Featured viewer questions
CP24 Auto Shop staff
Published Monday, June 18, 2012 11:24AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 11:31AM EDT
Our latest featured questions and expert answers:
Q: Hi my name's Eddie.
I have a 2007 mazda cx 7. It has 108 000km.
My question is whether or not the turbo is blown. If I leave the car idel for more then 10 minutes clouds of white smoke come from the exhaust until I take it for a good drive of obviously turn it off.
A: Normally if it is white smoke it is a bad head gasket if the turbo goes it's normally lack of power.
-- Mike Arbeau
I have a 2011 equinox with 80,000 km which I have to add a litre of oil every 2000,3000 km Gm states this is normal for the high performance engine. What do you think?
-- Heather, Guelph Ont
A: Most manufacturers today would consider adding 1 litre of oil every 2000-3000km to be normal vehicle operation. To me, and many technicians, however, that's considered excessive oil consumption. You didn't say which engine is in your Equinox. Oil consumption is a documented issue with the 2.4L engine in Equinox's 2010-2011 model years. I'd consult with an independent mechanic and ask whether using a lower viscosity oil for oil changes would be a good option here.
-- Shari Prymak
I recently had to replace the gas tank on my 2002 Toyota Camry. Now the car goes dead sometimes at a red light or when I'm turning a corner at a low speed. I took the car back to the Toyota Dealer where the gas tank was installed. Their only explanation was that it might be caused by bad gas. It seems to happen only when the gas tank is full, so I know it isn't bad gas. If I fill the tank to 3/4 full, it doesn't stall. The car has never stalled at high speeds. The car has 217,000 kms. on it.
Do you have any idea what the cause might be? I appreciate your help. By the way, I really enjoy your show.
-- Mary Simpson
A: Try filling up the tank and not putting on the gas cap. If the car does not stall as before, problem is likely in the E-VAP venting system.
Be aware the check engine light will come on with this procedure.
If the dealership likes you they should not charge you for turning the light off.
-- Ivars Plorins
Q: My BMW has 138.000 km, and I still have original brakes. The iDrive indicates the front brands are still good for 31,000 km, back brakes OK for another 33,000 km.
Most driving is highway, but this sounds too good to be true. Can I trust the on line info, or should I have the brakes checked and calibrated to be sure? Thanks,
-- Gerry Leslie
A: Hi Gerry, you might want to have them looked at, next time the car is in the shop for service. But German cars usually have long lasting brakes. I would not be surprised to see them last that long, especially because it's highway driven. I assume this is your first German car? Hope that helped
PS: Because the car is a 2006 you might want to consider replacing them due to age only just to be safe.
-- Brandon Pilkey
Q: The original alarm on my 2000 Honda Accord has a mind of its own- and goes off very loudly at times in the of the night.-a commendation is to disconnect the alarm system wired to the hood.
Is there any serious downside to this ?
Honda wants a minimum of $ 3-400 to check out all the contact points.
A: The problem with your car may in fact be the front hood latch which comes with the switch that triggers the alarm when opened. This is very common here in our cold climate due to the use of salt on our winter roads. A new latch for this car is about $100.00 plus about the same in labour to change it. If you want to disconnect the wire you could, but you would not have any protection from anyone trying to open your hood. With the hood open, they could disconnect your car's battery which then would make the entire alarm system dead, and not make any sound at all.
-- Alan Gelman
Q: Hi, I have a Sedona Kia. 2006.195,000 Kms, spent 1,700 on repairs, now have been told needs Arm bushing replaced , both, and later power steering needs to be replaced because it has a tiny leak..
Do you think it is worth putting any more money into it.
A: The van is worth between $4 and $5 thousand dollars if it is in good shape. You did not indicate why the control arms need replacement and what the estimate is. Recommend that you live with the small power steering leak and not spend more than say $1000 or so on the other repairs.
-- Eli Melnick
Q: Noise in muffler corrected twice in last 5 yrs. Recently paid over 1800 to replace muffler system from front to tailpipe. Still noisy when accelerating. Shop claim noise is result of new parts. Build up of carbon needed to dampen noise. It's that true or am I being give the run around?
A: After investing $1800 one would expect peace and quiet. If noise occurs on acceleration only, and the exhaust system is not leaking, the problem may indeed be internal. Is the exhaust OEM (original equipment manufactured) or aftermarket? Is it premium or has a second line system been installed?
Is the noise on acceleration normal or excessive? Get a second opinion.
-- Ivars Plorins
Q: Him I have to have my 2007 Subaru Imprezza head gasket replaced due to over heating and external oil leak, what would I expect for cost for this and should I also replace timing belt and water pump while it is being repaired?
A: According to my Subaru experts in Newmarket, this repair should end up costing around $2,500., if done properly. This means replacement of the timing belt and water pump as well as machining the Head and installing up-dated multi-layer gaskets. Apparently cylinder head gasket failure in the 2007 Impreza is common due to the original gasket design.
-- Ivars Plorins
Q: Hello, I have a 2007 camay 4 cyl, and i burnt over a litre of oil between oil change, the car have 130,000km I spoke to some friend and they have the same issue can you please offer some advice.
A: The first thing I would you suggest is having the PCV valve changed, make sure to purchase an original equipment one, they are the best. If this does not improve your car's oil consumption, then you could switch to a thicker oil perhaps from 5w20 that you may be using now to a 10w30. Otherwise just make sure to keep it within the safe zone on the dip stick.
-- Alan Gelman
Q: Hi my name is Imran
I have a 2010 Honda Civic, my front driver side caliper started to make noise and needed to be replaced.
I also flushed out the break fluid.
Is it necessary to replace the passenger front side caliper as well?
A: Hello Imran
I usually change calipers as pairs. This is to make sure there is no uneven braking such as pulling when brakes applied. If you do not have any off those symptoms you can opt to not have it changed. It is safe to change only one caliper.
-- Farid Kanji
Q: My name is Felisha
Hi I am looking to buy a 2003-2005 Nissan Murano but am unsure seeing that I have heard they give alot of trouble and transmission issues do you think this is correct.
