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Mariner, Escape are same vehicles

Dear Tom and Ray: I drove a 2010 Mercury Mariner as a rental in Tucson, Ariz., last winter. I'm a snowbird now from the Chicago area and need a car down there. I really liked the car but saw that it is being discontinued. Would it be a mistake to buy a 2010 or slightly older Mariner, in terms of future repairs and parts? I am a petite 58-year-old who drives a 2007 Honda CR-V in the cold, snowy weather. Thanks for your help.

-- Denise

Tom: It's not the Mariner that's being discontinued. It's the entire brand, Mercury!

Ray: But fortunately for you, the Mariner is exactly the same as the Ford Escape, which Ford continues to make and service. So any Ford dealer should be able to service this for you. And parts should be available as long as Escape parts are available.

Tom: I mean, you might have a problem with parts someday if the Mercury logo falls off. You might have to replace it with a Dodge logo or something. But other than that, you should have no trouble servicing this car.

Ray: Or, you can just buy a loaded-up Escape, which is almost identical. Either way, happy wintering, Denise.

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What's the best way to warm up your engine in the morning? Find out by ordering Tom and Ray's pamphlet "Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even Knowing It!" Send $4.75 (check or money order) to Ruin, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

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Got a question about cars? Write to Click and Clack in care of The Buffalo News or e-mail them by visiting the Car Talk Web site at www.cartalk.com. Tom and Ray's radio show is heard locally at 6 and 10 a.m. Saturday on WBFO-FM 88.7. Their new book is "Ask Click and Clack: Answers From Car Talk."

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