Dear Doctor: I'm a senior female, 65-years-plus, leasing a 2013 Hyundai Elantra coupe with only 3,800 miles on it. I love the car and was planning on getting a 2016 model when my lease is up in September, but I just found out Hyundai discontinued the coupe. Should I buy my lease outright? Is this a smart move, or will I have problems in the future, such as getting parts, etc.? I lease because I wanted a new car every three years, but since I only like the look of the coupe I don't know what to do.
Dear Evie: I would certainly purchase this car. If money is tight you may also be able to release the car. I am typically not a fan of leasing, unless the person does not want to own and will get a replacement car every three years or the lease will be a write off for a business. Your car is like-new with such low mileage. You should change the oil and filter twice a year, even with the very low mileage and rotate the tires once a year, as well as check the air pressure, also keep the fuel level as close to full as possible to eliminate condensation buildup in the gas tank.
Dear Doctor: I have a 2001 Chevy S10 pickup truck with a 4.3L engine that is approaching 90,000 miles and will be soon due for a spark plug change. Is there any particular spark plug that you would recommend for this engine? I have read various comments about the type of anti-seize compound to use on the spark plug threads. I've also read that when changing out the spark plugs that it would be a good time to change the wires and distributor components. what would you advise?
Dear Ed: I personally use factory brand parts when servicing vehicles. Delco and A/C products would be used on General Motors vehicles. I would also recommend replacing the ignition coil and for best performance. The front oxygen sensor, or sensors, do get lazy and slow down in response time without setting a check engine light. The use of a very light coating of anti-seize compound on the spark plug treads, oxygen sensor treads and die electric grease on the electrical should also be used.
Dear Doctor: I have a 2010 Mazda5 with 112,000 miles. I'm having a rough idle/stalling issue. The car starts fine, idles fine, but once I start driving and come to a stop the idle will run rough and sometimes will stall out, until I come to a complete stop and then it stabilizes. It only does this the first couple of minutes after start up. Any thoughts?
Dear Cameron: The technician will need to connect a scan tool to the car and look at all the engine input information. I looked on our Identifix web site for any past history and they do list the correct troubleshooting flow path for this vehicle. Alldata also has all the specifications for the sensors in question, as well as the removal and replacement procedure. A simple cleaning of the mass air flow sensor with the correct cleaner can make a big difference.
Dear Doctor: I recently purchased a 2007 Nissan Maxima with 66,000 miles. When I take my foot off the gas after reaching 30 mph the car slows down quickly instead of coasting. It does not seem to happen at other speeds. Is this normal for the Nissan CVT transmission?
Dear Rob: You are not alone with the limited coasting on a vehicle with the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). This is a normal driving condition. The programming of the transmission is such that it helps in the slower speeds, saving brake wear while keeping engine speed at an efficient operating range. All CVT transmissions operate a higher temperatures and the fluid condition should be checked to make sure the fluid is not burned. Though you may not read this in the manual, I recommend changing the CVT fluid at 50,000 miles. It is a simple task and you should only use the Nissan factory transmission fluid. This is my recommendation for all vehicles with or without a CVT transmission.
Dear Doctor: I need advice on my 2001 Honda Odyssey with 90,000 miles. Recently when driving the minivan there was a loss of power and the TCS light came on, and the "D" drive indicator began to flash. We took it to the Honda dealer and was informed codes P0740 and P0780 were indicated and that we need a new transmission. The cost from Honda for a rebuilt transmission is $5,000. Should I use my local transmission shop who is asking $3,000, with only a one year warranty?
Dear Anthony: The transmission is the weak link in this Honda. I have replaced many transmission units and I always use the factory rebuilt unit. Factory units do cost more money, however, there are many advantages with the Honda, such as warranty at any Honda dealer if there is a problem along with a longer warranty. Your Odyssey has low miles and as long as the rest of the mini van is in good condition I would replace the transmission.