A: Hello Felisha. Yes the transmissions on the Nissan Murano is problematic. The good news is that Nissan has extended the warranty on Murano's from the years 2003 to 2010. The warranty is for ten years or two hundred thousand kilometres. If you are considering buying a Murano I suggest you get hold off Nissan and find out from them if the truck is part off the warranty extension. They will need the VIN number and mileage.
Thank you hope this helps you out.
-- Farid Kanji
Q: Hi, I drive a 2000 chevy impala. 215k on it.Recently I have noticed a weird sound coming from the engine, the engine light is on too and lastly it seems hot from the engine because I can feel the heat from my feet. What j s the diagnosis and how much would it cost to fix.
A: Hi Elizabeth, sounds like you have an exhaust leak causing the heat. The leak could also cause the check engine light. In terms of repair cost hard to say, car needs to go on a hoist to diagnose.
-- Brandon Pilkey
The muffler on my 2007 Honda Civic has completely broken off from the rest of the exhaust system. There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the muffler itself but the main pipe leading into it has been severed. What is the approximate amount that it should generally cost to have this sort of problem fixed?
-- Vlad Aguiar
A: Hi Vlad:
Hard to tell from the photos but it looks like the car needs a part called a front pipe. Some shops try and weld a new flange which may or may not work. Pipe replacement budget ~ $250. Repair only ~ $150. If you plan to keep the car for a while I would go the replacement route.
-- Eli Melnick
Q: [I have a] Toyota Camry 2002 2.4L. Check Engine Light Comes with code P0440,0441,0446 in Summer (April to Oct) but no code in the whole winter (Nov to March). What could be the reason?
-- Naeem Khan
Great question. Your vehicle has an issue with its Evaporative Emission control system which could be caused by a number of different items. The vehicles on board computer system performs tests on various vehicle systems while the car is running. However, some of these tests require a minimum temperature in order to return an accurate result. One of the tests that is very temperature sensitive is the one which is run on the Evaporative Emission control system. During low ambient temperatures, the test may not be able to be run for a number of months should temperatures stay low as has been the case these last number of winters. Once things warm up a bit the system monitors can be accurately run and should a problem be present the Check Engine light will be illuminated.
One last thing, those trouble codes will prevent your vehicle from passing a Drive Clean test.
-- Jamie Holmes
Q: I own [a 2008 Saab 93 Turbo X SportCombi with 106,000 km] and was wondering if I should be worried about getting parts in the future and sell it. I really enjoy it and only drive about 700km a month so I was planning to keep it until it dies. Your thoughts?
-- Sean from Oakville
A: Sean from Oakville,
It is very difficult to predict parts availability for a limited production vehicle that is about to have its 10th birthday. If you love the car, carry on the love affair. Pray that a situation does not arise that any parts you might need do not exist in our universe. Until that sorrowful day arrives... drive on in peaceful bliss.
-- Ivars Plorins
My name is Mike. I have a 2006 Nissan Murano. I have a problem with the fuel gauge. When the fuel tank is full, it reads ok on the gauge but when the fuel drops below half tank, the gauge would drop to zero fuel. What do you think is the problem?
A: Hi Mike ,
More than likely the problem with your Nissan Murano Fuel gauge is going to be in the sending unit inside the tank, but before you go and start replacing parts I would suggest that you have a mechanic check it out. There could be an issue with the gauge itself as we'll.
Sometimes it's cheaper to have it diagnosed first then it is to just keep attempting part replacement.
If I can be of any more assistance please don't hesitate to ask.
-- Jason Russell
Q: I've been noticing a lot of used 2014 Mustang GT convertibles pop up in garages all over Ontario.
Is there any particular reason why everyone seems to be trading them in? I'm looking at buying one but I don't want to buy a year of a lemon if that's the case.
What would be a good price for a convertible Mustang GT with leather interior?
A: On the contrary, 2014 is one of the best years to purchase a Mustang. 2014 was the last year of the "old" body style, which means that it had been fully debugged by that point. Many times when a new design is released, it can take up to a few years to sort out any teething issues and minor problems that were not caught during the design/engineering stages. As far as pricing is concerned, that can vary depending on options and mileage, but you'll definitely be paying a small premium right now because spring is the most popular time of the year to purchase a convertible. That's also why you might be seeing more for sale right now. If you can find a GT Convertible with under 20k for around $30,000, that would be a reasonable price.
-- Shari Prymak
Q: Hello, I'm thinking of buying the diesel gmc canyon at the end of this year. What do you think of diesel vs the gas engines.
-- Rob from Barrie
A: Hi Rob , I guess it depends on what you plan on doing with the truck. If you drive long-distances or a lot of kilometers each year or tow something , The diesel would be a good option. The resale value on a diesel is pretty much always higher compared to gas version. If you don't drive a lot and don't tow anything heavy the gas model would suffice.
-- Brandon Pilkey
Q: Hello Mohamed,
I am looking to purchase a new vehicle, I've narrowed it down to 3 choices: 2015 Honda CRV SE, 2015 Mazda CX-5 GS AWD, & 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 Touring. I would really appreciate if you could tell me if the issues with the CR-V's AWD system and how the rear wheels do not engage when needed (incline snowy hill), or the Forester 2.5 L engine oil burning issues have been resolved. In your opinion, which is the vehicle you would select based on these 3 choices.
-- Jeffrey S.
A: In my opinion, the 2015 Subaru Forester would be my number one choice. It has been rated by Consumer Report as one the best SUV in its class. my second choice wil be the CRV; it's very reliable and has a very good resale value.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
Q: What do you suggest in the CUV lineup, e.g. Mazda CX5 or similar?
Also, how reliable is AWD versus FWD? Is it worthwhile as a $2000 option?
-- Bob Greenhalgh
A: My first two choices for a Sport Cute (CUV) is the Toyota Rav4 or the Honda CRV. I personally have owned 2 CRV's myself and they have been very reliable and inexpensive to maintain. Generally speaking, most people who do own them - love them, which explains why there are so few available on the used car market, people keep them forever. If there is a third choice, for me it would be the Hyundai Tucson, but primarily a new one rather than a used one with too many kilometers on it. As far as 4 wd versus front wheel drive, again it's a personal preference. The front wheel drive is less expensive to buy and gets better fuel economy but of course you don't have the same traction on snowy roads. In either case winter tires would be advised for our climate.
