strong>Dear Doctor: I own a brand new 2013 Ford Edge with the four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. For the first 600 miles it didn't appear to use any oil, however, by the next 600 miles it used 1.5 quarts -- and the muffler chrome tips were full of soot. I've never experienced this with the many cars I've owned. By the way, on a 300-mile trip I got good gas mileage and it ran flawlessly. I appreciate your opinion. Donald
strong>Dear Donald: Today's engines, especially new vehicles, will use some oil especially during the first 6,000 miles. Your car has a very advanced four-cylinder engine that has the power of a large V-6. The oil used is light weight and the engine runs very warm; this all equals some consumption. A quart of oil consumption in 1,000 miles is not unusual and is considered normal usage. The soot on the tips of the chrome exhaust tips is also normal. If you want to keep them clean then you will need to clean them weekly with either a semi-chrome cleaner/polish or any other non-abrasive chrome cleaner.
strong>Dear Doctor: I am switching my 2007 Ford Mustang over to synthetic oil soon. How often I should change the oil? It's a weekend car with 35,000 miles on it. I figure I might do 2,500 a year. Also, my radio no longer gets reception. The CD player works. When I drove it one week earlier the radio worked. I do take the antenna off to put on the cover and replace it when driving. Peter
strong>Dear Peter: Synthetic oil is a great choice. With such annual low mileage changing the oil before putting the car away for the long winter is best. As for the radio problem, you need to follow a trouble flow chart found on alldata.com and identifix.com. You can also take the car to a local radio shop. Removing the antenna should not have any effect on the poor reception, unless the connector at the bottom inside the fender came off.
strong>Dear Doctor: I purchased a 2011 GMC Yukon with a 5.7-liter engine with the towing package. Since new, when it's very hot outside the acceleration at times is the pits. Starting off from a stop or slowing down and then accelerating it seems the SUV does not want go. At times it's like the gear is too high. The dealer told me nothing is wrong. I love the truck, but I'm thinking of getting rid of it. Any help would be appreciated. Randy
strong>Dear Randy: This answer will not sit well with some readers, so keep in mind that I actually work hands-on with vehicles every day. I think there are times when these big heavy SUVs seem to lack power. The addition of a fresh air intake system and computer power tuner will make a noticeable difference. You can change both engine (timing fuel ratio) and transmission parameters (shift point and firmness). Keep in mind to get the most out of this SUV premium fuel is required. You can also try just using premium gas without any upgrades and you'll notice a difference. Both my neighbor and I use premium fuel in our GM pickups and can feel the difference.
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