Featured viewer questions
Published Monday, June 18, 2012 11:24AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, November 13, 2013 9:23AM EST
Our latest featured questions and expert answers:
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