-- Alan Gelman
Q: Hello! I'm Phil from Whitby!
I took home a Certified Pre Owned VW Passat from the Dealer's lot for the 1st time and as soon as I hit 401, the Tire Monitoring System light turns in and stays. Does it mean the system needs to be rec-calibrated? But, by whom? Mebor Dealer? Isn't this part of the Safety Standards protocol?
-- Phil from Whitby
A: It depends on whether the dealer switched to winter tires. If that's the case, it's common that the tire monitoring light will come on because some of these winter tires don't come with the monitoring pressure sensor. If the vehicle still has the same tires that it came with when it was purchased new, then there is a problem and the consumer should go back to the dealer to find out what the problem is.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
Q: Hi there,
I have a question that I can't really get a straight answer for that I was hoping you could guide me on. I bought a 2014 BMW 328 speed 6 manual 4 sedan vehicle. I store the car for the winter and this will be my second winter that it's been put away. I hook it up to a trickle charger to the battery and I've been told that I need a fuel stabilizer. Last year I never did and the car was fine. Half the people say I don't need the stabilizer and the other half say i do. What do you think? Should I put a fuel stabilizer?
A: I would definitely use fuel stabilizer. Most fuels typically go stale after 2-3 months and basically turn to varnish. Some top tier gasoline can last longer, but for the cheap insurance of a fuel stabilizer, I wouldn't risk it. Your car has a somewhat finicky drivetrain and fuel system that's sensitive maintenance and driving habits. Why risk driveability/rough running problems over a $10 stabilizer? Your car is also electronic heavy, so great call on using a trickle charger to maintain battery charge. Make sure it' s a BMW-approved battery tender though!
-- Shari Prymak
A: As for your question as to weather or not it is a good idea to put a trickle charger on the battery I would suggest a battery tender which acts as a smart charger and will only charge the battery when necessary. This will not over charge the battery or let it get too low on charge and have the possibility of freezing and will extend the life of your battery.
For the question of weather or not to put fuel stabilizer in it is always suggested to do so when leaving a vehicle sit for a period of time as the fuel separation that will take place and the gel forming of fuel will not happen. So yes in my opinion it is a good recommendation in this case.
These are both very good practices in helping the longevity in your vehicle as maintenance today saves so much money in break downs and or repairs. Remember your car is an investment that you want to last and not let you down. If you regularly maintain them it will extend the life of you vehicle.
Hope this answers your question and removes your doubts.
-- Jason Russell
Q: My question is if aftermarket upgrades are done on the car does it enhance or deplete the value of the vehicle? They were all done by the dealership and appear to be very well-done. I'm just wondering him the market when I go to resell providing if kept in good condition how that work will be perceived by a buyer?
A: Typically aftermarket upgrades are provided to customers so that they can individualize their car. When you do these kind of upgrades you're really doing it for yourself and the pleasure of owning your car. Therefore the value you pay for these items will usually not be realized when you trade the car or resell the car. Expect to gain $.20-$.30 on the dollar. This does not seem like a great return on investment, however remember you did the upgrades for your own personal satisfaction, and that should have some kind of intrinsic value.
You made a comment that the upgrades were installed by the dealer, and this is the best way to do them. The manufacturers usually choose items to offer customers as upgrades in a tasteful manner that will enhance the look and performance of your vehicle, so I do not believe they would diminish the value of your vehicle. Be careful not to go overboard with upgrades, pick a few that are tasteful and enhance the vehicle, this will eliminate future buyers being turned off with a car that has been overdone.
-- Kevin Bavelaar, Auto ShowPlace
A: Re 2001 Chev Tracker. At night I've noticed my dash lights have a slight flicker to them. The headlights also flicker a little. Maybe an alternator prob?
Do your think this needs immediate attention or should I wait for the dreaded red light to come on? Some say it could continue to function a long time, some say fix it now. As a senior citizen, money is always a concern.
Don't want to spend the money it I don't need to.
-- Frank from Mississauga
A: Yes, the alternator is a good guess.
It's all about your tolerance to being stranded somewhere. The alternator will fail at some point but it is impossible to predict when.
You could take a chance and keep on driving. Just make sure your CAA membership is paid up...
-- Eli Melnick
Q: Should I buy a 2007 Hyundai Sonata with 262 000 km for the price of $3500 or a 2004 Honda Civic with 171 000 km for the price of $3500? I will not be driving it too much just to and from work. I'm not too sure about Hyundai what would be your preference?
- Japneet Cheema
A: I believe the Civic is a better buy; it has less mileage and it's a more reliable vehicle, as long as they take it for an independent inspection.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
A: You do understand that this a lot of KM's for any car, and it is imperative that you have the vehicle checked by your own mechanic prior to you plunking down your cash. If the Honda is in good condition, has passed this initial check up, and comes as well with a Ministry Safety Certificate and a passed Emission test, then yes it would be okay.
But first you have to inspect it and have the mechanic take it for a test drive too, just to make sure that the transmission is working as it should.If possible you should find out about the repair history as well. If the timing belt has not been done and breaks, you could ruin the motor.
-- Alan Gelman
My lease on a 2011 BMW comming to an end in few months(3 months). When do I start negotiating for a new vehicle as well as some extra mileage that's on my current BMW?
A: A month before your lease expires, start looking for another vehicle; that will give you time to find what you want and to negotiate a good price. It's always cheaper to negotiate the fee for the extra mileage at the beginning of the lease.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
I own a 2011 VW Golf TDi (diesel) wagon. The factory oil change service interval is 15,000km. The dealer I purchased the car from recommends changing the oil every 8,000km or almost twice as frequently as the factory recommends. The dealer tells me that Toronto city driving is hard on these vehicles. This seems like a cash grab to me. What do you think?
I love the show.
