Q. I'm thinking of putting
high-powered headlights on my older car because they allow much greater
nighttime visibility. Your thoughts? -- J.T., (via Internet)
A. Have a good technician check your car and make sure it can electrically handle high-powered headlights. If so, make sure they're aimed right so you don't blind oncoming drivers.
Q. Are modern cars easier to tune and fix than older ones, which I used to do some work on? And are new cars as reliable and long-lasting as the old ones? I drove my 1980s Oldsmobile for nearly 150,000 miles. -- E..K. (via Internet)
A. Older cars didn't stay in correct tune as long as modern cars, which have the benefit of computerized components. However, older cars generally were easier to work on because they didn't have often-complicated computerized systems. Regarding your high-mileage Olds, I'll bet you kept it in good tune without rust and replaced worn parts when necessary. If given such treatment, new cars should last just as long--if not longer. And they're far less prone to rust.
Q. What car saved Ford Motor Co. after World War II? -- F.H., Milwaukee
A. Most agree that the 1949 Ford went a long way toward saving the automaker. That model had modern styling and a reliable, well-proven V-8.
Q. A friend told me that tires
carry the weight of a vehicle. That sounds screwy. -- E.N. (via
A. I suspect your friend meant that tire pressure inside tires carries the weight of a vehicle. Consider that underinflated tires provide less traction, reduce fuel economy, wear out prematurely and can suffer unnoticeable and irreparable damage that compromises a tire's performance and safety. Thankfully, an increasing number of cars can be had with dashboard tire pressure monitors that alert drivers to underinflated tires.
Q. I've got a classic car and wonder if I should equip it with radial tires or buy new reproduction tires that retain the look of the old--now worn-out--tires so that the car looks totally original. -- J.F. (via Internet)
A. You didn't provide the age or make of your classic car, but, assuming it was built at least in the 1950s or 1960s, put radials on it if you drive it even moderately. Radials will greatly improve its stability, handling and braking. If you just intend to trailer it to car shows, go ahead and get a set of modern reproduction tires from established outfits such as Coker Tire. (www.cokertire.com)
Q. My boyfriend is crazy about cars. I'm not, but would like to buy him some special care car products for Christmas. Where do I start to look for such items? Local auto supply stores I've visited just have conventional merchandise. -- D.M., Denver
A. You could start by ordering the Griot's Garage catalog. (www.griotsgarage.com)It's got virtually every specialized car care product you could think of--and then some.