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Articles filed under McAllister, Doug

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  • Weighing repairs versus replacement Oct 19, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I have a ’97 Mazda Protege with 156,000 miles on it. I keep up regular oil changes and the car has been good for the most part. With my recent oil change, they told me both the transmission and a valve gasket are leaking … nothing serious yet; just keep an eye on them.

     
  • Improve your fuel economy in minutes Sep 29, 2013 12:00 AM
    Some of the simplest maintenance items can save you the most amount of gas. For example, underinflated or bald tires can cause you to use a lot more fuel than you would with good, properly inflated tires.

     
  • Computer code is not full diagnosis Sep 22, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. When the “check engine” light went on in my car, I took it to the parts store and they gave me the fail code for the evaporative system. When I took the car to the repair shop to get it fixed, they said they would need to charge for diagnostics to find out what needed repair.

     
  • Car that burns oil will damage partsSep 8, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. If your car burns oil and you fill it back up on a weekly basis, do you still need to get an oil change?

     
  • Get your brake repairs done before winter Aug 30, 2013 12:00 AM
    Under the Hood column

     
  • New shocks, struts will be noticed Aug 25, 2013 12:00 AM
    I was driving down Route 14 the other day and I was following a car that was bouncing up and down like a basketball. It was almost scary to be behind it because the car looked like it was on the verge of being out of control.

     
  • Problems with long oil change intervals Aug 18, 2013 12:00 AM
    I feel like a broken record on this but I feel like it bears bringing up again because we continue to see cars coming into the shop with little or no oil in the crankcase. The longer car manufacturers push out the oil change interval, the more drivers get a false sense that the oil is just another one of those maintenance-free parts of the car.

     
  • Leaking head gasket can spell doom for carAug 11, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I have 2000 Eldorado with 82,000 miles. I bought it new and have always kept up the service. About a month ago it overheated.

     
  • Cheap headlight bulbs can be a hassle Jul 28, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. We have a 2004 Buick Ranier on which I have had to replace the low beam headlamps a total of five times — three on right and two on left — over the past two years. A local repair shop did three, a dealer did one and I did one after researching the “ How To” of removing the front grill without breaking it.

     
  • Cooling fan problem causes overheating Jul 21, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. Why is it that my car tends to overheat when I am stopped at a light but will begin to cool down as I am going down the road? I also don’t seem to have the problem when the air conditioning is on.

     
  • Extending life of antifreeze carries a financial risk Jun 30, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My comments and questions are about antifreeze. Some say it lasts two to three years when you buy a car new. Some say you can extend that to five years or 150,000 miles.

     
  • Vibration, differing opinions puzzle car owner Jun 23, 2013 12:00 AM
    In late 2012, I received a notification from Nissan that some Pathfinders, as well as other trucks, experienced radiator leaks into the transmission. The car now vibrates at 40 mph, but the dealer told me my transmission and radiator are fine. They say I need new timing chains.

     
  • Don’t over fill oil with newer car Jun 16, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I have a 2001 Buick Regal which, I understand, should take 4.5 quarts of oil on an oil change, NOT five quarts. Is the higher amount harmful to the engine? It does read considerably over the full mark on the dip stick when this happens.

     
  • Should CD player draw power when vehicle is off? Jun 9, 2013 12:00 AM
    In our May 26 column, we were trying to help a reader with a Mustang whose car battery often went dead. One of our readers has experienced the same problem and shared the following information with us about the CD player.

     
  • Battery draw could be from fuse, alternator May 26, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I own a 2006 Mustang convertible with 30,000 miles. I love the car but if I leave it for more than four days the battery goes dead. I have done my own investigation as trunk lights, doors left open, etc., with no luck. Now I just shut everything off. Any ideas?

     
  • A/C recharge is more complex than in the past May 19, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I have a 2008 Toyota Camry and my air conditioning stopped working. I noticed last year toward the end of the summer that it was not as cold as normal. Then this winter my windows did not seem to clear as easily as they have in the past. Is there any relation and where should I go to get it fixed?

     
  • Irksome dome light hard to diagnose May 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My overhead interior dome lights do not turn off after turning the car off. I have to manually turn them on and off. Also, my left rear passenger door does not open with the remote. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

     
  • Dashboard radio screen brightness on the blink Apr 28, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I own a 2007 Chevy Malibu LE 4 cylinder with 46,000 miles. I love the car except for one thing: the information located in the radio area cannot be read on a bright day. This displays the time, temp, radio station, etc.

     
  • Know the difference between red, yellow and flashing lights Apr 21, 2013 12:00 AM
    You should pay attention to dashboard lights. If one of your warning lights illuminates, do you know what to do? If it is one of the red lights that turns on, this generally means you need to find a place to safely pull over and stop the vehicle.

     
  • Traction control powers down the engine Apr 14, 2013 12:00 AM
    Occasionally when I make a left turn, just after starting my turn, there is a 100-percent loss of engine power. This is on dry pavement without any slipping of the tires occurring. I am 65 and don't do jack rabbit starts.

     
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