A: My local VW expert also recommends oil change at 8 to 10,000 km. Extending to 15,000 km seems a bit extreme to me, and I do not think it is a cash grab. Better safe than sorry!
-- Ivars Plorins
Q: I have tried but have been unsuccessful in getting thorough on the phone lines on CP 24,hopefully you might be able to help me with this problem. I had taken my 2010 Ford Focus in for an oil change at the dealership. My car has 37000 km I was told I needed front brakes/ replace pads & rotors. service calliper slides. I was told if I were taking a trip to Ottawa that I might make it there but would't make it back. My brakes don't screech nor do I have to push down on the brake pedal to come to a stop. Since getting this news I have been to Ottawa & \Niagara Falls and I have had no problem. I'm really wondering do I need this work done? I am a senior and female, I 'm not sure if I am being taken advantage of ,any help would be greatly appreciated.
A: The only way to know if you need to replace the brakes or not is to go to an independent and trustworthy garage to get a 2nd opinion.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
A: I feel Barbara doesn't need the brakes maybe she should consider a second opinion by independent mechanic.
-- Brandon Pilkey
Q: Hello to everyone,
When inflating my vehicle tires to the correct pressure, should I use the information from the vehicle owners manual, or should I use the information on the walls of the tires? Thanks for you help
A: Tire pressure:
On most modern vehicles, the tire specifications can be found on the driver's door frame.
This tire information decal will specify the correct tire size and the cold inflation pressure for the front, rear as well as the spare tire.
The magic word is cold as tire pressure increases with temperature that could skew your readings. Check tire pressure with a reliable gauge in the morning, before the vehicle is moved.
The correct pressure will provide optimum handling along with the best fuel mileage.
-- Eli Melnick
Q: Hello, I just got a 2002 Acura Rsx types, it has high kms 280km runs fine but what kind of maintenance should I do for the car to last me about 2- 4 years? Maybe timing chain?
A: Make sure you do oil changes on time (every 5000km), do a transmission service if it has not been done, the timing belt needs to be changed if it has not been done, check all the fluids and see if they need to be replaced.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
Q: Hi Mohammed,
Hope you are keeping well. I watch your show sometimes and I hope you can help me out.
I have had two unfortunate accidents due to bad weather conditions in December 2013. Wawanesa (my insurance company) has bumped my premium to more than 375% as of July 1st without any prior letters or warnings. My renewal date is August 1st, 2014. They are requesting a monthly payment of $ 870.35.
I have a 2008 Toyota Corolla 4 DR LE. Although I have accident forgiveness for the first accident on the policy, it seems like the insurance company is declaring both accidents as at fault. It is very hard for me to get insurance now and if I can get one, the price is way too much for me.
If you are able to help me in any way, please contact me at (416) 998-7930 or (416) 335-7930.
I would really appreciate any recommendations or contacts that you may have for me.
Thanking you in anticipation
-- Marie Lall-Dwarka
A: The exposure to the insurance company with regard to this person is high because of the history. I would recommend that she shops around. According to the broker I talked to, there are only 6 insurance companies that will be willing to consider her and it would be subject to eligibility rules.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
Q: Good morning:
My mother and I are thinking about buying a car for the first time. The deal is, she will pay for the car and I will handle the other expenses.
I have narrowed my option down to the Hyundai Elantra GL and looked at the cost of a pre-owned vs. the new. Based on my research, the price variations are not that wide, and I believe I would get more out of buying a new car. But I am conflicted and very unsure on what direction to go in being a first time car buyer.
It is my hope that you could offer some insight and advice on my conflict.
A: I would advise that you to purchase a new Elantra because of the incentives Hyundai is offering.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
We have a 2006 Honda civic with 258000k. Sometimes while driving in the city in traffic the heat meter goes to the max without any obvious reason, which goes back to normal automatically after sometime, we took it to mechanic but they don't find any problem, should we just ignore it?
A: Do not ignore over-heat indication. It could spell engine death if it persists. Two things come to mind. The first is that there is inadequate air-flow through the radiator. Perhaps the fan is not coming on. There is also a possibility that a head gasket problem is starting. Do Not Ignore! Danger!
-- Ivars, Byford Garage North
I would like to trade in my 2005 Camry with 164000km for a new subcompact such as the ford focus hatchback, kia soul, hyundia hatchback or one you can recommend for under or close to $20,000.00 Please advise Thanks so much.
A: I would recommend the Hyundai GT or the Mazda3 sport base.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
Q: Dear Karman
I am in the process of moving from Oslo Norway to Toronto. I have a Mercedes C 240 Classic 2007 model. I was wondering if you'd advice me to bring it to Toronto or leave there?
It has 88,000 KM on it. No accidents, no major repairs. I don't have a pic, I'm afraid. Warranty has expired and I don't have extended warranty on it.
In Norway they don't use road salt any more and since this is a European model I was wondering if it will be able to with stand road salt if I bring it to Toronto.
Your advice will be very helpful for me to take a decision.
A: First, you should find out the value of this vehicle in Norway. If the price is higher, then you should sell it there and buy a similar vehicle in Canada. Remember, the transportation cost alone will be at least $1,500.00 if not higher. If the price is much lower, then you should bring it to Canada provided the vehicle meets Transport Canada requirements.
Unfortunately, the last year for the C240 in Canada was 2005.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
Which one would be a better deal, considering that both are in the same price range:
- A brand new 2014 Toyota Highlander, or
- A 2013 Acura MDX, tech, 25,000 KM, one owner.
Thanks in advance.
A: Both vehicles are very reliable, the handling is excellent, they both come with a lot standard options. The difference is that the 2013 MDX requires premium gas which can be very expensive and it burns a lot of fuel. I will go with the MDX only if you require a lot of seating otherwise I will recommend the 2014 Highlander.
-- Mohamed Bouchama
A: Hello Serge, I would suggest that you test drive both and see how you feel driving each. They are very similar vehicles with similar engine output and fuel consumption on the V6 engine. The Highlander is available with 8 seats opposed to the MDX with 7. The Highlander also has a redesigned rear suspension, now a double wishbone style which improves the overall handling.
