Find Your Credit Union

Spare Tires Have Long Lifespan, But Need Air Regularly

By Junior Damato, October 15th, 2011

strong>Dear Doctor: When should the spare tire of a compact car be replaced? I have read that a spare tire's lifespan is 6 to 10 years. I have not read anything that specifies when to replace it other than when it "ages out" or when the tread is significantly worn. Should a compact spare tire be replaced after it is used once or twice, or is it safe to put back into the car if it looks good? Chris

strong>Dear Chris: I've seen compact spare tires that are 15 years old and still used. The compact spare tire never sees sunlight or harsh weather conditions. When the spare tire is used it's for a short time at speeds usually under 50 mph. As long as the spare tire has tread and there are no dry-rot cracks, the tire is serviceable. Air pressure is important. The spare tire pressure should be checked every six months.

strong>Dear Doctor: My 2001 Dodge Dakota with the 3.9-liter engine was running rough and misfiring, so I changed the distributor cap, rotor, wires, plugs and coil. The problem continued so I brought it to my mechanic who said the catalytic converter on the driver's side was clogged. He replaced both catalytic converters. About a month later it started misfiring again. Can you help? Andy

strong>Dear Andy: Before any parts are replaced a qualified ASE-certified technician needs to check all the basics. Catalytic converters will clog up from poor running engines. The engine problem can be due to many causes, including running lean, rich or too hot, as well as other internal issues. Repairs made on this issue with other Dodge owners range from leaking intake manifolds, bad engine valves and cracked cylinder heads.

strong>Dear Doctor: I own a 2001 GMC Yukon with 86,000 miles. The truck runs well except the rear doors on both sides are extremely stiff to close. I've tried white lithium grease, WD-40, silicone, and penetrating oil, but nothing seems to loosen up the hinges to work freely. What should I be using? Tom

strong>Dear Tom: You have to use a spray product that will lubricate and get into the actual door rollers, such as PB Blaster. Spray grease and WD40 are not the products to use. There are many spray oils that will leave a slick oil film on the moving parts. Never spray any of these oils in the door key cylinder. Use only door lock lubricants. You can spray the door hinges on a regular basis.

strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2005 Toyota Corolla with the four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual shift. I have a heart pacer and a wire is working out of my heart. My cardiologist told me not to wear a seatbelt, but just part of the time, because it rubs on my pacer. I wonder if it would be possible to disconnect the bell so it wouldn't ring when the seat belt is not connected. Beth

strong>Dear Beth: Instead of disconnecting the seatbelt reminder bell go to an auto salvage yard and buy the seatbelt end that you can push into the seatbelt receptacle. This will shut the buzzer off and still allow other driver's of the car to have the added safety of the seatbelt chime.

strong>Dear Doctor: I am interested in purchasing a used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4x4 with automatic transmission. I have never owned a Toyota, but I am familiar with their great reputation. Have you had many of these in your shop and what is your overall impression? I am deciding between this truck and a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. David

strong>Dear David: Both vehicles are good. The 2012 Wrangler with the new V-6 engine is now very powerful and improved. The FJ Cruiser seems a bit bigger and not as nimble. You will be the one to make the decision after driving both. If you are interested in after market ad on parts and accessories, there are a lot of companies that make them for the Wrangler. We own a Wrangler with 114,000 trouble free miles that's used around town. The Unlimited has a longer wheelbase and more room than the standard Wrangler. Make sure you don't get an aggressive tire package on whatever you buy.

Big Drop in Fuel Mileage: Get Engine Test

10/19

Big Drop in Fuel Mileage: Get Engine Test

strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2014 Ford F-150 with the EcoBoost engine. The dealership cannot tell me why my gas mileage is at 9 mpg. It was 24 mpg when I purchased it. Can you help me out? Gerald

Gas Mileage Misread: Fuel System Needs Attention

10/12

Gas Mileage Misread: Fuel System Needs Attention

strong>Dear Doctor: I own a 2006 Ram 2500. The mileage calculator says I'm getting 30 miles per gallon in fuel economy, but I'm actually getting about 20 mpg. What should I do? Mark

Car Shakes at Idle: Check for Multiple Fault Codes

10/05

Car Shakes at Idle: Check for Multiple Fault Codes

strong>Dear Doctor: My 2009 Toyota Camry with 199,600 miles has a check engine light showing the codes P0101 and P0170. I have already replaced the MAF sensor, PCV valve, throttle body, the car's computer, O2 sensors, cam sensor, crank sensor, fuel pump, injectors, and fuel pressure regulator. I also checked for multiple vacuum or air leaks, and the cabin air filter, spark plugs, alternator, and battery have all been checked over the course of a year. Now the car has both codes showing consistently and it shakes at idle. What should we do? Cheyenne

Off Lease Vehicles

Hundreds of one owner, off-lease cars, trucks & SUVs with low mileage at a great price!

Additional Resources

Most Researched

2018 Honda Accord EX
EX 4dr Sedan
2018 Jeep Cherokee Latitude
Latitude 4dr SUV
2018 Audi A4 2.0T ultra Premium
2.0T ultra Premium 4dr Sedan
2018 Toyota RAV4 LE
LE 4dr SUV
2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty XL
4x4 XL 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. LB Pickup