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Water drain holes are a good thing

Ask the Auto Doctor

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 at the dealership and he said that’s the way Subaru designed it, and it’s normal. Can dampness or moisture cause rust to the metal parts inside the door frame, or a buildup of mold and mildew? Have you ever heard of such a problem and is there anything that can be done before the warranty runs out!

— Richard

DEAR RICHARD: Here’s when holes in your car are good. All vehicles have drain holes in the bottom of the door panels. Some vehicles will drain more than others. This is normal, I’m currently driving a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek and it has drain holes in the door frame to drain the water.

DEAR DOCTOR: I bought a new Toyota Avalon and they wanted to sell me a 10-year bumper-to-bumper policy with different coverage levels, with the lowest coverage for about $3,500. I said no and he dropped the price by about $1,000. I still didn’t take it. With the advanced technology, and many gadgets that could go wrong — like radar lane departure assist, blind spot monitor, and a host of other sensors — do you think there’s a benefit to taking out a policy with more coverage?

— Will

DEAR WILL: The best extended warranties are the factory warranties, not the aftermarket ones. Many of the warranties do not cover the technology equipment equipped on most new vehicles. Bumper-to-bumper coverage does not include everything in the vehicle. Some of the aftermarket warranties will not cover worn-out parts, and parts that are covered will not always be backed by a factory replacement part, but rather a cheaper-quality aftermarket part. Should you decide to purchase an extended warranty, find out specifically what it does and does not cover before you buy it.

DEAR DOCTOR: We plan to replace our 2004 Honda CR-V next year. We like the updated CR-V, especially with the improved cargo space. However, I’m concerned about engine failures with this engine, which I’ve noted in various articles. A Honda rep at the local auto show said a software update solved the problem. What is your opinion?

— Pete

DEAR PETE: Honda did have a problem with gasoline mixing into the oil in some engines and under short driving conditions. However, Honda did fix this problem of the extra gasoline causing a rich condition. I drove a new CR-V without any issues. If you want to buy a new CR-V, I would not hesitate to recommend it.

DEAR DOCTOR: I have a 2015 Toyota Corolla that makes a whining noise when I accelerate. The car has about 56,000 miles, an extended warranty, and a prepaid maintenance program that is good until 100,000 miles. I have taken the car in for regular scheduled maintenance every 5,000 miles as recommended by Toyota and the dealership. I told the technician about the annoying sound and he said this noise is nothing to worry about. But it’s annoying to me. Should I live with the noise or stand my ground and tell them to keep the car until they eliminate the noise? Or, trade the car in for a different model, not a Toyota?

— Kuy

DEAR KUY: I see a lot of late-model vehicles that are under warranty with various owner complaints that the dealer says are OK, not to worry. You could go to an independent repair center, have them evaluate the complaint, and write an estimate to repair to the issue. You could go back to the dealer with the paid evaluation report for the free dealer repair. Note: some vehicles with a CVT transmission do have a whine sound from the transmission, and some are louder than others.

DEAR DOCTOR: On a trip to California, we rented a Buick Verano. We were very impressed with everything about the car. Gorgeous, solid had all the bells and whistles. So why did Buick stop making the Verano? Where would we go to buy one?

— Suzanne

DEAR SUZANNE: The car market has shrunk, giving way to trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. Your rental Buick may have been a good car as it is new, but look up and down your street or any parking lot, and check the types of vehicles you see. Very few vehicles are actually coupes or sedans. It’s a shame but it is reality. As far as where to purchase one, I would start with a Buick dealer and see if they can search for a pre-owned model in excellent condition.

Junior Damato is an ASE-certified Master Technician.

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