-- Brandon Pilkey
Q: In the last couple of weeks I started struggling filling up my gas tank. It stops every two dollars, then I have to wait a couple of second and again every few seconds stops filling up. My car is a Hyundai Accent 2002. What can be problem? How expensive can be the fix (estimate)?
A: Hello Mauricio, On your Hyundai you should get the the filler vent tube checked out to see if it is plugged up. If that is fine the next items to get looked at are the charcoal canister and the vent valve you will more than likely find a problem in that area as to your problem. As for cost wise it's hard to say until the problem is diagnosed
-- Farid Kanji
Hi, my name is Chris. I have a 2004 Chrysler Sebring with 1800000k on it, and I an starting to notice some rust damage. I was wondering if you think it makes sense to get body work done to a car before you sell it or if its better to just sell it as is?
Don't do a thing to it. Your car, as described, is worth $2000 retail at the most. The cost of rust repair, depending on the severity, can easily exceed that. Sell it as is.
-- Shari Prymak
Is it worth either replacing a bumper that has some scrapes or not if you plan on trading in a vehicle as the dealer will use a paint meter to test if the paint is original. What's the best bang for my buck.
I need more information on the car to accurately answer this one. Chances are though that the cost of replacing a bumper wouldn't be recuperated in the form of higher car value. If the bumper is merely scraped and not cracked, it's probably best to leave it as is.
-- Shari Prymak
You have a great show on CP24 on Sunday evenings, I enjoy watching. Could you give me your opinion on the following 2 scenarios:
I drive on the QEW to Niagara Falls frequently, usually at 110km per hour. The car's fuel consumption computer shows 8.9L to 9.5L per 100km using regular gas.
My wife and I recently drove to South Carolina, and in the US I used Extra gas instead of regular.
I noticed a difference right away on my computer, it was showing 7.4 to 7.9L per 100km at 110km per hour. Even though the car takes regular gas, is it beneficial to use extra?
And, the computer also did not change much if I went from 105km per hour to 120km per hour.
If as you say the car takes more gas if you speed to 120km , wouldn't the computer show that. Of course driving in the mountain regions of West Virginia and Virginia, the computer was going over 9.0L when going uphill.
So, question 1) is it worth using extra or supreme for performance, and question 2) do well tuned cars actually use more gas at 120km than at 110km
First off, don't trust your car's computer to be 100% accurate. There is a certain degree of variability with fuel economy readers in cars. There may have indeed been a drop in fuel usage, but it could have been attributed to a number of factors: 1) Consistent highway driving technique over a long period. 2) Tire pressure change 3) Engine that has been running at full operating temperature. 4) Recent engine/oil service. 5) Elevation changes due to mountainous driving (The higher you go, the less oxygen there is and thus, engine performance is reduced). If your car was not designed by the manufacturer to use premium gasoline, then there is no benefit to using it. Regular gasoline is sufficient to maintain optimum engine performance. Fuel economy is indeed hurt being increasing road speed, however, once again there are more variables to consider. What engine speed does your car turn at 120km/hr? If it's below 2000rpm, then you're still in the optimum range for fuel efficient driving because your engine is not working very hard.
-- Shari Prymak
Great question Val, first of all I must say that the car's computer works as an approximate indicator of mileage, but to know accurately you do need to document the mileage and fuel consumed over a period of time,, say one or two tank fulls of gas and then do the calculation.
Does premium fuel improve mileage,,I don't think that is the norm, in fact we usually tell people not to waste their money on premium / super gas if their car calls for regular, especially now a days when the difference per liter can be 10 cents or more. Besides, its not as if you are going to gain any horsepower by doing it.
As far as your second question, yes vehicle use more fuel the faster you drive them.
If mileage is a big concern, make sure to check your tire pressures regularly, and have your mechanic replace your vehicle's air filter if its dirty.
-- Alan Gelman
With the closure of the majority of the Suzuki dealerships where can we take our SX4 for warranty service?
I have just been in touch with Trento Suzuki, for the next 5 years warranty work can still be done by any shop that is a Suzuki Authorized dealership. For further information, here is the Suzuki Canada web site: http://www.suzuki.ca/suzuki/assets/cms/2013AutoWarrantyBookE.pdf (external link).
Once out of warranty or for that matter any servcie that is not covered, such as regular maintenance, brakes, tires, oil changes etc will all have parts available for years to come in the aftermarket.
Hi Mr. Bouchama,
I am a fan of your show. I recently purchased a new 2013 Lexus CT200h from a Lexus dealership. I also ordered the clear 3M laminate for the hood, fenders and mirrors, installed by the dealer. When I went to take delivery of the vehicle I noticed that when they installed the laminate, they used a blade to trim the laminate and they cut into the paint. So the blade cut right through the clear coat. They promised to refinish all affected areas. I also found the paint was peeling from the rear bumper. The dealership also promised to repaint the rear bumper.
I have to wait 1 week for them to fix all the problems. They said my car will be ready by this weekend.
Am I allowed to walk away from the deal because of all these problems? If I cannot walk away, what type of written guarantee should I ask for because the paint is no longer factory original. If I am forced to buy the car, I would like some written protection but I don't know what I should ask for.
In addition the dealership charged $995 pre-delivery inspection fee, they delivered the car in this horrible state. What do they inspect for $995 ??
Thank you for your help.
This consumer should demand that the dealership replace all the panels that have been affected; he should insist that the dealership uses Lexus painted parts; this way, the resale value of the vehicle will not be affected.
I would like to buy a Mercedes ML 350 2012 + from a local auto dealer but they are all imported from US with low mileage and the price is cheaper than buying a Canadian car. My question is how safe is it to buy a US car and what are advantages or disadvantages?
Advantage of buying an American car...on higher-end cars like Mercedes, savings can be significant... not so much on cheaper run of the mill domestics.
Things to watch out for: insist on proof of vehicle history, make sure warranty will be honored in Canada. Is the car compliant with Canadian Regulations? For example daytime running lights, bilingual air bag warnings on sun visor. Sounds silly, but can be a pain on certain cars.
