strong>Dear Doctor: I own a 2010 Ford Expedition that came equipped with Remote Start. I can start the truck remotely, however, when I open the door, the engine shuts off. This, in my opinion, defeats the purpose. I'm trying to fix this problem myself, so that the truck stays running when unlocking the doors to enter. What's the procedure? Lori
strong>Dear Lori: There are many remote starters that are wired to shut the engine off as soon as any door is opened -- like my wife's Toyota Camry and there's no way to bypass this feature in her car. I do not see it as defeating the purpose of a remote starter, but an additional safety feature to help prevent someone from trying to steal the vehicle. If the remote start is not a factory unit, then there may be a way to set it up to keep the engine running as you want. You will need to check with an electronics shop that installs remote starters. I am a fan of remote engine starters for cold winter mornings.
strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2015 Chevy Colorado pickup with a whining noise between 50 and 60 mph -- almost sounds like a bearing noise. The dealer service advisor went for a ride with me and he heard the whine and researched for other complaints on his computer, but found none. I don't think I should have to deal with it. This is very annoying. If I trade the truck I'll lose a lot of money. What should I do? Rob
strong>Dear Rob: Get a second opinion from a qualified technician and let him or her drive the truck to listen for that rear-end whine or bearing sound. A bearing sound will increase with speed. A rear-end gear whine will change pitch at 50-60 mph as you take your foot on and off the gas pedal. A whine from a front wheel bearing will change tone at speed when the steering wheel is turned slightly either way.
strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2004 Honda Accord with 125,000 miles and a 2005 Chevy Cavalier with 98,000 miles. I use full-synthetic oil on both cars. The cars run fine and don't leak oil, but should I switch to high-mileage full-synthetic oil? Which oil type would you recommend for each car? Alex
strong>Dear Alex: Many years ago the simple answer would have been to switch to high-mileage oil. Today's engines have less wear and most imports can easily run to 300,000 miles. If the engines are not using a lot of oil and running good, I would continue using the oil you have been using. If oil consumption changes, then switch to the high-mileage oil. There is no question that quality synthetic oil protects all the internal engine parts better than regular petroleum oil, as well as it has better friction qualities that equal better gas mileage.
strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2005 Toyota Sienna minivan with 133,000 miles without any major repair. In the past month I noticed the muffler had a noise, so I brought it to a local muffler shop. He did some mending repairs on it and when I drove home it seemed quiet and performed well. However when I run it in the 30-to-40-mph range, it has a loud humming and vibration feeling coming from the middle of the under body of the van. I took a 700-mile trip and it ran fine and quiet at highway speeds, but town and low-speed driving is where the problem exists. Can you help? John
strong>Dear John: I can tell you that aftermarket exhaust muffler and resonators are much louder than the factory ones. They may also have flex sections in the front pipe that can often rot and leak. I have seen multiple shops replace the flex section with a solid section non-flex section that causes strange sounds. Make sure there is no exhaust-to-frame contact.
strong>Dear Doctor: I'm interested in getting a soft top for my Jeep Wrangler with the hard top. I looked at the factory Jeep top and was amazed at the price. Can you suggest a company that sells a soft top at a reasonable price that is also easy to install? Robert
strong>Dear Robert: I own a 2006 Jeep Wrangler that did not have a soft top. I ordered the Trektop NX soft top from Best Top. The instructions are step-by-step, and approximate installation time is under two hours. There's some normal wind noise from soft top that you cannot get away from with any brand, even the factory top. It did take a few days for all the plastic window wrinkles to disappear. For more information contact Bestop.com.
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