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Repair and Maintenance

2000 Questions and Answers with Bob Hagin

  • Week 1 A new Buick in Elgin, IL has an engine "whistle" that the dealer can't fix. A father in Carmichael, CA wonders about restoring a vintage AMC Alliance. A Honda owner in Springfield, OR is worried that once her car is repaired, will never be quite right again.
  • Week 2 A Dodge piston "fried" in Redlands, CA. In Seattle, WA, a Plymouth owner wants to know if he should have an axle "boot" replaced or the entire axle. A do-it-yourselfer want to know how to check spark plug wires at home.
  • Week 3 A vintage Mercury stalls in Elk Grove, CA. In Sweet Home, OR, the paint is peeling from a Chevy. "How long can I drive my '97 VW with the Check Engine light on?" asks an owner in Aurora, IL.
  • Week 4 A Geo in San Bernardino, CA has a starting quirk. A Buick in Chesapeake, VA has many problems and may not be economically repairable. "Our Ford Windstar has so many rattles our mechanic doesn't know where to start," says an owner in Boise, ID.
  • Week 5 A veteran Chevy in Lincoln, CA has trouble operating its choke. A Mercury driver in Elizabeth City, NC wants production figures on her "designer series" Cougar. The brakes are grinding on an still-under-warranty Pontiac in Bolingbrook. IL.
  • Week 6 In Virginia Beach, VA, a Buick owner found oil in her radiator. A Sacramento, CA reader is looking for a web site to check repair prices. A Dodge owner has a minor problem in Milton, WA.
  • Week 7 A 10-year old Ford is "hiccuping" in Edemnton, NC. In Loma Linda, CA, a Chevy Impala "ate" its transmission. Two speedometers in Norfolk, VA have developed the shakes.
  • Week 8 The owner of an old Dodge can't find parts in San Bernardino, CA. A cracked block showed up on a Toyota in Grants Pass, OR. In Virginia Beach, VA, a Mercury has an undetectable oil leak.
  • Week 9 In Carmel CA, a Ford owner had car troubles as soon as it left the shop. A pair of older Toyota motorhomes have difficult starting when they sit around in Seattle WA. A Portland OR MGB owner wonders if parts are available for a full restoration.
  • Week 10 A '00 Mazda van has an incurable problem in Antioch, CA. In Bothwell, WA, a Ford Windstar has the "wobbles." A Chevy in Dundee, IL has gone through three transmissions in three months.
  • Week 11 In Placerville, CA, "something" flew off a Chevy engine and now it vibrates. A minivan slips and slides in the snow in Wheaton, IL. "Can my Neon head gasket be replaced once and for all?" asks a reader in Chesapeake, VA.
  • Week 12 A Dodge Neon in Rotterdam, NY rides rough and has uncomfortable seats. In Sacramento, CA, a new Honda has a "fast" speedometer. A vintage Ford pickup is humming in Harbinger, NC.
  • Week 13 A '92 Mazda has a noisy engine in Coos Bay, OR. In Kent, WA, a Mitsubishi loses power on hills. "Can I put in a new camshaft without changing the followers?" asks a reader in Martinez, CA.
  • Week 14 A reader in San Bernardino, CA has an old "steamer" trunk that she feels should be on the rear-rack of an antique car. A Chevrolet in Virginia Beach, VA is "clicky" when it's hot. A short person has a tall problem with airbags in Eugene, OR.
  • Week 15 In Norfolk, VA, a Ford has squeaky rocker arms. A Buick owner can't get his remote door locks fixed in Canajoharie, NY. A parent in Los Angeles, CA wants to know the origin of the name "Jeep."
  • Week 16 A Jeep Cherokee in San Antonio, TX is on its second set of differential bearings. The new owner of an old Cadillac needs non-technical information sources. "Can I adjust my own valves?" asks a Toyota owner in Miami, FL.
  • Week 17 A reader in Elk Grove, CA wonders about changing transmission oil in his stick-shift Ford. A Honda in Chesapeake, VA idles rough after a repair job. A Chevrolet steers hard until it warms up in Boise, ID.
