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Repair and Maintenance

1999 Questions and Answers with Bob Hagin

  • Week 1 A low-mileage Lincoln in Benicia, CA has fumes in the cockpit. A veteran Plymouth runs rough when the engine is cold in Springfield, OR. "Why aren't motorcycle engines used in cars?" asks a reader in Newport News, VA.
  • Week 2 An '84 BMW has shaky brakes in Virginia Beach, VA. "Where is the water leak in my Nissan," asks a reader in San Bernardino, CA. An ambitious old-timer wants to build one Sunbeam out of two in Reno, NV.
  • Week 3 In Lodi, CA a reader wants to know about the price difference in spark plugs. Another in Eugene, OR has an acceleration vibration in his camper truck. A Chevrolet in Schenectady, NY has a radio noise but only on AM stations.
  • Week 4 A lucky reader in Antelope Valley, CA won a car and wants to know about it. A Chevy still has noises even after an expensive repair job in Eastville, VA. A Mustang has an easy-to-fix clutch problem in Seattle, WA.
  • Week 7 A Pontiac pulls to the right in Chesapeake, VA. A reader had the headlight fall out of his car on a rainy night in Alamo, CA. A Nissan became hard to start when it moved to Santa Fe, NM.
  • Week 8 A V6 Mustang owner in Eugene, OR has a question on the durability of the cylinder heads on his car. In San Bernardino, CA, a Toyota owner finds his transmission is popping out of gear. A Honda owner in Virginia Beach, VA came to woe when he changed his own front brake pads.
  • Week 9 A vintage Toyota in Erdenheim, PA takes a long time to warm up. Is a fake MG in Brentwood, CA welcome in a club dedicated to the real thing? A drive belt is constantly squealing in Shawboro, NC.
  • Week 10 A Toyota Camry in Elmira, OR vibrates when the brakes are applied. A new Dodge Diesel makes oil spots in Bloomington, CA. A Mercury owner in Mercer Island can't get his oil drain plug out or even tight.
  • Week 11 A Mercury owner in Pinole, CA wonders if his inherited '96 two-door is a "classic." In Norfolk, VA, a reader is reconstructing a "basket case" Toyota. A Nissan owner in Eugene, OR needs advice on valve lifters.
  • Week 12 A Ford truck stumbles so hard in Lincoln, CA that it rattles the driver. A child's safety seat in Virginia Beach, VA won't stay latched and the company says it's OK. A Dodge in Milton, WA take up to two minutes to upshift.
  • Week 14 In Zephyrhills, FL, a Ford owner wonders if he faces a big transmission bill. A 10-year old Chrysler has fan problems in San Bernardino, CA. An elderly Mercury has a broken gas gauge in Virginia Beach, VA
  • Week 15 A high-mileage Nissan stumbles in Sacramento, CA. A Honda owner notices an oily vapor coming out from under her hood in Chesapeake, VA. A Volkswagen makes an unusual "clunk" when turning a corner in Boise, ID.
  • Week 16 The brakes on a Plymouth in Joilet, IL are removing the enamel from its owner's teeth. A used Cadillac in Applegate, CA smokes going down hill. The timing belt on a Mazda in Mount Gilead, NC is living on borrowed time.
  • Week 17 The charging system on a Ford in Seattle, WA, is stranding its owner at inopportune times. In Castro Valley, CA, a Toyota owner is disappointed in her rebuilt transmission. "Why does my Taurus click when I back up?" asks a reader in Norfolk, VA.
  • Week 18 A vintage Lincoln is stalling periodically in Sacramento, CA and the owner is nervous. A reader in Aulander, NC wonders about oil differences. "Is there such a thing as a front-wheel-drive pickup?" asks another in Marcola, OR.
  • Week 19 In Windsor, NC, a Ford owner is having heating problems after an overhaul. A Jeep in Pittsburg, CA, literally blew its top and the owner wonders why. A potential diesel truck buyer in Mountlake, WA, wonders how long one will last.
  • Week 20 A Cadillac in Chesapeake, VA keeps eating spark plugs. In North Highlands, CA, a Dodge van bottoms-out with a heavy load. "What caused my oil filter to fall off?" asks a reader in Springfield, OR.
  • Week 21 A Toyota owner in Virgina Beach, VA is told his car needs an engine flush. Another Toyota in Seattle, WA "clunks" when it leave a stop sign. A father in Alamo, CA needs advice about car hobbies.
  • Week 22 The owner of a Cadillac V8-6-4 finds her car is jumping all over the road when it hits the hills in Daggett, CA. A Dodge in Shoreline, WA has carbon in its cylinders and the owner wants to get it out. A new Nissan in Norfolk, VA smells like rotten eggs.
  • Week 23 A Toyota stalls on freeway on-ramps in Bellevue, WA. In Antioch, CA, a Ford developed a rough transmission when the brakes failed. A Buick Skylark has a noisy engine that overheats in Boise, ID.
  • Week 24 A reader in Sacramento, CA wants to sell her rough '64 Chevy Malibu and needs to know how much to ask for it. In Norfolk, VA an RV van owner hit a curb and has a shimmy problem. "My Ford Bronco rides bad after I had new shocks put on," complains an owner in Geneva, IL.
  • Week 25 In Florence, Or, a VW van owner has a rough transmission. "Why did my head gasket blow out twice in 24,000 miles?" asks a reader in Monterey, CA. In "chilly" Seattle, WA, a Chevrolet air conditioning system takes 10 minutes to start working.
  • Week 26 A GMC van "diesels" in Fair Oaks, CA. A Dodge transmission is going bad a second time in Norfolk, VA and the factory says it's unfixable. "Should I leave my automatic transmission in drive at a stop signal?" asks a driver in Edmonds, WA.
