Questions and solutions from the ‘Automotive Physician’ – Saratogian

Estimated read time 5 min read

Q. So I’ve a foolish query. I do know the distinction between aligning and balancing wheels, however the fixed confusion is, ought to I do one or each when rotating tires?

A. No silly questions. By balancing the tires, the automobile can have a easy experience with no vibrations. Alignment retains your wheels straight, minimizing tire put on and enhancing dealing with. In case your tires put on easily and your automobile does not vibrate at freeway speeds, you might not want both. Alone automobile, I often verify the alignment if the pothole season is actually unhealthy. Steadiness the tires whenever you really feel the vibration. The reply is, if every part appears to be like good, simply rotate the tires.

Q. I’ve a 2011 128i BMW with 60,000 miles on it and it’s in immaculate situation. I common 4200 miles a 12 months. Final 12 months, I heard a squealing noise coming from his steering wheel, so I took it to the BMW. BMW put in a clock spring and despatched it off. Inside 2 minutes the noise was again. I introduced it again and was instructed it had been lubricated and was now good. Once more, similar factor. Once more, similar noise. After 7 visits I used to be instructed a 60,000 mile automobile ought to make that noise, since then 5 of his different mechanics have seen it and it is the steering rack, steering column and I used to be instructed it was now a gimbal boot. I do not even know if the automobile is protected to drive. I spent more cash than I ought to have, however the noise shouldn’t be sufficient to trouble me. Any concepts apart from exorcism?

A. We now have some concepts, however no concept that noise is regular. If the noise is above the bump, exchange the stabilizer bushing. Years in the past BMW got here out with improved elements to unravel the squeak/squeak noise. When you have a look at the image of the steering shaft, there’s a protect (most likely a gimbal boot) that causes noise. As for whether or not the automobile is protected to drive, I consider that after 7 or extra journeys to the restore store, any worn elements that have an effect on security will probably be found. I’ll show the noise to the store and pay for the restore solely after a radical highway check with a mechanic to verify the noise is gone.If that does not work please contact Ghostbusters .

Q. I wish to clear the within of the rear window of my automobile. My automobile’s proprietor’s handbook (you all the time say verify the handbook) says to not clear it with window cleaner.

A. I am curious why producers say they do not use window cleaner until it has an excessive amount of liquid or damages the rear window defroster grid. I’d use SprayWay or Invisible Glass window cleaner. On this case, use a microfiber material and spray it on the material to keep away from over-saturation.

Q. My 2014 Toyota Avalon got here with Michelins. Since then it has owned a number of totally different manufacturers together with Toyo, Yokohama and Bridgestone. May you please advocate a very good model as an alternative of Michelin (I wasn’t pleased with the experience) that can assist him with 40,000 miles subsequent?

A. Most tires nowadays are fairly good, however some are higher than others. The 2 I’d think about are Goodyear Assurance and a bit cheaper, however the Kumho Majesty 9 Solus continues to be higher. Taking a look at some sources they each have wonderful scores and lengthy tread life.

Q. I’ve a 2013 Ford Escape and after changing the battery at AAA the distant begin doesn’t work. why did this occur?

A. When AAA roadside companies exchange batteries, roadside technicians use memory-saving methods to keep up settings. These settings embody radio presets, alarm settings and engine drivability. Maybe the battery has failed or the voltage is so low that the distant begin misplaced programming.

Q. Do you advocate changing rotors when braking fairly than having them machined on a automobile or lathe?

A. There was a time when brake rotors had plenty of extra materials and machining was probably the most environment friendly approach to restore braking perform. Brake rotors are actually thinner and have a tendency to spherical as quickly as they resurface. For me, spending cash on brake rotors when changing brake pads is cash nicely spent.

Q. After studying your column, I am nonetheless questioning about water modifications in addition to refills. Do not spark plugs must be changed in some unspecified time in the future?

A. Some fluids must be modified usually, however if you cannot resulting from time, a minimum of hold all fluids full for different causes. Sure, spark plugs will final between 35,000 and 100,000 miles relying on automobile. Different objects corresponding to timing belts have particular restore/substitute intervals. The very best recommendation is to observe your automobile’s proprietor’s handbook. Gasoline injectors do not want common substitute, however they will profit from TopTier gasoline or high quality gasoline components. Expensive readers, when you have any particular questions on your automobile, please e-mail me ( with the 12 months and mannequin.

Q. I’ve an issue with my 2012 Ford Explorer and hopefully want some assist fixing the issue. The rear digital camera may be very foggy to take a look at and utterly ineffective. Any recommendations on what I can do to revive it to be used?The automobile has over 220,000 miles on it and aside from this annoying difficulty it runs very nicely.

A. The digital camera lens might have deteriorated from 220,000 miles of highway particles. You should buy a brand new digital camera on-line for $60-$100. The restore may be very simple and may be accomplished in lower than an hour.

When you have any car-related questions, e-mail Automotive Physician for a private reply.

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