  • Week 18 A Toyota owner wonders about timing belts in Sacramento, CA. The steering wheel on a new Ford isn't centered in Bothell, WA. "Why should a wrecked car with 280 miles be worth less than a new one after it's rebuilt," asks a reader in Virginia Beach, VA
  • Week 19 In Seattle, WA, a reader has a question about Ford head gaskets. A Dodge in Geneva, IL, has a dirt-filled body "cavity" that worries the owner. Another Ford owner wonders how often a water pump belt should be changed in Portsmouth, VA.
  • Week 20 A reader Sutter, CA says his new GMC steers too hard. A 14-year old Subaru loses power on hills. "What's the best way to repair a flat tire?" asks a car owner in Norfolk, VA.
  • Week 21 In Orinda, CA, a Camaro owner wants to arrive at a good selling price. The new owner of an old Mercedes is in a technical quandary in Howes Cave, NY. An irate owner of a new Chevrolet in Virginia Beach, VA, says it sounds like a "jalopy."
  • Week 22 An Isuzu pickup owner in Portland, OR, can't find a used rear end and wonders if his old one can be rebuilt. In Dixon, CA, an Acura owner wonders about octane ratings. A buyer in Tucson, AZ, wants to buy a used Ford truck.
  • Week 23 A Ford owner in Rialto, CA wants to find the "do-hickey" that will fix his courtesy lamp. "Should I have replaced parts that weren't broken?" asks a Nissan owner in Virginia Beach. A Dodge owner in Seattle, WA, wants to contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Week 24 A history reader in Springfield, OR, wants to know about early Japanese cars. A Camry owner had her son fix her brakes in Concord, CA, and has a question about pedal action. In Bothell, WA, an irate Pontiac owner wants to know why modern cars are hard to fix and the parts cost so much.
  • Week 25 A Ford owner in Fontana, CA, smells gas fumes and her shop can't find the source. A Chevrolet in Chesapeake, VA, has gone through four transmissions in 44,000 miles. In Seattle, WA, a potential buyer of a vintage Datsun needs information.
  • Week 26 In Shorewood, IL, the owner of a new Chevrolet says it rides too rough. A strange noise is coming from under the hood of a Celebrity in Sierraville, CA, but only when it's cold. In Portsmouth, VA, a reader wants to know what an "EGR" valve does.
  • Week 27 In Springfield, OR the buyer of an Eagle Vision wants to know the history of the make. A fastidious vehicle owner in Waterford, NY, wants to know how to clean his engines. A Ford owner in Chesapeake, VA, is irked by premature failure of his spark plugs.
  • Week 28 A Toyota engine blew up in Las Vegas, NV, and the owner doesn't know why. A Dodge owner in North Highlands, CA, has a question about air conditioner conversions. A senior citizen in Virginia Beach, VA, wants help on buying a new car.
  • Week 29 A Mazda owner in Barstow, CA wonders about an oil leak. In Eugene, OR, a rebuilt '30 Model A Ford has no compression after a belated fire-up. A would-be auto mechanic in Boston, MA, wants a magazine that publishes professional-level articles.
  • Week 30 An SUV owner wants to update his Toyota in Chico, CA. A Ford owner in Kent, WA is told by her dealer to drive harder and more often. A truck owner in Chesapeake, VA can't pinpoint an annoying vibration.
  • Week 31 In Yucaipa, CA, a Toyota owner wonders about spark plugs. In Bellevue, WA, a reader has questions about modern motor oil. A Dodge truck in Chesapeake, VA has a noisy rear end.
  • Week 32 A reader in Portland, OR wants to beat gas prices by building an electric car. A vintage Chevy owner in Seattle, WA has carburetor questions. In Citrus Heights, CA, a Nissan owner has lots of clutch problems.
  • Week 33 In Welcome, MD, a new Ford has emissions problems and the company can't fix it. A Jeep owner in Yuba city, CA, can't get it into gear. A Crown Victoria owner in Boise, ID sometimes can't get even get the engine to spin over unless she "wiggles" the key.
  • Week 34 A do-it-yourself Honda owner got in trouble in Seattle, WA. In Ft. Washington, NY, a wobbly new Chrysler can't keep its balance. A Geo Prizm got catastrophically out of control in Redlands, CA.
