Articles filed under McAllister, Doug

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  • Donít over fill oil with newer car Jun 16, 2013 4:10 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 3:10 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 5:10 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 4:32 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 5:10 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 4:05 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 4:41 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 5:06 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.

  • Early tire pressure sensors beginning to fail Apr 7, 2013 4:34 AM
    Q. What is the deal with this low tire pressure light that keeps coming on in my car? It is so annoying and I can't seem to get it to stay off. The tire pressure seems fine. Help!

  • Driver looks for more support from auto seats Mar 24, 2013 5:08 AM
    Q. We have a 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham in pristine condition with less than 70,000 miles. We've been in other cars (Lincoln van, Chrysler sedan) that fail to match the comfort of the Fleetwood's seating. Can you tell us which cars have super comfortable plush seating?

  • Synthetic oil needs less frequent changes Mar 9, 2013 3:00 AM
    Q. I have a follow-up question to your response about rarely driven cars still requiring regular oil changes. I only drive 2,000 to 4,000 miles a year.

  • Rarely driven cars still require regular oil changes Feb 24, 2013 4:13 AM
    Q. I have a 2006 Equinox with about 35,000 miles. I only drive about 4,000 to 5,000 miles a year and am wondering about oil changes. Should I still be changing the oil every three or four months -- even if I've only driven 1,200 to 1,500 miles? Or can I go longer like five or six months until I get closer to 3,000 miles?

  • Nearly all oil is replaced when changed Jan 27, 2013 5:05 AM
    Q. My question is about engine oil capacity. The owner's manual states when changing the oil and filter it takes 7.7 quarts. I had my first oil change done by my Ford dealer. They replaced the filter and six quarts of oil.

  • Buy correct fuel for optimal performance Jan 20, 2013 4:17 AM
    Q. The owner's manual for my Jaguar says to use a minimum of 91 octane gasoline. The top gasoline at most stations is 93 octane, and 89 octane is also available. Would it hurt anything if I filled up with 93 octane and top it off with the 89 octane when I got down to a half tank?

  • Cold weather freezes up cruise control Jan 13, 2013 5:43 AM
    Q. I have been using the cruise control on my 2006 Grand Marquis on a regular basis. It works just fine except when temperatures get below about 40 degrees. Then I need to wait until the car warms up before it can be made to activate.

  • Winter tires increase traction for performance cars Jan 6, 2013 4:50 AM
    Q. I bought four Goodyear Eagle GTs for my 2006 Pontiac G6 GT coupe. They do not perform well in snow. Do you think this is because the tires I bought are too aggressive for the car?

  • Car maintenance is also smart finances Dec 30, 2012 4:44 AM
    One thing of which we can be sure is 2013 will be a more expensive year for most of us. I have talked about the advantages of good auto maintenance before but in these challenging economic times it is worth bringing up again.

  • Battery care is vital for stored cars Dec 16, 2012 7:49 AM
    Q. I purchased a new 6-year battery in January 2011. On average, how many weeks would a garaged 2002 Pontiac Bonneville's battery be OK before a trickle charger would be necessary?

  • Short trips still tough on engine Dec 2, 2012 5:20 AM
    Q. The dealer recommended I have the timing belt changed at a cost of $489.95, transmission flush at $169.95 and coolant flush at $139.95. I keep my 2008 Elantra in the garage when not in use. It is in showroom condition and only has 22,000 miles on it. Is this necessary?

  • Biodiesel blends worry fleet owners Nov 18, 2012 5:09 AM
    Here's a follow-up to my Nov. 4 column on biodiesel fuel blends. Many diesel fuel suppliers in Illinois are switching from B5 (5 percent biodiesel) to B20 (20 percent biodiesel) fuel. One fleet technician says Mercedes-Benz requires buyers of its diesels in Illinois to sign an engine warranty waiver due to the higher blend.

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