Filters keep cabin clean
Ask the Auto Doctor
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?
Dear Michelle: Yes, putting the climate control system on recirculate will help. I also suggest a cabin filter replacement. Do not use a cheap off brand air filter. If you are driving over dusty roads, then leave the windows closed.
Dear Doctor: The coolant pump on my 2013 Ford Taurus 3.5-liter V6 with 167,000 miles started leaking from the weep hole. This water pump failure could cause coolant to flood into the oil in the oil pan, destroying the engine. All of this is because the pump is inside the engine! Do you think owners should consider having the water pump replaced, leaking or not, to save an $8,000 engine replacement?
Dear John: Water pump failure can happen at any mileage on any vehicle. I have no idea what the engineer was thinking about this very poor design. The water pump replacement is very expensive on Ford engines. If coolant does leak into the engine oil it can destroy the engine bearings on the crankshaft and connecting rods. There should be an extended Ford factory warranty on the watery pump. Most extended aftermarket warranties cover the water pump replacement, along with most engine mechanical parts. For anyone considering the purchase of an extended warranty, research the warranty before the purchase.
Dear Readers: One final piece of advice on winter car care: Make sure you have the proper tire pressure. In cold weather, tire pressure drops a few pounds, which is enough to set the tire pressure light. The pressure will rise again as the tire temperature increases. Setting the tire pressure 3 to 5 pounds above the recommended the manufacturer’s specs will not cause any issues. (This is not recommended for drivers in the Sun Belt region).
Junior Damato is an ASE-certified master technician. E-mail questions for publication to firstname.lastname@example.org.