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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 Frank: The blind spot system needs to be checked with a Ford factory scan tool. You may have to find another Ford technician to examine your Taurus. It takes a well-trained technician who has thorough knowledge of the system to make the correction. Safety systems are great for offering additional protection when operating properly, yet when they fail they can be difficult to repair.

Dear Doctor: I purchased a used 2007 Chevy Impala with 100,000 miles last year. Occasionally, there’s a message saying the ABS has a problem. I put a scanner on it that said the problem is the right front sensor. I replaced the right front bearing with an inexpensive part. Should I replace the bearing with a better quality one? I have a second problem: sometimes the transmission shifts from first gear to neutral when driving from a stop light. When I let up off the gas it goes into second gear and then drives fine. There’s no check engine light on this issue. I don’t know if the transmission fluid was ever changed.

— John

Dear John: Inexpensive parts don’t always have the quality components and close tolerances as high-quality parts that meet the automakers factory specifications. As for the transmission issue, check the fluid level and its condition. I recommend you also remove the transmission pan and replace the filter and use the correct fluid. When a transmission slips there’s probably a loss of pressure that could mean its pulling in air, instead of fluid.

Dear Doctor: I have a 2010 Toyota RAV4 with 75,000 miles. The right side turn signal intermittently sputters, and then sometimes returns to a normal blinking interval. The dealer could not replicate the problem. In an online chat room, an owner with the same problem said he fixed it by disconnecting the battery, cleaning the connections, resulting in “resetting” it. My Toyota dealer, skeptical, did this at my insistence, but within 15 minutes of leaving the service department the problem recurred. The dealer checked the bulbs and connections. Please help.

— Richard

Dear Richard: The fault can be anywhere in the system, including the multi-function flasher. There could also be a fault in the turn signal’s directional switch. An intermittent problem is hard to track down without fault codes recorded in the system.

Junior Damato is an ASE-certified Master Technician. E-mail questions for publication to info@motor matters.biz. Mail questions with SASE to: Motor Matters, PO Box 3305, Wilmington, DE 19804.