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Fiesta SEL and SES series offer leather seating surfaces with contrasting color piping.

Ford

I recently purchased a 2014 Dodge Dart Limited with a black leather interior and the dealership offered protection for paint, interior and rust. I do not want the paint protection, but would you recommend the leather and vinyl protection? The car will be parked in the sun on a daily basis. Also, an undercoat protection, an electronic rust inhibitor and a rust inhibitor spray that sprays a foam into all the panels is being offered. I do not want the electronic module though. I plan on washing it frequently in the winter with an under spray wash. Would you recommend getting one or both of these rust protections? – Dennis

Skip all of these money generators. If you are worried about the interior, go to Canadian Tire or a similar store, buy a spray can of 3M Scotchgard and do it yourself. If you plan to rinse the underside during winter you won't need rust-proofing. The only type of rust-proofing I have had a favourable personal experience with is Rust Check.

Tire sensors

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Why don't cars with tire pressure sensors store nine values – four summers, four winters, plus the spare? My dealership charges $39 to re-enter the codes each time on changing plus $39 for the change and all tires are on rims already. It's ridiculous to have to keep re-entering the codes. – Gary

The vast majority of cars sold in North America are sold in southern United States where annual swaps are unusual. There are five states where more new vehicles are sold than in all of Canada. The Canadian market is tiny in comparison and our need to use two sets of tires/wheels is often overlooked by manufacturers. In short, it is not a priority.

Faded lights

Recently, I recently drove at night and in a rain storm on a dark section of Highway 407. The lines on the road were faded, so I was dependent on the car's lights. I was surprised how little light my Honda 2003 Civic provided. Do car lights fade or wear out over time? Also, can you install new lights for an older car without putting in those ultra-bright lights used in newer-higher end cars? – Chris

Sadly, the lights that are standard equipment in most new vehicles, especially the more affordable ones, are a poor excuse for illumination. There are three things you can do:

1. Clean the lens

2. Buy brighter bulbs

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3. Switch to HID. If the lenses on your Civic are dull or yellowed, buy a kit at Canadian Tire or similar retailer and clean them so they are clear and can pass the maximum amount of light. There are brighter bulbs made for your vehicle – check out those from Sylvania at CTC, for example, for about $50-$60. They are a direct replacement – and not the illegal "blue" ones you refer to. Switching to an HID lighting system is a complex, expensive undertaking.

Aluminum F-150

I own a 2010 F-150 4x4 Super Crew with a 5.4-litre engine but want to upgrade to a new truck with the 5.0-litre engine. I have read the data on the 2015 but my concern is corrosion. I live near Barrie, Ont., and they put lots of salt on the roads in the winter. Which parts are going to be made from aluminum? Will the truck be as structurally strong as the 2014 model? How much should I worry that the aluminum of the new trucks will be eaten by salt to the point the truck is not safe or the trade-in value is reduced because of corrosion? Do you know if there will be a price increase or decrease for 2015? Am I better to buy the 2014 model? – Brian

The new F-150 is made mostly of aluminum and is lighter and all but immune to rust. Aluminum does not rust like steel. The aluminum parts – structure and body panels will last for decades. Lighter means it will get better mileage and performance with the same power. You can also plan on the new truck being stronger than the old. The bad news – it will be more expensive, since it will cost more to manufacture. But Ford has to compete with Ram and the GM twins, so that increase will likely be small. I would wait. On the other hand, there will be some crazy deals to clear out the 2014 models. . Tough decision, but delete any concern about rust or structural integrity.

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