strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Turbo with 77,000 miles. When I start the car for the first time in the morning it takes about 10 seconds of cranking before the engine turns over. Then it runs rough for a few seconds and then runs normal. I've been told I might have carbon buildup on the throttle body and fuel injectors. What do you think is wrong? Mark
strong>Dear Mark: There is no history for dirty injectors or carbon buildup for this engine. There are multiple possibilities that can cause long cold crank and roughness when started. The first step is to leave the car overnight at the repair shop. The next morning they will hook up the test equipment and before starting the car will first turn the key to the "on" position and check all the input sensor values and fuel pressure. The MAP sensor does have a high failure rate on this vehicle.
strong>Dear Doctor: I own a 2009 Yukon Denali XL. I have been changing the oil between on my 2009 GMC Yukon Denali every 3,000 to 4,000 miles with Quaker State 5W-30 and the Fram oil filters. The SUV now has 14,000 miles and I will be doing more driving on it. Is it OK to switch to the Quaker State full-synthetic oil? Also, I own a 2010 Chevy Camaro SS with the six-speed manual transmission. It has been a long time since I have driven a stick. With the winter months ahead in the Northeast is it safe to park the car with the shift in first gear with the brake on? If so will the brake cable freeze? Joseph
strong>Dear Joseph: You can switch to full-synthetic oil on your GMC Yukon any time and switch back to regular if you choose to do so. You can leave the Camaro in gear with the parking brake set without any worries, however, I do not recommend leaving your new 2010 Camaro parked outside for the winter. It is a good idea to drive the Camaro whenever possible during the winter months. Or, you can rent a spot from a storage yard.
strong>Dear Doctor: Where can I purchase an automotive scanner that would work on older cars from model years 1994 to present. I do most repairs on cars myself. I see scanners being sold at Sears and Pep Boys. How do they differ? Do you have suggestions on which one I should purchase? I don't want to have to spend thousands of dollars, but I want the tool to do the job. John
strong>Dear John: Most of the scan tools you see on the shelves right now are generic scanners that work on 1996 and newer models. The professional scan tools have multiple adapters for different vehicles. Sears has a scan tool that will work on 1995 and older, as well as 1996 and newer vehicles. You can also check with any tool supplier who stops into you local service shop for a professional pre-owned scan tool.
strong>Dear Doctor: My 2004 Pontiac Vibe owner's manual states ".... the fluid in your transaxle doesn't require changing." However, the Haynes Repair Manual for this car under the maintenance schedule for 30,000 miles states, "Change the manual transaxle lubricant". Which is it? James
strong>Dear James: I recommend the transmission fluid be changed at 35,000 miles or 4 years, even if the Vibe is equipped with a manual transmission. Make sure you have the shop use the correct replacement fluid.
strong>Dear Doctor: I own a 2007 Chevy Avalanche with a 5.3-liter Flex Fuel engine. I started using E85 ethanol regularly because the price at the pump is $1 per gallon cheaper then regular gasoline. In the process I discovered that my truck runs really well on flex fuel and has a lot more power. I have been told that E85 ethanol is 105 octane. Is this true? Are there drawbacks to using E85 ethanol? Steve
strong>Dear Steve: In New England where I reside I haven't seen stations that sell E85. Doing some research I did find in most evaluations there were no driving performance differences between E85 and regular 87 octane. As for the high octane number you mentioned, I could not find any information to back up that high octane number claim. There are many Web sites you can visit for more information on E85.
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