers, and clean the weather stripping between the door panels. Also have a heating professional check out your garage heater at the same time you are getting your home furnace inspected and cleaned. You don't want to come out to the garage on the day the temps drop below freezing and discover the heater isn't working.
Automobile Magazine recently announced its Car of the Year. Here is the winner and previous winners:
2012: Tesla Model S
2011: Chevrolet Volt
2010: Volkswagen GTI
2009: Nissan GT-R
2008: Audi R8
2007: Volkswagen GTI
Q: I am interested in buying a new upscale model GM pickup, either a 1500 or 2500 series. I heard of transmission problems with the 1500 series and not on the 2500 series. What are you thoughts on either series?
A: There have been some transmission issues with the new six-speed automatic on the half-ton 1500 series. We are not talking a large percentage of these trucks or SUVS. With that said, there are also big differences between the half-ton and 3/4-ton versions. The half-ton is much more car-like than truck. The ride and handling are well-cushioned. When it has to work it can pull a boat or trailer without any problem all while delivering good gas mileage. The 3/4-ton 2500 version has larger brakes, front and rear differentials, larger transmission and tires, to mention a few. Gas mileage is also less. The 2500 also rides a lot harder, like a truck versus the 1500. I own a 2010, 2500 six-liter gas engine Silverado and use it as both car and truck, especially for towing boats and cars and it has never had any issues.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service