Q. I’m looking for a sporty car and I have been looking at the Infiniti G37X. As I have continued my search I found out the model has been replaced with the Q60. What do you know about this car and can it be driven in the winter?
A. The Q60 is a replacement for the G37, it uses an updated version of the 3.7 liter V-6 engine and the car is available in all-wheel-drive. I recently drove the Infiniti G60 AWD in the January snowstorm and found it surprisingly competent. The AWD system was able to handle slippery roads and fairly deep snow with little on no problems. In my opinion there was very little compromise of rear-wheel drive performance characteristics on the few dry roads I was able to drive on. I feel comfortable calling the Q60 a year round sports car.
Q. I recently purchased a 2005 Mustang GT with 28,000 miles on it. I’m the fourth owner of the vehicle, the first and third owners only had the car for six months each and the second owner for about seven years. It was checked mechanically and through CarFax and was found to be in excellent condition. Now my issue, I recently took the car to a brushless car wash and when I got home noticed that the paint on the front lip of the hood was chipped/peeled off. I thought that the hood had been previously repainted. I went back to a local Ford dealership with a body shop, and was told that this was due to having an aluminum hood with steel fittings. He said the hood can be sand blasted and repainted but the problem will likely recur in two years. My question: as the fourth owner do I have any recourse with Ford Motor Co?
A. Considering the car is a 2005 I don’t think it would matter if you were the first owner of the car, I believe too much time has passed by. Regarding repainting the hood, many vehicle manufacturers are using aluminum hood and trunk lids. I would look for a body shop that I familiar with preparing and painting aluminum
Q. I’m hoping you can help me, I own a basic 2011 Toyota Corolla and it has been perfectly fine for two years. One morning about three months ago my battery was dead. I was surprised, because it had less than 12,000 miles, I had it checked and it was fine. Then, a month ago, my battery died again, the diagnosis was that it was fine. So, why was it dying? My problem, I was told, was that ”I had driven less than 12,00 miles in two years and that current cars are built to be driven at least 12,000 miles every year. I explained that I was retired and not having an every- day- to- work schedule, no longer needed to drive every day, or even sometimes every two or three days. While the service man sympathized with my situation he said that “today’s cars were not built for your lifestyle.” So lately I’ve been taking my car for its 20 minute ride to nowhere every two days. Do you know if this is true of all Toyota products or all new cars? What are retirees supposed to do?
A. Driving a car 20 minutes every two days is in my opinion both a waste of time and fuel. My suggestion is to have the battery and electrical system tested. A typical car has between 30 and 50 milliamps of parasitic draw. This electric discharge is due to computers and other devices that require some amount of power, even when the car is off. Your cars battery should be capable of starting even after 30 days on non-use.
Q. I have a question about the 2006 Chevy Impala that I purchased with only 36,000 miles on it. I need the car to get around on the island that I live on, but have to do laps on the town streets with no real highway to speak of. The fastest road goes 45 mph and the only time it gets highway mileage is the two or three times a year I bring it to the mainland. My question is that since I bought it, I have never had any brake or tune up work performed. It runs perfectly fine and I do change the oil on a regular basis.
A. Local around “island” driving can wear the brakes more quickly than highway driving. Checking brake lining condition, this is a simple check and should be performed at least yearly. Regarding tune-ups, the term is almost obsolete these days. Spark plugs in your car are designed to last 100,000 miles. But that doesn’t mean that engine performance can be ignored. Filters should be check and replaced if dirty. A good repair shop should be able to advise you on what items need repairs.
John Paul, the “Car Doctor,” is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England and a columnist for Boston.com. A certified master technician, Paul tests dozens of new cars each year and also hosts a radio show on 950 WROL in Boston (www.wrolradio.com) on Saturday mornings at 9. Need car advice? E-mail John at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.boston.com/cardoctor for past columns, tips, and repair help.