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Auto Doc: Installing unique horn in a Fiat, Cadillac bad brakes

A 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth as seen in

A 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth as seen in Washington, D.C., on January 30, 2012. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Dear Doctor: I have a 2012 Fiat 500 coupe. I want to install an “Ahh-ooo-gah Horn” but the motor compartment is so filled that there doesn’t seem to be space to put it in. Suggestions? -- Martin

Dear Martin: You are correct, there is not a lot of room looking under the hood, but the old sounding horn has gotten smaller as well. So I would suggest having your technician look under the car in the inner fender well and under the bumper. -- Doctor

Dear Doctor: I have a 2010 Honda Pilot with 26,600 miles and my warranty has expired. The dashboard lights are on: VTM-4, VSA, and ABS. The dealer did not do a diagnostic test, but could tell just by looking at the lights that are on that I need a new module ($1,300). My friend is a mechanic and he did a diagnostic test and found a code of “14-1, l/f, wheel speed sensor fault.” Since it is a speed sensor, do I need to have the module changed or just replace the sensor? -- Doug

Dear Doug: Have the local technician check the speed sensor and see if it is actually bad. The technician will check to see if there is resistance in the sensor, and then spin the wheel and check for an A/C signal emitting from the sensor. If it is a faulty module you can look for companies that can rebuild it for 1/3 the cost of replacement. -- Doctor

Dear Doctor: I own a 1985 Cadillac Eldorado in like-new condition. My problem is the brake pedal goes almost to the floor, so low it is scary to drive. I have taken the car to the dealer and three different brake shops with no luck. I have had new brakes installed and a new master cylinder, too. Can you help? -- Bob

Dear Bob: Your Eldorado has four-wheel disc brakes and the rear brake calipers incorporate the parking brake assembly. I have serviced many of these vehicles that have had faulty rear brake calipers and others that had front brake calipers put on the wrong side. The brake bleeder fittings need to be on the top, not the bottom to get the air out of the system. Find a technician who is familiar with cars from the 1980s.

Dear Doctor: My 2013 Toyota Avalon has a very hard ride. I think the tires are on the high-end of what are considered low profile 215/55/17s. Can the tires be replaced by using the same rims or do all need to be replaced? -- Tony

Dear Tony: The low profile tires are usually found on performance and sport vehicles. The performance profile tire is most often found on V-6 models. You want to change the aspect ratio. This is distance between the tire surface and rim. You may have to downgrade the rim size and go with a 65 series tire. An example would be 205/65 series in either 16-inch with a rim change or see if there is a 17-inch in this size. Make sure the outside diameter is within 1/4 of the factory tire. -- Doctor

Dear Doctor: What is distinctive about Audi’s new SQ5? -- Earl

Dear Earl: The 2014 Audi SQ5 is a midsize SUV that has the power and handling of a sports car -- that’s correct a sports car.  It’s powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 pushing out 354 horsepower via an 8-automatic speed transmission. Let’s talk about the multi mode engine transmission and suspension. The Automatic mode takes into consideration the type of driving, Comfort mode is silky smooth, but Dynamic mode is where it all changes, including engine sound, transmission shifting, higher RPM and super fast shifts. It lets you know you are now driving a super performance vehicle. The ride is unlike an SUV, as is the handling. Both are more car-like. -- Doctor

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