strong>Dear Doctor: My 2009 Toyota Avalon with 62,000 miles just lost its high beams. I've read this an inherent problem and Toyota has extended the warranty to 5 years/72,000 miles, under which I am no longer covered. How should I repair these high beams? Carl
strong>Dear Carl: You need to first determine whether the problem is a multi-function switch, relay, wire, or fuse box issue. I recommend you go to a shop that has access to both Identifix and Alldata for the best resources on finding the problem and a repair for it.
strong>Dear Doctor: I own a 2007 Jeep Wrangler JK with a V-6 engine and only 49,000 miles. It has been trouble-free until recently. It has a trouble code P0420. This code happened three times while driving under heavy rain conditions and many short trips. I cleared the code twice, but the third time it did not clear. The "check engine" light went out on its own. Diagnostics point to a faulty catalytic converter or possibly a bad O2 sensor. If the catalytic converter needs to be replaced, is it covered under a federal warranty? I thought the criteria was 50,000 miles. Don
strong>Dear Don: Federal emission standards on catalytic converters warranty are 8 years/80,000 miles, whichever comes first. There are some cleaners -- that under the right driving conditions and with the use of premium gasoline -- can sometimes bring the catalytic converter back to life, as long as it not broken and or partly melted. The 02 sensor is picking up that the catalytic converter is not functioning as designed. In the cold weather a marginal catalytic converter is less efficient. Check with the dealer for any possible extended warranty. Note: I had to replace the catalytic converter on my own Wrangler at 153,000 miles. Do not use an aftermarket converter; buy a factory Chrysler converter if you need one.
Doctor: I have a 2010 Cadillac DTS with a power steering leak. I have to add new fluid every couple of days. What is causing this? Andrew
strong>Dear Andrew: Your Cadillac needs to be inspected by a technician. I can tell you that I have seen a lot of rotted metal section return lines leaking. At my shop we replace the rotted section with a high pressure rubber line and double clamp each end.
strong>Dear Doctor: I read your informative column every week. I am the original owner of a 2000 Lexus ES 300 (95,000 miles) and a 2002 Toyota RAV4 four-cylinder 4WD (95,000 miles). I noticed with both vehicles that about once a month when I place the key in the ignition that the steering wheel is locked and I cannot turn the key to the "on" position. I took my daughter's advice and wiggle the steering wheel at which time the steering wheel unlocks. Why is this happening? Stanford
strong>Dear Stanford: The most common reason for this is because when the engine is shut off your hand may be on the steering wheel holding it with some pressure. If you let go of the steering wheel and then turn the key off you should not have to wiggle the wheel to turn the key. This is the case on most vehicles, regardless of brand.
strong>Dear Doctor: I wish my 2015 Buick LaCrosse had a label that it was not equipped with a "Driver Confidence" package. While the LaCrosse appears all bejeweled, it turns out it has only Halogen projector headlamps and no foglamps. The Driver Confidence Package states; "they help you see and respond to approaching obstacles sooner for enhanced nighttime cornering." After months of my lobbying the Buick Customer Assistance Center they authorized the dealer to install foglamps, but now the dealer just advised me my model cannot accept foglamps. Do you have a technical suggestion? I think a test drive at night may be a good idea for future buyers considering a vehicle. Allen
strong>Dear Allen: My first suggestion is to ask the dealership if they have access to an aftermarket electronics shop. These automotive aftermarket shops install all kinds of accessories. They should be able to install the fog lights
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