Deals on Wheels

Check for faulty blend door for air conditioning problem

Dear Doctor: I drive a 2009 Honda CR-V. The passenger-side air conditioning is only blowing cold air when on the lowest settling; otherwise it blows hot air. The driver’s side is fine. The dealership told me the compressor “burned out” and also had a faulty valve. I paid $1,576, but on ...

Timing everything in changing hybrid battery

DEAR DOCTOR: I own a 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid with 100,000 miles on it. It runs fine, but how long can I expect the hybrid batteries to last? Do they ever need to be replaced? If so, is it worth the cost to replace them? Is there a way to tell if the hybrid batteries need replacement before ...

Water drain holes are a good thing

DEAR DOCTOR: I purchased a 2019 Subaru Forester Premium with 2.5-liter engine. I noticed that when I open the driver or passenger door after it has rained water pours out from the bottom of the doors. This does not happen when opening either of the back doors. I spoke to the service advisor ...

Key fob failure tough

Dear Doctor: We have a 2010 Nissan Murano with 43,000 miles. Both key fobs work sporadically to open the car. Most of the time, we have to insert the fob into the dashboard key slot to start it. The batteries in both fobs have been changed several times and each reads a solid 3 volts. There are ...

Changing fluids on vehicles

Dear Doctor: I seldom drive my 2011 Chevy Camaro — maybe about 5,000 miles annually. When should I change the oil, and other fluids, such as antifreeze? Should I do these changes once or twice a year? Al Dear Al: It’s always a good idea to change the oil and filter twice a year and do an ...

Buying used car: Change all fluids

DEAR DOCTOR: I’m considering buying a 2008 Lincoln Navigator with 90,000 miles on it. I want to know how to service / recondition it to get the best service and life from this high-mileage vehicle. What is the protocol for fluid changes, oil types, oil, and / or gas additives? — ...

Honda CR-V recall explained

Dear Doctor: I received a recall notice for my 2018 Honda CR-V. Apparently, there have been complaints about the oil mixing in with the gasoline in these turbocharged vehicles. The recall consisted of performing a software update and changing the oil. The owner’s manual calls for 87 octane or ...

Filters keep cabin clean

Dear Doctor: Whenever I lower the windows on my 2016 Toyota 4Runner, even slightly while driving, I get lots of dust and dirt in the vehicle. The dealer said put the vents on recirculate and stay off dusty roads. It’s really bad. Any suggestions? Michelle Dear Michelle: Yes, putting the ...

Reprogramming factory feature disables convenience

Dear Doctor: I love my 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan with all-wheel-drive. However, very often after locking the car and returning to it after shopping or working, I find all four windows open. Any ideas? Ira Dear Ira: This convenience feature on your Cadillac is designed to lower all windows to ...

Well-trained technician needed to correct car’s safety faults

Dear Doctor: I have a 2014 Ford Taurus. A light on the dashboard indicates faults with the blind spot and the cross traffic safety systems. The Ford dealer reset the system and said it was fixed. However it’s not. I have extended coverage until June 2019. What should I do? — Frank Dear ...

Ford replaces turbo because of pre-ignition detonation

DEAR DOCTOR: My 2015 Ford Fusion with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is at the local Ford dealership for a new engine, due to a piston breaking from a low speed pre-ignition incident. Luckily, the failure occurred at 59,000 miles, so the new engine is covered on the 5-year/60,000-mile ...

Push-button car has no-start issue

DEAR DOCTOR: We own a 2012 Dodge Charger with a V6, keyless entry and push-button start. There have been a few random instances of the car not starting -- no click, nothing. We had it towed to the dealership, who found no trouble codes and couldn't replicate to no-start condition. The battery ...

First Volvo built in US doesn’t disappoint

The 2019 Volvo S60 body lines are drawn to radiate this sport sedan’s muscularity, handling prowess and solidity. It’s an instantly identifiable as a Volvo, with the brand’s signature strong shoulder line. The S60’s appearance says, “I’m fast, sophisticated, and I will protect ...

Why the false mileage readings on the odometer?

Dear Doctor: My friend owns a 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan with 5,000 miles. She has seen the odometer “jump” by 100 miles (2,999 odometer miles turning to 3,100 instead of 3,000 miles). Her minivan was driven from Georgia to New York, along with a motorist in a second car — with both drivers ...

LED lights now available for all

DEAR DOCTOR: I have a 2018 Subaru Legacy with EyeSight. I dislike the look of the yellowish high / low beams against the white LED daytime running lights. I've been researching LED replacement bulbs and what I'm seeing mostly are conversion kits that are "plug-in play." Should I use a ...

Should I change transmission fluid?

Dear Doctor: The transmission fluid has never been changed on my 2006 Honda Odyssey with 145,000 miles. There are no problems with the transmission. Should I change the transmission fluid? Or, do a transmission flush? Bob Dear Bob: I suggest you drain the fluid (about 3 to 4 quarts will ...

Dealership needs time for ABS light diagnosis

DEAR DOCTOR: The ABS and the brake lights on my 2010 Honda Element came on and the vehicle has been at the dealership for over a week. Multiple checks have been done to figure out what is going on and so far they haven’t been able to fix it. Can you suggest other options? — ...

Clean oil keeps engine flowing, lowers gas mileage

DEAR DOCTOR: My wife drives a 2012 Toyota Highlander with 55,000 miles, and I drive a 2016 Highlander with 35,000 miles. Synthetic oil has been used in both vehicles since they were new, including changing the oil / filter every 10,000 miles. Neither car is subject to unusual climate or road ...

Driving an SUV in ECO Mode

Dear Doctor: I recently purchased a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It has an "economy fuel mode" option, but I'm not certain if it should be used or not. The manual states the following: When the Fuel Economy (ECO) Mode is engaged, the vehicle control systems will change the following: "The ...

Oil specified by carmaker a must

DEAR DOCTOR: I own a 2015 Infiniti Q50. The owner’s manual calls for an ester-based motor oil. This oil is very expensive. Is there any other oil I can use? I understand that Mobil 1 Synthetic has an ester-base. Can conventional motor be used and will it do the job? — ...