  • Week 27 I In Concord, CA, the alarm on a Kia goes off every time the owner starts the car. A new Chrysler in Milton, WA has water in a taillight and the "fix" is expensive. An old Pontiac that does duty as a school bus blows oil on the highway in Aurora, IL.
  • Week 28 A Toyota has an apparently incurable vibration in Moyock, NC. A Mazda Miata owner in Virginia Beach, VA wants information on preserving its top. A Honda Accord is losing power in Monterey, CA.
  • Week 29 In Virginia Beach, VA, a Chevrolet is going through alternators and its owner is perplexed. The owner of a vintage Buick installed its battery backwards in Mercer Island with disastrous results. A Toyota in Sacramento, CA knocked out engine bearings at 40,000 miles.
  • Week 30 A Ford truck is "pinging" in Portsmouth, VA, after a water pump replacement. A Datsun owner in Bakersfield, CA wants to try an engine rebuild at home. A Dodge Ram has a ringing sound emanating from under the chassis in Seattle, WA.
  • Week 31 A driver in Sacramento, CA wants to know if he should "prime" his oil pump after oil changes. A Buick owner in Renton, WA has gone through four horns in as many years. A Chrysler owner in Cleveland, OH is told of an unusual factory-fix for his suspension noise.
  • Week 32 An aging Toyota Camry overheats in Kent, WA. A shop in Grass Valley wants to change the timing belt on a Mercury prematurely. A young person in San Antonio, TX wants to find a "non-auto" auto hobby.
  • Week 33 In Portland, OR, a Toyota shoots sparks out of its tail pipe. A Jeep in Norfolk, VA suffers from low oil pressure. The paint is peeling off of a Chevy truck in Barstow, CA.
  • Week 34 A Toyota cylinder head corrodes in Martinez, CA. In Houston, TX, a Honda power steering pump leaks. A Ford owner in Oakridge, OR wants to know how to do-it-himself.
  • Week 35 A Chevrolet SS owner in Virginia Beach, VA is concerned about his differential. Another in Sacramento, CA says the oil pressure on his Cadillac is too high, it burns too much oil and it stalls when all the wires are hooked up. "Will the Y2K "bug" infect my Neon," asks a reader in Westbury, NY.
  • Week 36 In Chesapeake, VA, a Volkswagen pulls to the left. A Chevrolet van in Rescue, CA "rattles" when the engine is started in the morning. A Neon in Joliet, IL requires high-test gasoline or it won't run right.
  • Week 37 In Elgin, IL, a Buick's air conditioner smells like something died in it when it's turned on. A Toyota had too much oil put into it in Virginia Beach, VA. Coil wires are burning out in a Mazda in Pleasant Hill, CA.
  • Week 38 A Toyota truck in Concord, NH is using oil. A Nissan sedan has gasoline in its oil in Franklin, VA. "Can I use long-life antifreeze in my older car?" asks a reader in Newton, MA.
  • Week 39 In Seattle, WA, a Pontiac owner is having trouble getting a parking brake handle fixed. A Buick in Cottage Grove,OR had a case of terminal corrosion of the freeze plugs. "My '86 Toyota has the shakes and the mechanic says it can't be fixed," laments a reader in Bakersfield, CA.
  • Week 40 A reader in Tehachapi, CA wants to know if he should rebuild or replace the engine in his Suzuki Sidekick. Another who lists his address as Fleet Post Office has wiring problems with is vintage Toyota. "I'm trying to teach my son auto basics" laments a father in Franklin, VA but his son's Plymouth isn't cooperating.
  • Week 41The brakes on my Ford are overheating since I fixed them," complains a reader in Chesapeake, VA. Another in Elizabeth City, NC says she can't get her 12 year old Buick fixed. A Honda in Pleasanton, CA has a slightly rough throttle pedal action.
  • Week 42 In Joliet, IL an Oldsmobile won't pass the state's emissions test. "My Toyota leaks oil and we can't find the cause," says a reader in Richmond, CA. A wife in San Antonio, TX wants a "definitive" book on auto for her husband.
  • Week 43 A "streetrod" overheats in Pollock Pines, CA. A Ford owner wonders if he was sold an "old" pickup as new in Harrisburg, OR, 23 years ago. A Portsmouth, VA, Mazda owner paid over $400 to get his truck fixed and it didn't cure the problem.
  • Week 44 A reader in El Sobrante, CA wants information on a "magic' radiator cap. A '96 Toyota in Eugene, OR has broken two windshields in three years for no apparent reason. A Nissan buyer in Chesapeake, VA had a semantic problem with his window sticker.
  • Week 45 Smoke comes from the ignition key hole of a Plymouth in Norfolk VA. A "pumping" sound is unfathomable in Waldorf, MD. A Spanish naval officer on duty in Washington wants to take his American Nissan back to Spain when his tour of duty is over.
  • Week 46 "Should I leave my new Toyota in overdrive all the time?" asks a reader in Elk Grove, CA. A nine-year old Honda in Eugene, OR has unfixable exhaust noises, A "hot-rod" Nissan burns up clutches in Seattle, WA.
  • Week 47 A Chrysler in Portland, OR had chattering brakes. A new Hyundai in Seattle, WA pulls right under acceleration. "How can I fix the electric fan in my sister's Chevy?" asks a reader in San Jose, CA.
  • Week 48 A Ford owner in Springfield, OR is "bugged" by his dashboard. The differential in a Chevy van in Virginia Beach, VA is a constant whiner. A big Ford in Richmond, CA suddenly became an oilcoholic.
  • Week 49 In San Francisco, CA, a Honda "grinds" going into fifth gear. On a "sweeper" turn, a Dodge loses its oil pressure in Seattle, WA. "How often do you change a passenger compartment air filter?" asks a reader in Norfolk, VA

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