Q. I have a 2012 Nissan Rogue and it has an annoying habit of locking the doors when I get out of the car. This can even happen when I leave the keys in the car with the engine running and get out and pick up the newspaper. Is something wrong and can it be changed?
A. Your car is set to lock the car when the vehicle is in motion. Perhaps disabling this feature will keep the vehicle from locking itself. I the vehicles owner’s manual there are some basic reprogramming procedures. The dealer may be able to do addition programming with the Nissan Consult scan tool. My other advice is, when you get out of your car you should always take your keys and lock the doors.
Q. My 2007 Honda has 100,000 miles on it. The back wheels or something in the back of the car rattles, could it be wheel bearings or something else?
A. It most likely isn’t a wheel bearing problem. A technician will put the car on a drive-on style lift and look for signs of a worn part. The drive-on style lift works best for this since the weight of the car is directly on the wheels better simulating driving down the road. Possible causes are: worn stabilizer links or the rear strut mount is rattling.
Q. My car recently got trapped in a small street flood. The car seems fine, how concerned should I be?
A. If the water didn’t get to the point of soaking the electronics the car should be okay. What I would do is remove the carpet, thoroughly dry it out and replace the mat. If you don’t do this there is a definitely possibility of mold and mildew growth.
Q. I recently had an oil change and after I paid the bill and car taken off the lift I was informed of some work that needs to be done to the tune of $600.00. Wouldn't it be better to have shown me cracked belt and the other need repairs? I realize that people don't have the money and mechanics must be paid but I felt uncomfortable with this situation. What is your feeling on this matter?
A. First off, trust your instincts, if you don’t feel comfortable get a second opinion. Regarding the actual work, I certainly would want to see the worn parts. In fact some garages are now taking pictures of areas that need repair and emailing them to their customers for approval.
Q. My 2003 Toyota Highlander has 152,000 miles on it. About 2000 miles ago I had all tires rotated at a tire store and then the wheel torque checked a short time later. Now, I found one lug loose and another broken when the tire was removed for inspection. The store blames the problem on fact that stud is not steel. When asked what torque they use, the manager replied all trucks get tighten to 100 foot pounds! Let me know what you think.
A. If the shop did actually torque the lugs to 100 pound feet of torque, the technician did over tighten the lugs by more than 30 percent. Considering the age of the vehicle, this could have certainly contributed to the lug and stud failure.
Q. I have a 2010 Toyota Highlander, when I turn on the AC and/or the defroster, there is a strong musty smell that comes out of the vents. What do you think is the cause of this? Have you heard of this being an issue with Highlanders? My father has a 2011 Toyota Highlander and when turning on the same AC and/or defroster it does generate the same smell.
A. This is usually caused by mildew/mold building up in the ventilation ductwork and air conditioner evaporator. The biggest cause is using the air conditioner in the air recirculation mode. You might try a disinfectant spray to limit the smell.
Q. Would you know why my 2007 Toyota Camry burns two to three quarts of oil before a 3000 mile oil change? I have read that Toyota says it is it normal to burn one quart of oil between oil changes. Toyota recommends changing the oil every 5000 miles, if I did that I go through six quarts of oil between changes. The car has 86,000 miles and doesn't smoke or leak oil, what is wrong.
A. The problem is not a simple repair. Some of these engines will use a significant amount of oil between changes and the repair involves removing the engine and replacing the pistons and other associated parts. Since this is not covered under warranty adding oil when necessary is the most economical solution.