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Sunshine Makes Console Flat Screen Hard to See

By Junior Damato, August 3rd, 2019

strong>Dear Doctor: I own a 2012 Camry. When the sun is bright, the radio/navigation screen is impossible to read until I get in shadier spot. It seems the flat screen should be indented into a cabinet or it should have protruding sides to help block light. What can I do? The auto body shop said they often see this problem but there's nothing they can recommend. I haven't seen my radio stations or navigation on a sunny day since I bought this car new. Can you help me? Jean

Manufacturer photo: 2012 Toyota Camry
Manufacturer photo: 2012 Toyota Camry

strong>Dear Jean: You are not alone. My wife had the same complaint on all her Camrys. First, make sure the display is set to either on automatic or daytime. Next, try adjusting the light and contrast settings. An online company called NuShield may be able to help. A small piece of cardboard or plastic cut to fit over the screen can be held on with hook-and-look tape, or even slid into the CD slot (if you have one). Installing windshield tint at the top 6 inches (if legal in your state) can help, and, if equipped with a sunroof, make sure the shade is closed.

strong>Dear Doctor: I own a 2016 Honda Pilot equipped with all-wheel drive. Even though I only drive about 4,000 miles per year I get the oil changed every six months -- and had the brake fluid flushed at the three-year mark. I also change the air and cabin filter annually. I've searched the Honda manual and websites trying to determine when the other services are due to no avail. The Maintenance Minder is supposed to display codes when the services are due and yet the dealer is telling me that the rear differential service is due at the first 15,000 miles and then every 15,000 miles. When is the transmission/transfer fluid due for a change? Is there a list anywhere that identifies when services are due by mileage/time frame? John

strong>Dear John: Your annual driving mileage is very low. Transmission fluid would be four years or 50,000 miles. I agree with the dealer suggestion; changing the differential fluid every 15,000 miles is not a bad thing on Honda AWD vehicles, as this will prevent the clutches in the differential from binding when making tight turns at slow speeds. All maintenance services can be found on the Alldata web site. Do not forget about tire rotation: you should do it yearly.

strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2017 Lincoln MKZ with one glitch: At times the radio will come on when I shift the transmission into P, D, or R. It happens sporadically. Any thoughts? Don

strong>Dear Don: A transmission selector switch on the transmission affects a lot of electronics in the system, and can shut off the radio when moving the gear selector. This repair should fall under the factory warranty for three years.

strong>Dear Doctor: When I brought my 2013 Ford Escape to the dealer for a tire rotation, they told me the lug nuts were swollen and they couldn't get the socket around the lug nut. They wanted to charge me lot to change them. Have you ever heard of this? Gary

strong>Dear Gary: I see a lot of swollen chrome lug nuts on various vehicle brands. These are often two-piece lug nuts that are subject to rust buildup between the actual lug nut and chrome cover. We replace lug nuts all the time with one-piece chrome aftermarket lug nuts available at most auto parts stores. The average good quality chrome lug nut is only $3.50 - $5.00 each and worth the money.

strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2002 Nissan Sentra with 130,000 miles. The transmission hesitates when shifting from first to second. When I took it to the dealer to change the fluid, they did not change the filter. The transmission still has this problem. I did check the fluid, and it is a half-quart low. I was thinking of putting in Locus transmission fluid. What are your thoughts? John

strong>Dear John: The transmission filter on some of these older-model vehicles is internal. A shift pressure cable on most of these cars helps control the shifting. Fluid pressure can also be easily checked. There are many possibilities, so I recommend you see a transmission-trained technician, who will check for any fault codes.

Engine Ticking is Normal Sound

08/17

Engine Ticking is Normal Sound

strong>Dear Doctor: My wife has a 2017 Toyota Highlander that she loves, except for a loud ticking noise from the engine compartment when in gear. The car has 12,000 miles. The noise has been there since day one. On one visit to the dealer, two tech reps from Toyota listened and said "it is a characteristic of the model," but to us it sounds like a cement mixer. That's not normal! As a former service manager I can honestly say I have never heard a car that didn't have a serious engine problem make noise like this. Do you know anything about this? James

Transmission Fluid: Change It, Don't Flush It

08/10

Transmission Fluid: Change It, Don't Flush It

strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2008 BMW 328i with 60,000 miles. I'm the original owner and have never had any transmission problems. Should I ever consider changing the transmission fluid? I plan to keep the car indefinitely. James

Why Did My 2018 New Car Battery Die?

07/27

Why Did My 2018 New Car Battery Die?

strong>Dear Doctor: When I parked my 2018 Honda Accord and returned to start it, everything was completely dead. The only thing that showed any life at all was the blinking push start/stop button, yet pressing the pushbutton failed to start the car. After the battery was boosted, the car immediately started and everything returned to normal. No warning symbols appeared on the dash, and the problem has not occurred again since then. I hesitate to bring it in to Honda since it seems to have been a singular event and the car has had no other problems. Do you have any ideas on what happened, why it happened, and what do you suggest I do now? Bruce

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