Answers to your car questions
I have a 1994 Sonoma pickup truck and a problem with its right signal flasher. It works fine in daylight hours but at night, when I turn my headlights on, it lights up on the dash but does not work when I go to use it. At first I thought it was just a blown bulb so my neighbour changed both front and back bulbs. At first we thought that fixed the problem because it worked in the daytime. At night, when I went to use it, it did not work. The next day my brother put in a new flasher and it worked until I turned my headlights on for night driving. When I turn the headlights on, the signal lights up on the dash but when I go to use it, it doesn’t work. My brother thinks that there is a short somewhere. Other than this problem, the truck starts and runs great. Do you have any idea what may be causing this? What is the best way to find out for sure why this is happening? I read your column in the newspaper all the time but I’ve never seen anything about this type of problem. I sure hope that you can help me out.
Grace from Hamilton
Your brother sounds like he has some mechanical aptitude so I want you to tell him that the ground wire for the headlights is most likely not making contact causing a feedback to the signaling system. Your truck does not have a shorting problem but it does have a grounding problem. Follow the black ground wire from one of the headlights to where it makes contact with the body of the truck. The ground contact will be somewhere around the radiator support of the truck. Clean off that contact and it should solve your problem. If it does not then contact me again and we will find out where the grounding problem is.
I had to replace the U-joint on my 2000 Dodge truck about two weeks ago and ever since that time I have been getting a bad vibration at around sixty kilometers per hour. I have been back to the garage twice and they now tell me that the drive shaft is bent and that has nothing to do with the replaced U-joint. I went to another shop and they told me that the front U-joint is seized and needs to be replaced. My point is that the garage replaced the wrong U-joint and I am now stuck with having to replace the one that was needed all along. The garage tells me that it was the rear U-joint that was bad and they did not feel that the front one was in need of replacement at the time. Could you look into this for me to see if I got ripped off?
Thanks Danny from Dundas
I spoke to both garages and the garage that replaced your truck’s rear U-joint did so at your request. Apparently, the place where you had the last oil change told you that the rear U-joint was defective and needed to be replaced. You then bought the rear U-joint yourself and asked your garage to install it. It sounds reasonable to suggest that the garage did exactly as you had asked them to do. When I spoke to the garage that detected the worn front U-joint, they told me that the front U-joint was seized and would have been hard to miss if it was checked when the drive shaft was removed. That point I agree with. There is no question that the garage that replaced your truck’s rear U-joint, whether you told them to replace it or not, should have detected that the front U-joint was also in need of being replaced. The garage that replaced your truck’s rear U-joint has agreed that if you purchase the front U-joint, they will replace it free of any labour charge. This sounds like a win for you!
A HAPPY SPECTATOR READER
I want to thank you and the Spectator for helping me resolve my factory warranty problem with my new car. I am sure that if you had not intervened on my behalf, I would not have had such a favorable resolve. I know that my dealer did everything that they could but it was not until you got involved that things started to quickly move along and was resolved to my satisfaction. Thanks again!
Marion from Binbrook