  • Week 35 In Danville, CA, a suspension piece fell off a Chrysler but it kept on going. A Dodge has a little grease drip in Jacksonville, FL. In Boise, ID, a fisherman has an annoying squeak in his Suzuki.
  • Week 36 A Chrysler in Redmond, WA, has low oil pressure at idle. In Virginia Beach, VA, a Toyota doesn't always start in the heat. The right rear tire of a '98 Mercedes wears out six times as fast as the other three in Yucaipa, CA.
  • Week 37 The San Bernardino, CA, owner of a couple of veteran cars wants them to go to a museum. A 17-year old Chevy ran amok and wrecked a garage in Seattle, WA. A home-mechanic can't figure out how to change his differential oil in Portland, OR.
  • Week 38 A Corvette owner in Danville, CA, wants to put his car on the Silver Screen. A VW Beetle owner in Bellevue, WA, needs a parts source for his '73 model. A Plymouth transmission in Norfolk, VA, is having lots of problems.
  • Week 39 An aging Mustang has a vibration at speed in Orinda, CA. A Toyota owner in Aventura, FL, wonders if she was oversold on a brake job. A Mitsubishi owner in Chesapeake, VA, needs a shop manual.
  • Week 40 A G.M. owner in Florence, OR, has a question about antifreeze. A Dodge Dakota has the "wrong" tires for snow chains in Santa Fe, NM, and it came off the assembly line that way. A hard-of-hearing husband in San Diego, CA, can't hear the brake squeak his wife complains of on their Ford.
  • Week 41 A Ford in Danville, CA, lost oil pressure after a repair job. A Thunderbird in Blue River, OR, has an engine noise if it sits a couple of days. A Toyota whistles at speed in Harrison, ID.
  • Week 42 A curious reader in Naperville, IL, wonders about the location of fuel filler necks. A new Ford in Seattle, WA, spews water out of its tail pipe. "I'm afraid to drive my car with faulty brakes and I can't get it fixed," says an owner in Hercules, CA.
  • Week 43 A writer in Barstow, CA, has a Dodge that smokes. Another in Springfield, OR, wants to know about mini-RVs. A Ford owner in Fall city, WA, is mystified about spark plug replacement.
  • Week 44 A reader in Alexandria, VA, wants to know what kind of car to buy. In Anchorage, AK, a Plymouth owner has noisy steering. An Oldsmobile shifts itself into neutral at high speed in Carmichael, CA.
  • Week 45 In San Diego, CA, a reader wants to convert his Camaro to a stick-shift. The brakes on a small Ford squeal when they're cold in Portland, OR. The steering on a Dodge vibrates at idle in Virginia Beach, VA
  • Week 46 "Should I ride a bicycle to work?" asks a Honda owner in Redding, CA. A Dodge smells of gasoline in Santa Fe, NM. A retired executive wants to get into the hobby car world in Norfolk, VA
  • Week 47 A Ford owner in Forest Falls, CA wants to know about 4-WD conversions. A Honda smokes up the neighborhood in Springfield, OR. Seven drive belts have broken in 140 miles on an Olds in Virginia Beach, VA
  • Week 48 A Saab in Billings, MT, has a steering vibration. A Buick has battery troubles in Yreka, CA. When turning, a Nissan in San Antonio, TX, squeaks.
  • Week 49 An oil leak in Jasper, OR, ruined an engine when the repair didn't work. A '97 Chevy goes through lots of brakes in Victorville, CA. A myth about oil changes is questioned in Norfolk, VA
  • Week 50 In Redlands, CA, a reader has a question about an oil maker's claim. A Lincoln in Cheriton, PA, has a washboard rumble. What's my '60 T'Bird worth?" asks an owner in Virginia Beach, VA.
  • Week 51 "Why do GM 3.8 engines burn oil?" asks a reader in Sacramento, CA. A Jeep in Sweet Home, OR, starts hard. A Ford uses too much automatic transmission fluid in Chesapeake, VA.
  • Week 52 A Hyundai has engine noise in Antioch, CA. An Isuzu "clicks" while cornering in Denver, CO. "Is my Olds going to be collectible?" asks a reader in Virginia Beach, VA.

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