Answers to your car ques­tions

The Hamilton Spectator - - WHEELS.CA - PS Read­ers, Please be ad­vised that all emails can­not be an­swered. Send your ques­tions (be sure to in­clude your ad­dress) by email to: den­nis.osul­li­van@co­ or mail: Box 10019, Wi­nona, ON L8E 5R1 DEN­NIS O’SUL­LI­VAN


I have a 2006 Toy­ota Ma­trix, which I bought as a demo (6 or 7,000 kms) from the dealer. I had a paint pro­tec­tor ap­plied, as well as an un­der­body rust coat­ing. The rust coat­ing was sup­posed to last for ten years and it has. The ser­vice at­ten­dant says that there isn’t any rust. The car has been ser­viced reg­u­larly at the deal­er­ship and has around 108,000 kms on it and is in good run­ning or­der. There have been some me­chan­i­cal prob­lems that come with an eleven year old car but noth­ing se­ri­ously ex­pen­sive. I would like to keep the car as long as pos­si­ble. When I asked the dealer if I should get it rust coated again, they said that it wouldn’t be worth it. One ser­vice per­son said I should get it oiled and an­other said not to. This is why I am writ­ing to you for your ad­vice. Thanks in ad­vance.

Jane from Kitch­ener


If no one has ac­tu­ally looked at the un­der­car­riage of the ve­hi­cle, they are not in any po­si­tion, as well as my­self, to give you an in­formed sug­ges­tion as to what your car does or does not need. I would take the car to a rep­utable body shop and pay a small fee for them to put your car on the hoist and look to see if there are any ar­eas of con­cern. Once you have done that, you are in a much bet­ter po­si­tion to de­ter­mine if your car might need some touch up rust pro­tec­tion in some ar­eas. The body shop might find some ar­eas of un­der­car­riage rust that have eluded the rust pro­tec­tion ap­pli­ca­tion over the past eleven years and it might not be too late to ap­ply fur­ther rust pro­tec­tion ma­te­rial. Af­ter that in­spec­tion, you will be in a much bet­ter po­si­tion to make a de­ter­mi­na­tion as to what steps to take to fur­ther pro­tect your car, if you in­tend to keep it for a while longer.


Just un­der two years ago, I pur­chased a used 2006 Sante Fe 2WD V6, 190,000 kilo­me­ters with au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The car al­ways started eas­ily, runs well and doesn’t use en­gine oil. About six months ago, I started the car one morn­ing and it fired up and ran for only about one sec­ond. Upon try­ing a re-start, the en­gine turned over like what seemed much faster than nor­mal and wouldn’t start. It sounded as if the sparks plugs were re­moved, thus hav­ing lit­tle com­pres­sion. I towed the ve­hi­cle to my lo­cal garage that is not a Hyundai deal­er­ship. I took it there be­cause they rent that prop­erty from me, so I like to give them what­ever busi­ness I can. They checked the tim­ing belt and didn’t find any­thing wrong. They then re­moved three spark plugs and checked the com­pres­sion. It was as low as 50, psi. (pounds per square inch) on those cylin­ders. Af­ter crank­ing the en­gine over many times, the com­pres­sion built back up and the car started. It then ran what ap­peared to be per­fectly for an­other six months but two weeks ago, it did ex­actly the same thing. Pretty much the same pro­ce­dure was re­peated and now it is fine again. On both oc­ca­sions, it failed in the morn­ing af­ter it had been parked overnight. The two me­chan­ics at my garage have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence but ad­mit that they sim­ply do not know what is go­ing on and sug­gested that maybe I should talk to the Hyundai deal­er­ship. I have spo­ken to two Hyundai deal­ers and they were very ea­ger to help but were also per­plexed with this prob­lem. One sug­gested that it might be a check valve in the tank that failed and af­fected the fuel de­liv­ery sys­tem but he also seemed baf­fled by the low com­pres­sion. I then wrote to Hyundai Canada with all of the de­tails. The re­sponse that I re­ceived was dis­ap­point­ing and un­help­ful, sug­gest­ing that I go to my deal­er­ship. Per­haps some of your read­ers may have had a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence. Any help that you could of­fer would be very much ap­pre­ci­ated.

Many Thanks, Martin .


I think that one of the Hyundai deal­ers were on the right track when they sug­gested that it might be a fuel de­liv­ery prob­lem, af­ter the car was shut down. If the pres­sur­ized fuel in the fuel line was al­lowed to en­ter the com­pres­sion cham­ber through a faulty fuel in­jec­tor, af­ter the car was shut down, then that sce­nario would greatly re­duce the com­pres­sion by wash­ing down the oil from the cylin­ders. Crank­ing the en­gine over would again sup­ply oil to the cylin­der and the com­pres­sion would again be re­stored. This sce­nario would also cause the car to im­me­di­ately shut down af­ter be­ing started be­cause of the lack of fuel. I will ask my me­chan­i­cal read­ers for their opin­ions as well.

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