I have always driven a Ford...from a Ford Excursion..then I had two Explorers...now I'm in the Escape. Not sure that I want to go on to the Ford Focus Hatchback. I am thinking at the age of 59 it's time to give up my 2003 Escape and buy something not brand new...perhaps a 2010-12 SUV of some sort. I have been very happy with the maintenance costs of owning a Ford much less expensive for repairs compared to my friends Acura or BMW...or even my son's Land Rover...Wow! it costs a fortune for their maintenance and thinking ahead I won't be able to afford the higher costs of that maintenance. Yes I could afford a lovely Mercedes GLK 350 right now but it's the maintenance down the road I'm concerned about....I don't have huge retirement funds for this.... I like the SUV feel and I will take a Focus Hatchback out for a ride...Thought about the Honda CRV as well. Any suggestions of what to look at?
The 2014 CRV, it's a very reliable vehicle, the maintenance is not very expensive, the resale value is excellent. The only drawback : lack of power.
The 2013 RAV4, it's also reliable, it handles very well, it does not have that stupid tire at the back anymore, and it's reasonably priced.
The 2014 Focus hatchback looks very nice, the reliability is above-average, decent power, but lately there were some complaints with regard to the automatic transmission.
I have a 1998 corolla n it fail emission because engine check light is on..code showing 441 and 446...im trying to fix myself...any advice???....thanks...john
Hello John. The codes that you have are emissions related. It's best to have the defective items checked out by a certified emissions technician and find out what has failed to trigger those codes. Once you find out what you need you can opt to replace those parts by yourself if you choose to do so. In that way there is no guess work as It can get expensive if you are not sure off what to change. Thank you.
We have a 21 month old boy, and a second baby coming in November, and have narrowed our SUV search down to the 2014Volvo XC90 and Lexus RX350. Which vehicle would you recommend and why?
Nicole in Toronto
I would recommend the 2014 Lexus RX350. Reliability is very good, drives and handle well, high resale value.
I have a 2010 Jeep patriot that makes a grinding/grating noise from passenger front end when coming to a slow stop. It only does this after driving for about half an hour. The brake pads and rotors have been replaced as well as the knuckle and axle drive shaft but still makes noise .I don't think dealership knows where to look. Any ideas?
I can tell by your e mail a fair amount of work has been done on the front of your truck. I would get the front wheel bearing looked at to see if there is any play in it. Also on that particular type of truck had a lot off lower control arm issues get the bushings on the arm checked also. I have come across a couple off patriots with loud noises coming from the control arms.
I watched your TV show, It is really a good show, I am also looking for a car (Toyota Corolla), I want to know do I have to mind the year of the car or mileage? If 2005 Toyota Corolla ,140,000,e-tested and safety is done, it is for 6000.00, Is this prize is high? how can I find any other problem with the car?? pls help me . thx
The price seems reasonable as long as the vehicle has not been in any major accident. To find out about this information, Mary should ask for a CarProof report and she should take the car for an independent inspection.
We have a 2010 dodge ram 1500 pick up truck with a safety recall for the rear axle pinion nut which could loosen and allow the rear drive shaft to detach from the rear axle or the vehicle .
While Chrysler has sent out notices that they will do the repair there are no parts available and no estimated availability dates from customer service .
So my question is...how can we find out when these parts are available as the vehicle is unsafe to drive. What options do we have?
According to my source at Chrysler, this is the second time recently that world headquarters has thrown its' dealers under the bus. Central command notifies customers that their vehicles have problems which will be covered under warranty. Due to a parts shortage, repairs authorized by the mother ship cannot be performed by the foot soldiers.
What can the consumer do? Good question. Will Chrysler supply loaner rides to stranded victims? Good question. Chrysler customer service can be reached at 1800-465-2001.
I have a 2010 Ford Fusion with 42,000 kms on it. I purchased it new Oct. 10/09.
My drivers side interior door handle broke and will not lock properly. I took it to the dealership and was advised it will be approximately $200 to replace as I was over my 3 year/60,000 km warranty.
I went on line and found that many Ford owners are having the same problem and some have replaced their door handles more than once.
In all the years I have been driving (39 yrs) I have never had a door handle break. I contacted Ford Canada and they have said there is nothing they will do about it since I am over my warranty.
It is very unusual for the door handle to break off. This is clearly faulty material and/or workmanship and expired warranty not with standing. I think a door handle should last the life of the car. This is also a safety/security concern. This should be a recall issue.
Do you have any suggestions?
If you're looking for a way for the dealership or Ford Canada to cover the repair cost, forget it. Out of warranty is out of warranty. Ford is under no obligation to fix the problem. Moreover, Ford has sold hundreds of thousands of Fusions over the years. The fact that there are people online who have had this problem does not make it common. My advise is to just get the handle fixed and don't let a $200 repair sour your ownership experience of what is generally considered to be an overall reliable car. We live in a cost-cutting, outsourcing, downsizing, more work from less people era called Globalization. Unfortunately, the result is that parts quality is not what it used to be and repairs of this nature should be expected once in a while. I've seen similar problems occur on sixty thousand dollar Acuras; cars which are considered to be some of the best built in the industry. It happens.
Hi: I own a 2010 Chevy Traverse still on warranty. When the outside temp is between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius both rad fans run immediately when I start the vehicle and continue to run continuously until I stop it. When temp is below 0 or above 10 the rad fans don’t run.
I have been to the dealer four times with this problem. They scan the system and say all is normal. Last week they replace the engine computer I still have the same problem. Help
I'm a little confused as to why the dealership replaced the computer when they said all was normal with the car. But in any case, you didn't mention whether the dealership was able to replicate the problem. The best thing to do in a situation like this where the problem is intermittent is to leave the car at the dealership, leave them with instructions, and see if they can replicate the problem themselves before the give their diagnosis. If they insist that there isn't a problem, take it to another dealership for a second opinion. You have a warranty. This is what it is for. Keep at it. If you don't get anywhere, you can always call Car Help Canada for additional support.
