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posted: 3/24/2013 5:08 AM

Driver looks for more support from auto seats

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Q. We have a 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham in pristine condition with less than 70,000 miles. However, we would like to buy a new car with updated features, i.e., rearview camera, built in CD player, etc. The problem is I have a bad back, which is why we bought the Fleetwood to begin with.

It has luxurious, cushioned seating with lumbar adjustments and seat heating. We've been in other cars (Lincoln van, Chrysler sedan) that fail to match the comfort of the Fleetwood's seating. Everyone has lumbar adjustments and seat heating, but their seats and backs are too hard.

Can you tell us which cars have super comfortable plush seating? Cost is not the primary concern (within reason). Hope you can help.

Also, where would be the best place to advertise our Fleetwood for sale. We've had offers over the years far above Blue Book value but, of course, we didn't take names and numbers. Any ideas?

A. I am not sure how to advise you here. I know newer cars don't have couch-like seating some of the older Cadillac's did. My thoughts would be to try to find a car that you like the best and then see if you could have the seating augmented by an upholstery company or perhaps a limo conversion company.

If you can't find a car with a seat that's comfortable, a custom conversion may be your only choice.

As far as advertising the Fleetwood, you could try or Craigslist but be careful. There are some creative scams out there.

Your other choice is always to trade it in but I am sure you will get very little for it. You might start by simply putting a sign in the back window; you never know the right person might see it. I hope this gives you some ideas.

Don't neglect the timing belt!

We had a VW Passat in the shop this week on which it appears the client forgot to replace the timing belt at the recommended interval. The car is in perfect condition otherwise and all of the other maintenance items had been taken care of. The original belt went over 190,000 miles, well beyond its recommended life, before it broke.

When the belt broke it left the customer stranded on the highway at night, but worse than that, it did significant damage to an otherwise perfectly good engine. We had to remove the cylinder head to have all the bent valves replaced along with the normal items you would replace with a timing belt. The long and short of it is what would have been a several-hundred-dollar maintenance service turned into a several-thousand-dollar engine repair.

If your car has a timing belt, check the mileage against the recommended service interval for your car and be sure to perform this service on time. Not doing sot can be very inconvenient, not to mention expensive!

• Douglas Automotive is at 312 S. Hager Ave., Barrington, (847) 381-0454, and 123 Virginia Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-0440. For information, visit Send questions to

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