strong>Dear Doctor: I purchased a 2013 Toyota Camry four-cylinder. This is my third four-cylinder Camry purchase. On the previous two vehicles highway mileage came in at 30 to 35 mpg. But on this 2013 Camry I have never gotten more than 26 mpg. Most of the time the highway mileage comes in at 22-23 mpg. The car is rated at 24 city, 35 highway. I drive the car normally on the highway. Please advise. Howard
strong>Dear Howard: My wife drives a 2013 four-cylinder Camry and the highway mileage is around 34-36 mpg. I have also purchased many used 2012 and 2013 four-cylinder Camrys for resale and we drive each for two weeks -- they also averaged 34-36 mpg highway. For your Camry to average such poor mileage means all the sensors should be looked at, as well as making sure the transmission is shifting into overdrive. A full engine performance test needs to be performed. Also, if the thermostat does not allow the engine to fully warm up, then gas mileage is reduced. In some cases, the engine does not go into closed loop. These are just some of the preliminary checks that need to be done.
strong>Dear Doctor: I have had many electrical issues relating to the lights on my 2002 Impala that has 109,000 miles. Chevrolet replaced the computer "brain" about four years ago, but now I have issues again with lights. This time my dashboard lights go out intermittently, as well as the taillights. Any idea to help me resolve this? Marie
strong>Dear Marie: I see a lot of vehicles with electrical issues. The "brain" that you refer to is also called the Body Control Module. There are a lot of ground problems that cause of electrical problems. Take your car to a AAA-approved repair shop or Chevrolet dealership for evaluation. An ASE-certified technician will work with Identifix to find the source of the problem.
strong>Dear Doctor: I have 2004 Hyundai Elantra with 75,000 miles. Lately the engine pings a lot. I do a lot of stop-and-go driving. My mechanic replaced the plugs, wires and ignition coil (check engine light came on). It still pings. He recommended Techron fuel additive. It seems to help, but is there a permanent fix to this problem? Steve
strong>Dear Steve: There are so many reasons for engine ping, such as carbon buildup in the combustion chamber and on top of the piston, dirty fuel injectors, EGR valve not opening fully, clogged EGR passageways, engine thermostat not opening fully, timing belt or timing chain out of line. Have your technician check these and perform a top engine cleaning. You can also use a can of Sea Foam gas treatment every tank full for a couple of months and combine that with using premium unleaded during the Sea Foam treatment. The use of premium gas will burn hotter, cleaner and help clean and remove carbon, as well as cleaning the fuel injectors.
strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 1990 Camaro RS with a 3.1L V6 engine and 90,000 miles on it. It will start and run until it warms up and then it shuts down and won't start again until it cools down. The fuel pump was changed and all the fuel injectors were replaced. My mechanic can't seem to find what is causing the problem. Please help. Mark
strong>Dear Mark: Unlike 1996 and newer vehicles with the OBDII system, your Camaro has the OBDI system, which does not have the capability to record some failures. The car will need to be checked for computer codes at the time of the no-start condition. Note that most small handheld computer scanners do not have the capability to scan and work the OBDI system. We use the old Snap-on Brick scanner with great success. In some cases, a connection of a spark tester is a good way to find out if there is spark during the no-start condition. A simple fuel pressure tester is also another examine that needs to be done.
strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2000 Chrysler Sebring with the 2.5L engine. I am getting a no-crank reference at PCM. The crank sensor - distributor and PCM has been replaced, but the condition still exists. I need your advice. Frank
strong>Dear Frank: You will need a qualified ASE-technician to diagnose this problem. He needs to check for trouble fault codes, plus all fuses, power and grounds. He also will look at the wiring diagrams and then start a pinpoint test. I have see broken wires, poor relay boxes, and even bad ignition switches cause these problems.
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