Articles filed under McAllister, Doug

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  • Headlights often dim as cars get older Jan 18, 2015 12:01 AM
    With the age of cars on U.S. streets and highways averaging 11.4 years, it is clear we are keeping our vehicles longer and longer. There is no doubt that today’s vehicles are built better, look better and are lasting longer than the vehicles in the not so distant past!

  • Vehicle continually burns out headlamps Jan 4, 2015 8:50 AM
    Q. My daughter has a 2011 Subaru Legacy with 140,000 miles. It goes through headlight bulbs at the rate of about one a month, left or right. She has gone to various shops to get them replaced, including the dealer, but no one seems to have any ideas why this is happening.

  • Cruise control acceleration should not differ Dec 28, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. On occasion I would be driving along and try to accelerate by pressing the cruise control button. My engine would rev up but the car did not go faster.

  • Fuel system may be losing pressure Nov 30, 2014 12:01 AM
    My car is a 2000 Type S Jaguar that I bought two years ago, now with 83,000-plus miles on it. One morning it didn't start right away, but I had backed into the driveway, which sloped about 15 degrees so the front of the car was lower.

  • Reader has suggestion for steering problem Nov 17, 2014 5:44 AM
    Here is a follow-up from one of our readers regarding the steering problem on an Astro van, which I wrote about several weeks back. He suggests a fluid change for the all-wheel drive steering system.

  • A number of issues can cause steering problems Nov 2, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. My 2004 GM Chevy Astro, which I highly prize, has a problem with the steering; it is extremely hard to turn at times.

  • Blown tire disrupts rotation pattern Oct 19, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I am at the point now where I need to replace the tires on my car. One tire dealer said I should just buy four tires and keep the spare I have. Although it is more expensive, I am considering buying five tires and going back to a five-tire rotation.

  • Spare tire needs attention, too Oct 5, 2014 8:27 AM
    Q. When I have the tires on my car rotated and balanced, I never think about the tire in the trunk. Other than making sure it is inflated to the correct pressure, should I have it looked at for signs of deterioration?

  • Fine scratches can be masked by polishing windshield Sep 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. I have a lot of little scratches on my windshield. Is there anything that I can put on the windshield to make the scratches go away?

  • An electrical component may draw battery down as car sits Sep 7, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. My wife’s car is a 2011 Nissan Juke, purchased new. The problem first started last year when, after sitting for about six or seven days in the garage, the car would not start because of a low battery.

  • Engine oil supplement may reduce noisy valves Aug 31, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. This is my third Mercury Grand Marquis, a 2005 with 78,000 miles bought new. Last winter, after the car had been sitting over night, when I started it up in the morning the valve lifters were very noisy.

  • Cheap brake pads may be causing squeal Aug 24, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We purchased a 2009 Volkswagen Eos and we just love the car. However, the brakes squeal loudly when I first start driving.

  • Loose wire remains elusive for a decade Aug 17, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I purchased a new 2000 Lincoln Cartier Town Car. Within a few years, the whole system just stopped; no air, no heat, no blower.

  • Brakes ‘thump’ when backing out of garage Aug 10, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I recently had my rear brakes changed on 2002 Toyota Camry XLE. When I back up every morning, they make “stump, thump, thump” sound.

  • Car owner frustrated with string of alternators Aug 3, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I have a 1992 Toyota Corolla with 105,000 miles on it. The concern I have is that I have replaced the alternator three times with an aftermarket alternator in the last 5 years.

  • Mice can do significant damage to autos Jul 27, 2014 12:01 AM
    We have seen several cars brought into the shop this year with rodent damage. I don’t know if this is because of the extremely long and cold winter we experienced here in the Chicago area but, whatever the reason, we have seen more of this damage recently than in years past.

  • No harm in changing fluids early Jul 6, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. My dealer recomends I change my transmission fluid and coolant. I checked the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual, which states these items don’t need attention with 34,000 miles. The dealer says the owner’s manual is written for several models and that the engineers recommend these items be done now. Is he correct?

  • On rare occasion, old transmission fluid can help Jun 22, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I recall reading somewhere that if the transmission fluid hasn’t been changed for a very long time, replacing it may not be a good idea because the new fluid is thinner and dirt free, compared to the old fluid. The implication was, one might be better off leaving things as they are.

  • Don’t ‘flush’ transmission fluid Jun 15, 2014 12:01 AM
    Last week I referred to the proper technique for changing the transmission fluid as an exchange, rather than drain-and-fill. It prompted this response from a reader.

  • Use proper technique to change transmission fluid Jun 8, 2014 12:01 AM
    Is there a specific test to determine to what degree one’s transmission fluid is fouled? I own two Honda Civics and do not know whether to follow the dash reminder notices or do more regular maintenance.

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