Q. You answered a question recently about turbo-charged engines and their overall performance. I seem to remember turbo-charged engines had a certain amount of hesitation when accelerated. It that still the case today?
A. My experience has been that there is very little “turbo-lag” in the latest models. Certainly it can take a second or two for the engine to develop maximum power but there is no hesitation. Recently I drove a 2014 Volvo S-60 T-6 powered by a 2.0 liter engine. In this model, the engine used both a supercharger and a turbocharger. Superchargers deliver power at lower speeds and turbochargers deliver power at higher speeds. The result was outstanding, with smooth even power delivery. This small 2.0 liter engine developed 302 horsepower and 295 foot pounds of torque, a number equal to a V-8 engine not that many years ago. In addition, my overall fuel economy averaged nearly 30 miles per gallon. In the near future I think we will see more of this type of sophisticated engineering.
Q. I have a 2010 Honda Civic I got used in December of last year, with only 20,000 miles on speedometer. I now just found out the trunk has been filling with water and into the back seat. Now the car smells like mildew, do you have any remedy or suggestions?
A. Return to the dealer as soon as possible and have the car tested for a water leak. Any wet carpet should be removed and any padding replaced. If there is mold or mildew in the car, washing it down with a bleach mixture should remedy the stinky situation.
Q. A couple of weeks when I was listening to your radio program I heard you talking to a caller about a problem with porous alloy wheels. The tires on his car were losing up to eight pounds of air per week. His thought was to install tubes and you suggested against it for a number of reasons, including heat build-up. I have a similar problem with my car but didn’t hear the answer, what should I do?
A. If the tires are leaking around the bead area of the wheel, the best thing to do is to remove the tires and completely clean and seal the wheel and tire with a dedicated tire bead sealer. If the wheel is actually porous then I would consult with a specialist that repairs alloy wheels.
Q. My son recently came home with a 2004 Ford Explorer, how do I check the transmission fluid?
A. Ford doesn’t use a conventional dipstick on this model vehicle. The procedure involves several specialized tools to check the fluid. The reason for this is to avoid overfilling, as well as improper fluid use by consumers.
Q. I have a 2004 Subaru Legacy. I recently had the tires balanced and rotated. The tires are only 7,000 miles old and an alignment was done when I got the tires. I have noticed that in some lanes on the highway the car will drift to the left. In the slow lane the car tracks fine. Is it te road or should I get another alignment? Before the balance/rotation the drift to the left was minimal.
A. All roads have a crowned to allow for water runoff. In the left lane cars will tend to drift left in the right lane they will tend to drift right. Since this wasn’t apparent before the tires were rotated I would suspect that one of the tires is causing the car to pull left. The simplest method to determine the answer is to rotate the left side tires. If the car stops drifting the tire is suffering for excessive tire conicity. This is a defect that causes the car to drift. I would return back to the tire dealer and have them evaluate the issue.