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Low Flow Wiper Fluid: Check for Jams, Clogs

By Junior Damato, March 5th, 2016

strong>Dear Doctor: Why does my 2010 Honda Accord wiper fluid dispenser only dispense about 8 inches up onto windshield? The dispenser is locked in place and seems to squirt most fluid straight into the bottom of windshield. Robert

Manufacturer photo: 2010 Honda Accord
Manufacturer photo: 2010 Honda Accord

strong>Dear Robert: Indeed, this is not a normal condition. Check to make sure the pump has ample pressure and the washer nozzles are not partly blocked. Make sure the rubber hose from the pump to the nozzles is free of tight bends that can cause a restriction of pump pressure.

strong>Dear Doctor: I own a 2006 Honda CR-V with 130,000 miles. The Honda-replacement transmission has 35,000 miles on it. The car runs perfectly, but here's my problem: I have an intermittent flashing "D" light on the gear selector. The transmission fluid is fine. Does the sensor control the differential oil and the transfer case oil? If so, then would that would explain when car is driven for a while the sensor light flashes? The colder the outside temperature the longer I can drive without the sensor flashing. How do I go through the process of elimination in pinpointing the problem? Jeff

strong>Dear Jeff: The flashing "D" light indicates a problem that should be diagnosed with a professional scan tool. Internal transmission temperature affects all internal parts and sensors, as well as fluid flow and small rubber seals that are hard when cold and soft when warm. You will need to check the fault codes before any service is done. Also when changing the transmission fluid use only factory-Honda fluid.

strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2003 Chevy Venture with 152,000 miles. I've been going to an auto service shop for three years and they've done good work. I brought my minivan in to the shop for a pulsing sensation in the brake pedal, and the pedal also seemed too low. The shop told me I needed rear brakes and drums and to get new brake hardware -- so I did. They also recommended a gravity flush for my brake system, which they did, but when I picked up my minivan the brake light was illuminated on and the "low brake fluid" warning light was on. They said that's because the sensor on the master cylinder might be stuck and to drive it awhile and see if it goes off. If it doesn't I might have to replace it or I might need a new master cylinder. What is your opinion? Thomas

strong>Dear Thomas: Did the pulsation go away? If it did, then the rear brake drums were out of round. As for the brake light and low fluid light being on, there is a sensor in the master cylinder plastic reservoir that can get stuck and cause the lights to illuminate. Sometimes just applying a slight jiggle to the reservoir can restore the float sensor to normal working. Gravity draining the fluid is fine, however the shop may have let the fluid drain out of the cylinder. The technician can also disconnect the level sensor for testing to verify this is the problem.

strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty with 108,000 miles. It has the 5.4-liter V-8 engine, which developed a small oil leak that cannot be located. It uses about 1 quart every 4 to 5 weeks. What is your advice on additives to seal up any leaking gaskets? Joe

strong>Dear Joe: There is no such thing as a small oil leak that cannot be located. A quart of oil monthly is not a small leak. I think the engine is using oil and burning it internally, not leaking. Have a technician check the PCV system for proper operation to make sure it is working properly.

strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2006 Toyota RAV4 with 83,000 miles. For the past two years there's been a mold smell coming from the air ducts. In addition to the smell, my eyes become itchy. I took the car to the dealer twice and each time they used an evaporator core cleaning kit (which they inject up into the core housing via the evap drain line). I have purchased that kit, as well as other aftermarket evap core cleaning kits (Klima Kleen, Kool It) and have even injected the cleaning foam into the evap core housing via the fan blower duct work. No matter how I do it, in each case, within a few weeks the smell is back. Other than replacing the evap core, do you have any other solutions? Dennis

strong>Dear Dennis: The smell of mold is usually a sign of moisture buildup. You could try is to use a disinfectant spray into the suction side at the lower part of the windshield. Spray the disinfectant at 60-second intervals with the heat on and then with the air conditioning on.

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