Weekly auto rail, with tips on accessorizing your truck, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.

Tip of the Week

In a budget-conscious economy, more pickup truck owners are holding on to their truck longer than originally planned. If you're one of these truck owners, there are a few affordable accessories that can help you get the most of your truck and extend the life of your truck.

- Truck bed liners and tailgate protectors: One way to extend the life of your truck is to protect the truck bed with a bed liner. There are a few options to choose from including spray-on or drop-in mats/rugs. By protecting the truck bed from rust, corrosion and scratching, you will extend the life of your truck and keep it looking like new. Another nice option for extending the life of your truck bed is a tailgate protector. A stainless steel tailgate protector can protect the tailgate from damage and also creates a flat surface to set tools on or acts as a makeshift fish cleaning station after a long day of fishing.

- Storage pockets and cargo organizers: Truck bed storage pockets and cargo organizers can help you utilize the truck bed space you have by creating additional storage from wasted space. Storage pockets keep your truck bed organized and clean, all while providing easy accessibility to items at the rear of the truck.

- Roll-up truck bed covers: Another truck accessory that will extend the life of your truck is a roll-up truck bed cover. These affordable roll-up tonneau covers are easy to install and give you 100 percent bed usage for hauling your gear. You simply roll up the cover to retrieve items in your truck bed.

-- ARA

The List

According to Forbes.com, here are the most popular vehicle colors in America:

1: White
2 (tie): Black
2 (tie): Silver
4: Blue
5: Gray
6: Red
7: Beige/Brown
8: Green
9: Yellow/Gold

Did You Know

On Labor Day, HBO will debut a documentary about the closing of a GM plant near Dayton, Ohio. According to news reports, former workers at the factory got a sneak peak of the film and loved it.

Car Q&A

Q: I own a 2003 Cadillac Deville with only 11,000 miles. The ABS, brake, and traction light came on. My mechanic called GM and they suggested replacing both crankshaft position sensors. I had him do that. The lights stayed out for two weeks and now they are back on. What do you suggest?

A: I would first ask the mechanic if he is familiar and understands the computer system. Second, has anyone checked the computer for fault codes? Your mechanic can also call Identifix for help in the diagnostic process. The crankshaft sensors are a common fault in the Northstar engine, and it’s a good idea to replace them if there is ever a fault code for them.

-- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist

GateHouse News Service