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Deals on Wheels

Mysterious start is in atmosphere

DEAR DOCTOR: I have a 2009 Chevy Traverse. Twice during the past week we heard our car "turn over" as if attempting to start. No one was in the vehicle, nor was anyone pushing a remote start button. The car did not actually start up. Is there a danger of fire? Could it be a bad starter? The ...

Battery life relies on list of factors

DEAR DOCTOR: I have a 2013 Lincoln MKZ with the four-cylinder engine. I’ve had to replace the battery two times in five years — that’s three batteries in five years! Why would this be necessary? The car gives no warning; it just won’t start, even with a jump. — ...

Engine on 2017 Toyota Highlander keeps on ticking

DEAR DOCTOR: My wife has a 2017 Toyota Highlander that she loves, except for a loud ticking noise from the engine compartment when in gear. The car has 12,000 miles. The noise has been there since day one. On one visit to the dealer, two tech reps from Toyota listened and said “it is a ...

Student wants Nissan for winter driving

DEAR DOCTOR: My daughter is attending college in an area away from home where it gets more snow. She wants to take her 2012 Nissan Maxima, which is equipped with all-weather 245/40R19 low-profile tires. Here are options I'm considering: buy four rims and snow tires; have the existing rims ...

Why did the battery to a 2018 Honda Accord die?

DEAR DOCTOR: When I parked my 2018 Honda Accord and returned to start it, everything was completely dead. The only thing that showed any life at all was the blinking push start / stop button, yet pressing the button failed to start the car. After the battery was boosted, the car immediately ...

Here’s why the windshield is fogging up

DEAR DOCTOR: My father owns a 2009 Lincoln MKS with 48,000 miles. After 1.5 hours of driving with the outside temperature of 66 degrees with no a/c or heat on, I noticed fogging on the windshield (not heavy). It also happens in winter when the heat is turned on. Could this be a small problem ...

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 ...