strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2005 Toyota Tacoma V-6 with the TRD package. The cruise control will not activate whenever I push the button on the cruise control handle. What is the likely cause of this failure? Also, I have an all-stock 326 cubic-inch displacement 1967 Pontiac Le Mans with 114,000 miles. At this high mileage, what is the most probable cause for valves tapping -- and what is the best fix for them. Frank
strong>Dear Frank: There is no one reason for the cruise control fault. A scan test for fault codes will be the first step followed by an inspection of all the related connections, including the brake light position switch and cruise switch at the brake pedal (if equipped). Regarding the Pontiac, check the oil pressure followed by removing the valve covers and see if the rocker arms can be adjusted. There could be a worn camshaft and or valve lifters. You have to be very careful to use the correct oil that is made for older engines that have a high concentration of zinc. If you use oil without zinc, then camshaft and lifters will destruct.
strong>Dear Doctor: I purchased a GMC Jimmy with the 4.3-liter engine and 80,000 original miles, which ran rough and would start very rough. I took it to two different mechanic friends who could not find the source of running rough. But, as I kept checking myself I found the external fuel filter was installed the wrong way. I bought a Delco fuel filter and installed it and now the truck runs great. Could this have been the cause of the rough running or you think it was a dirty filter? Peter
strong>Dear Peter: Fuel pressure and volume are extremely important for any fuel-injected engine for proper start-up and drivability. As little as a 5 pound drop in pressure will cause issues. A fuel installed backwards new would not cause any problems under normal driving conditions, as I have seen many fuel filters installed backwards. But as time goes on the fuel will clog sooner. You may want to check the fuel filter in six months for any blockage or contamination. I also suggest to always buy a high-quality name brand filter. The internal filter component is very important. A cheap filter element will break apart and clog the fuel injectors.
strong>Dear Doctor: I have an awful time with water spots on my car and truck after washing them. I even followed your advice on removing the spray nozzle and that made a big difference. I use well-water and always dry both vehicles. Any additional advice would be appreciated. Rob
strong>Dear Rob: The water spotting is from the minerals, which need to be removed. I use a water de-ionizer for the final rinse. I do not use the de-ionizer for the washing. I would suggest buying a de-ionizer and a replacement de-ionizer resin package. You can also buy a meter to measure the calcium and magnesium in the water before flowing through the de-ionizer -- a good de-ionizer will cost around $300.
strong>Dear Doctor: I have heard various opinions about the CVT-style transmissions. Recently, I was investigating the pros and cons of purchasing a Honda CR-V, which has a CVT transmission. Being a senior citizen I am hesitant on purchasing newer technology, which might make a transmission more complex than it already is. Some cars have CVTs, which are not recommended by a variety of commentators. Gas mileage is not a concern to me. Please enlighten me and your readers with some facts I can use to purchase a new vehicle -- with a CVT or without a CVT. Ken
strong>Dear Ken: Indeed, many vehicles now equipped the CVT transmission, with more vehicles in the pipeline to come equipped with them. CVT transmissions have had problems over the years, however, today they are much improved. As long as you're not towing a trailer or heavy-duty use you should not have any problems with a CVT-equipped vehicle. I also suggest the transmission fluid be changed every 30,000 miles, and it is a simple drain and fill using the factory fluid, just like an oil change. The advantage of the CVT is to keep the engine speed in the maximum torque range when under acceleration. Personally, I like the multi-speed transmission vs. the CVT.
strong>Dear Doctor: What is your opinion on using Royal Purple synthetic oil after my first oil change? I know that it costs more than most other oils. Should I stick with other known brands? Joe
strong>Dear Joe: Royal Purple is a premium high-performance oil brand used by many racers in all types of racing. There are many premium oil brands on the market. Yes, go ahead and feel free to use this brand
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