I have a 2010 Infiniti G37X with 3800 original km. The vehicle was in a collision to the tune of $18,000 in damages. ($6000 was for labor and $12000 in parts and taxes.)
All damaged parts were replaced with new Infiniti parts. There are no problems either visual or mechanical.
My question is, how much of a hit should I take on selling or trading in the vehicle? The incident is recorded with CarProof.
The market value of a 2010 G37x with 3,800km before the accident would have been approximately $33-35,000. Due to the accident, however, and the severity of it, you would be lucky to get $25,000 selling it privately, even though it has been properly repaired. The trade-in value would be much less than that. The severe depreciation of a car as a result of an accident is what we call in automotive industry "diminished value." In the United States, one can claim reimbursement from their automobile insurance for this loss. Sadly, here in Canada, you can't. It is an issue that Car Help Canada has been lobbying the government on for quite some time.
I'm interested to know what your thoughts are on the mini cooper convertible 2013?
Another question - what sort of price am I looking at - to negotiate???
Thanks so much,
The Mini convertible is a very nice car to drive, it handles well, it got some power but the reliability is not that great. With regard to price, I would suggest to this viewer to call us.
Question to Mohamed, in an earlier show Mike and you chose BMW 328 over Benz C series, Please could you give your reasons why both of you chose BMW ?
How do you compare BMW to VOLVO and LEXUS of similar price ?
Your objective comments will be much appreciated.
The quality of the BMW is much better than the Mercedes, the handling is better, it's a bit sportier.
I'm a student and I'm trying to decide on 2 cars:
2011+ Chevrolet Cruze LS (Non-turbo)
- High safety ratings
- Love the design
- Drives smoothly
- Less features compared to others
- More expensive
- Gas isn't as great compared to Turbo/ECO and others
- Rear seat is tight
I've tested this car many times at the CNE and I love it dearly, however, after much research I have concerns about reliability and maintenance.
2013 Kia Rio Sedan LX+
- Plenty of features
- Looks terrific
- Excellent on gas
I haven't tested this car yet but I plan to travel to a Hyundai dealership in Summer.
My minimum requirements are auto and a/c, the Rio has that plus more and it is more affordable compared to the Cruze.
I know there are many other choices (Civic, Corolla, etc) but these 2 car my top choices.
Could you give me a recommendation please?
I would say both cars are reliable, fuel efficient, and affordable; the only difference is that the Rio comes with a 5 years/100,000kms comprehensive warranty whereas the Cruze comes with a 3 years warranty and yes, the Rio will cost a bit less.
Picking a car is an emotional decision and a personal preference. Most of today’s cars are generally reliable for the first 4 to six years of ownership.
My recommendation is for you to carefully test drive the cars as much as possible. Sit in the driver’s seat, look around and honestly answer the question: “Will I be happy to get into this vehicle every morning?” If you are not 100% positive then don’t purchase this model.
Don’t get too hung up on fuel mileage. The total cost of ownership (depreciation, insurance, fuel, repairs etc) is more financially important.
Bottom line: Buy the best car that you can afford.
I just bought a 2009 Lexus Is250 AWD with 50500KM. Do you think that I should take an extended warranty. The dealer is offering for 2750 for 4 years. Thanks.
Venerand , I usually rate Lexus vehicles as very reliable, but in this case you bought a used car and you or me have no idea about it's past history, as to how it was maintained or driven. To be on the safe side I would say to take it, provided that it through the actual manufacturer, in this case Toyota or Lexus Canada. If it's an aftermarket company you would need to do more research as to who they are, what is covered and what is not and lastly where the work if need can be done, some of these companies have their own preferred list and if you want it done elsewhere you may not.
Lastly the price you have quoted may be open to negotiation, I would try and offer them less money and see if they will give you a discount.
"I have a question regarding the Vehicle Emissions. I recently did the Ontario drive clean emission test on my 1994 Honda Accord. Although the vehicle passed the test, the reading for the HC (ppm) came up as 187 against the limit of 200. I would like to know how to reduce the HC limit further.
Collin Fonseca from Markham"
For a vehicle of this age, I would leave it alone especially when it passed the test. If you still want to try, check the air filter first, then the PC valve, and finally the Oxygen sensor.
"How do you know if you need an alignment, from a bumpy road, or pothole?
If you hit a pothole at a high rate of speed, then there is a good chance your wheel alignment can be affected.
If after you've come out of the hole; you notice that the steering wheel is not centered when driving straight or you feel any vibrations then you definitely need the suspension and steering inspected, don't necessarily go in and ask for an alignment or balancing, simply tell the repair person what happened and what you are experiencing now, that way you should not have to pay for something you don't need.
I am interesting to lease small suv. What brand you recommend according safety, good gas mileage & good lease price?
These are the ones I would recommend : the Honda CRV, the Mazda CX-5, the Nissan Rogue, the Chevy Orlando, the Ford Escape. They are all reliable and fuel efficient. I would compare these vehicles and see which one offer the best value for the money especially with regard to pricing, rebates and or low interest rates.
I would like your opinion on the reliability of the electric motor and the expected real world mileage in litres per 100 KM. What is the current cost of replacing and electric motor?
I’m considering buying a 2010 model. Is this a reliable vehicle?
The 2010 Ford Fusion got some rave reviews and so far I am not aware of any big issues with it. If it is anything like the Escape Hybrid than it should prove to be a reliable vehicle.
The Electric Motor is integrated inside the CVT transmission and so far has not had many issues. I would consider the electric motor to be one of the most reliable components on a hybrid.
Hope this helps,
Eli Melnick – Start Auto Electric Ltd.
Is it worth buying 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid?
My concern is the replacement cost of battery, especially if has over 112 km.
If it is okay to buy then how much should I pay?"
It is a gamble to purchase a hybrid vehicle that is almost 8 years old because the warranty for the Ford the battery is 8 years. On the other hand there were very few complaints with regard to these type of batteries. If you are driving less than 15,000 km a year highway and city combined - I would advise you to look for a regular vehicle. It will cost less with regard to price and maintenance.
