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Auto Doctor: CVT transmissions can develop whiney noises

CVT transmissions, like the one found in the

CVT transmissions, like the one found in the 2005 Ford Freestyle, often develop a whining noise when traveling at lower speeds. Credit: Ford Motor Company

Dear Doctor: My 2005 Ford Freestyle has vehicle has 65,000 miles on it. I'm concerned about servicing the CVT transmission. Though everything is working fine, it has a slight whine at low speeds (20 to 40 mph). When should I have it serviced? Does it have one or two filters? Does only a portion of the oil get changed? -- Tom


Dear Tom: We service vehicles with the CVT transmission. I simply drain the transmission fluid from the drain plug. I use only the factory OEM transmission fluids on these and most other specialty transmissions. Some CVT transmissions do have a normal whining sound. You should check with the dealer on any technical service bulletins or updates that need to be performed. Seldom do we change transmission filters on late model vehicles, most have a metal mesh filter that can be cleaned and reused. Some have an inline filter similar to a spin on engine oil filter as well as an internal filter.

Dear Doctor: I own a 2007 BMW 3 Series. The engine light came on, so the shop scanned the computer and found an EVAP leak p0456 small leak. The shop spent a lot of time using a smoke machine. Two of the technicians worked on the car for 3 hours and could not find the source of this small leak, even though the smoke machine confirms there is a leak and narrowed it down to the gas tank. Without seeing smoke they do not know what more they can do. What is our next step? -- Sid

Dear Sid: We see a lot of EVAP leaks. Some we are able to find with the use of both a scan tool and smoke machine; other leaks are harder to find. We've discovered that using a soap and water solution all over the sealing gaskets and plastic lines can usually help find the leak.

Dear Doctor: I'm interested in the 2013 Dodge Dart and I'd like your opinion. Have you driven the new model? -- JC

Dear JC: The new Dodge Dart is not the old 225 slant six made in Detroit. This is a front-wheel-drive car that seats four and comes in a few different models. I drove the Dart SXT 2.0-liter, 160-horsepower four-cylinder with the 6-speed manual transmission. The car drove smoothly, as the manual transmission gear ratio kept the engine in the proper rpm range -- and the clutch pedal was very easy to depress. If the 2.0-liter had more power then I think the Dart would be the perfect small sedan. There's a 1.4-liter turbo option available. You need to drive both engines to make your final choice.

Dear Doctor: I own a 2010 Corvette with all of the options, except the dual-mode exhaust. I did have a set of aftermarket performance mufflers, but the drone sound from the mufflers is terrible, not to mention the 'Vette is just too loud to drive around all day. I asked the dealer about buying a dual-mode system and was quoted $2,500, plus labor. Can you recommend a company that sells this system? -- Mike

Dear Mike: I have customers who have tried to save money and install high-performance mufflers that end up making more noise than they wanted. I have installed many dual-mode systems that offer great sound in both the closed and wide open mode. All of this is done with the push of the small remote button that slides down and fits firmly between the dash and radio trim. The system is made by Billy Boat. The cost is under $2,100 for the complete kit with the vacuum switching solenoid and hoses. The installation is an easy bolt-on and the system is the best I have ever seen or installed.

Dear Doctor: I own a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS and I'm considering installing a supercharger. What's your opinion on doing this? -- Jake

Dear Jake: I'm someone who likes power adders, such as supercharging or turbocharging. In your case, the addition of a supercharger makes perfect sense. There are a couple of companies that offer a bolt-on supercharger kit. I do not recommend the bolt-on front mount style. Use the top intake mount that has a great track record -- and it's user-friendly with computer reprogramming. -- Junior Damato, Motor Matters

Junior Damato is an ASE-certified Master Technician. Email questions to Mail questions to: Auto Doctor, 3 Court Circle, Lakeville, MA 02347.

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