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Auto Doctor: Timing belt replacements should not be taken lightly

The Auto Doctor recommends replacing a car's timing

The Auto Doctor recommends replacing a car's timing belt -- with a factory part -- at whatever interval is suggested in its owner's manual. The timing belt should be replaced every 37,500 miles in the 2007 Hyundai Accent. Photo Credit: Hyundai

Dear Doctor: I have a 2004 Buick Rendezvous with 80,000 miles. The left rear window does not go up or down. I hear no sounds when I press either the rear switch or the driver's master switch. All of the other windows work on the master driver's side. Should I purchase a new window switch for the master panel? -- Sheldon

Dear Sheldon: We need to know if there is ground reaching the window motor, as well as power. You need to remove the door panel in order to access the motor. The master switch is the source of both the power and ground of the system. In some cases, a new replacement master switch is in order, which will need to be programmed before it will work.

Dear Doctor: I own a 2006 Chevy Silverado 6.6-liter diesel with 94,363 miles. In June 2012 the technician replaced the turbo boost sensor and control solenoid for codes P003A sym01 and sym02. Then the following month the "check engine" indicated P003A (vane position not learned). They recommended fuel additive "Stanadyne." This has not fixed the problem. I need your help. -- Ken

Dear Ken: The turbo fault code P003A regarding boost and turbo vane are very commonly researched on Identifix. The fault can be caused by many things, including a simple relearn procedure, as well as issues from any aftermarket performance parts or performance computer download. Find a shop that uses Identifix and has knowledge of diesel engine repair.

Dear Doctor: I have a 2004 Chevy Tahoe with the 5.3-liter LS engine. It seems I am starting to smell some "burning" of antifreeze and have also noticed an occasional "gurgling" sound coming from inside of the SUV near the heater core area. I've been researching this and it seems there may have been defective "castech" cylinder heads installed on this engine that develop tiny cracks in the heads that will allow antifreeze to burn off on the engine block with no signs of leaking into the crankcase. I have 85,000 on the Tahoe and it has been very well maintained since new. Any thoughts? -- James

Dear James: There is no question that today's engines with aluminum cylinder heads, and some with aluminum blocks, have had some coolant leakage problems, however, the 5.3-liter engine in your Tahoe does have a good track record. On the matter of "gurgling" from the heater box, this usually indicate air in the heater hoses due to low coolant levels. In some cases, we install a small restrictor to slow down the coolant flow. Make sure the coolant level is full. You can always install a restrictor valve in the heater hose under the hood. This is a simple process that involves cutting the heater hose and installing the manual water control valve available at any auto parts store. Make sure the engine is cold before cutting the hose.

Dear Doctor: I have a 2007 Hyundai Accent with 43,000 miles. The owner's manual and the Hyundai dealer service department say that the timing belt should be replaced every 37,500 miles. Never had I replaced a timing belt with such low mileage. What are your thoughts on this? -- Frank

Dear Frank: Timing belts keep the upper camshaft and lower crankshaft in perfect time. Timing belts do wear from mileage and age. Timing belt replacement intervals vary from 3 years/15,000 miles to 5 years/105,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer. The problem is if the timing belt breaks major engine damage will occur. If the owner's manual has this mileage as the recommended mileage replacement, then I strongly advise you have it replaced -- and use a factory Hyundai timing belt only.

Dear Doctor: We are considering buying a new Buick sedan. Have your driven their new models? -- Joe

Dear Joe: I tested the new 2014 Buick LaCrosse 3.6-liter V-6 AWD sedan. The 2014 Lacrosse is new from the windshield forward. The 3.6L V-6 has been upgraded for a smoother and quieter performance, along with improved gas mileage. The chassis engineers did a great job calibrating the suspension as well as isolating the suspension to the frame mounting. I think that Buick will attract both young and seniors to the line up. The sedan rides and drives like unlike Buicks of past. The suspension absorbs the broken pavement and takes tight corners easily. -- Junior Damato, Motor Matters

Junior Damato is an ASE-certified Master Technician. Email questions to Mail questions to: Motor Matters, PO Box 3305, Wilmington, DE 19804

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