"I would really appreciate your advice regarding my Volvo. I have a S60 2005 AWD T5. It has 134000 km and is always maintenanced at the dealership. There are no driving problems, so my question is - what is the best time to sale the car in order to not lose much money on next maintenances or until when will be good to keep it until buy a new one?
Eward from Brampton"
The best time to sell is when you have found the most desperate buyer!
The real answer is (as usual) "it depends". An AWD car or truck will be easier to sell just before winter. A sports car will command a premium in May. A minivan is in demand before school starts etc...
I maintain that there is always a buyer at anytime, the difference might be the price of course.
Best advice: Sell your vehicle Certified and Drive Clean tested. Also, send your vehicle for detailing prior to putting it on the market. A shiny car will move faster.
Start Auto Electric Ltd.
"I have a 2001 Ford F-150. I love my truck but when I step on the breaks lightly to stop they make a grinding feeling in the foot but not if I'm hard on the brakes - it feels like grinding gears. I have asked many shops about this but no one can help I hope you can :)
It sounds as if the brake pads have been over heated and have metal in them , should have brakes replaced.
PRECISE TRANSMISSION INC.
A friend of mine is looking at a 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 4 x 4 that he saw on a dealer's lot. The selling price is $33,850. It has 28,800 km. on it. It also has a lien on it. I understand that if purchased new, this vehicle would sell for approximately $63,000. I would like to know your opinion on this vehicle and also how one goes about checking it's history for accidents, etc.
P.S. I have encouraged him to watch your show this evening and also to try and contact you directly."
The truck is almost 2 years old so the price should be around $31,500.00 to $32,000.00. With regard to reliability, this truck is average, in the past they had issues with front end components.
"If a vehicle has tire pressure monitoring , does this mean the driver no longer needs to manually and regularly check the tire pressure? My second question is after how many years of vehicle ownership is an extended warranty purchase pointless?"
To make sure the system is calibrated and working properly, you should check the tire pressure once a month. In general the tire pressure monitoring system is accurate. With regard to the extended warranty, I would recommend that you do not purchase one if the vehicle is 8 years or older.
"I bought a used Porsche 911 Cabriolet (C2) earlier this year and want to keep it pretty much forever. To preserve it from our crazy Canadian winters I'm planning to store it in a non-heated garage over the winter months. Is it better to store it, occasionally start it or take it for the occasional spin?"
Hey Andy! In regards to storing your C2, My opinion on the matter is to drive it.
• Electrical. Many computers on board may "lose memory"
• "flat spots" on tires
• Will extend Compressor life(run ac while driving)
• Good for the seals (engine & transmission)
• Bushings tend not to "dry out"
John Wallischeck, Auto ShowPlace
I have a 2004 PT Cruiser with 62000 km's and the water pump leaks. It will cost around $1000.00 to fix. Is this a fair price and should it be breaking down at this mileage? The price includes a new timing belt and accessory belts.
Is this common for this vehicle?
The price is fair, it's quite labour intensive. The split is about half and half with parts and labour. Unfortunate that it went, but then again the vehicle is 9 years old?
There is no cheaper way around it though.
Which car would you recommend. 2013 Santa Fe or Escape for purchase not lease?
Related question, any recommendation as to when is the best time to buy in terms of dealer incentives?
In my opinion, I would recommend the Santa Fe: it's a reliable vehicle, reasonably priced and has an excellent warranty. There is no best time to purchase a new vehicle any more. Manufacturers offer incentives all year around but I would advise you to do some research with regard to the best price before visiting a dealership.
I have a 2002 Honda Odyssey.
My auto mechanic suggested that I have the underside rustproofed.
Is there real benefit in having the rustproofing?
WiIl I do it this fall or wait until spring of next year?
Can you recommend a dealer? Will krown do a good job?
Hope to hear from you.
It's always a good idea to rustproof your vehicle, especially if you are going to keep it for a long time. I would advise you to use the annual treatment because it is more effective.
I have a 2003 Nissan Altima S and for some reason i keep losing oil. Every 2 weeks or so, i check my oil and i notice that the needle has lost a quarter of it. I do not have any visible leaks nor does it smoke from the muffler. I have no idea what the problem is or how to solve it? Is it possible that it is burning oil through the damaged piston rings?
There is a possibility that the catalytic converter is deteriorating sending small particles in the combustion chamber that can damage the cylinder walls leading to increased oil consumption, which mean he may need an engine replacement with a new catalytic converter.
Hello I have a 2009 toyota corolla and in cold nights and winter time I have trouble almost like the car does not want to start but it does. My brother in law leased an 08 corolla and he says it normal. Have you Mohammed heard of this.
It's very unusual for a 2009 Corolla to experience this kind of problem. One possibility is a weak battery. Try booster cables with another vehicle and see if that makes a difference. If it does not, the car has to be diagnosed by a technician.
This is not a normal situation but more information is required for a proper diagnosis.
BYFORD GARAGE NORTH LTD.
I am a big fan of the Auto Shop. I think I read a comment that you made concerning the following problem. I have a 2003 Toyota Corolla and my odometer stopped at 299,999km so I did some research and found out that this seems to be a common problem effecting 2003-2008 Corollas and Matrixes. The only successful remedy that I have found is on --------- where a specific dealership was able to reach an agreement with Toyota where Toyota, the dealership and the owner all pay a third of the price of a new odometer which is around $500. I ended up contacting Toyota Canada and they told me to go to my dealership so they can take some pictures and submit a report. After 4 business days I was contacted by my dealer and advised that my request for a replacement odometer was denied, no further explanation was given to me. I was told a replacement odometer (part, labor and taxes included) will be $440. Is there any new information concerning this matter? I feel since this seems to be a known issue and people will be over their warranty period when they realize the problem that Toyota should replace the odometer for free. I have ALWAYS been a huge supporter of Toyota but this has really annoyed me. What do you advise?
North York, Ontario
If the problem of the odometer is the result of a manufacturing defect you can take legal action against Toyota for the cost of repairs.
Please email questions to: AutoShop@CP24.com
Mohamed can be contacted at:
Car Help Canada