DEN­NIS O’SUL­LI­VAN

An­swers read­ers’ auto ques­tions

The Hamilton Spectator - - Wheels - DEN­NIS O’SUL­LI­VAN To my read­ers: Please in­di­cate the town, city or vil­lage that you live in. Be ad­vised that not all emails can be an­swered. Send your ques­tions (in­clud­ing ad­dress) by email to:: den­nis.osul­li­van@co­geco.ca

QUES­TION

I just bought my first new car. I’m 67! It’s a Honda CR-V AWD LX 2018 and I’m won­der­ing if you think it is worth un­der­coat­ing. I was think­ing of get­ting Krown rust pro­tec­tion for this ve­hi­cle since I keep my ve­hi­cles at least 10 years and some of my driv­ing is on gravel roads. Thank you, Maria from Port Dover

AN­SWER

It is well worth the money to have a ve­hi­cle rust pro­tected es­pe­cially if you in­tend on keep­ing the ve­hi­cle past it’s war­ranty time.

QUES­TION

I am in­ter­ested in buy­ing a 2007 Lexus RX350 with only 125,000 km on it. It has been ser­viced by a Lexus dealer since new and the sell­ing price is only $10,70. Sub­se­quent in­ves­ti­ga­tion how­ever, through an­other Lexus dealer, has dis­closed that the in­te­rior has been flooded be­cause of a re­ported block­age of the air con­di­tioner drain. The owner sold it this past Au­gust to a used car dealer pre­sum­ably be­cause of the flood­ing. Is this a po­ten­tial deal breaker and one that I should stay away from or is the risk of long-term dam­age too in­signif­i­cant to worry about? I live in Brantford and the car is at a dealer in York. Thank you in ad­vance for any ad­vice that you may pro­vide on this. Best re­gards, Ray from Brantford

AN­SWER

I think that the word flood­ing is a lit­tle bit of an ex­ag­ger­a­tion be­cause any ex­cess mois­ture in the car would have been no­ticed on the wind­shield long be­fore the driver would have no­ticed any ex­ces­sive damp­ness on the floor. To put your mind at ease, lift up the car­pet on the pas­sen­ger’s side to de­ter­mine if the un­der pad is com­pletely dried out and there isn’t any ev­i­dence of rust­ing on the floor pan. Also check un­der the dash for any ev­i­dence of rust­ing and if there is, it is best to stay away from pur­chas­ing that ve­hi­cle. Make sure that you get a Car­fax his­tory of the car be­fore you sign on the dot­ted line.

QUES­TION

Is it okay to ask the dealer for an­other sales­per­son when buy­ing a new car? I went to a lo­cal dealer in Hamil­ton and was greeted by a sales­per­son of dif­fer­ent ori­gin. I have dealt with these peo­ple in the past and it has not been favourable be­cause I can­not trust what they say. Is it okay to ap­proach the new car sales man­ager and ask for an­other sales­per­son or will that end up in me get­ting slapped with a dis­crim­i­na­tion law­suit? The car in ques­tion is the one that I have been look­ing at for some time and I would like to pur­chase it but from an­other sales­per­son. How do I go about this? Pre­fer that you do not use my name

AN­SWER

I can cer­tainly un­der­stand why you do not want your name to be used. Just be­cause you had a bad ex­pe­ri­ence in the past with a per­son from a dif­fer­ent back­ground, does not mean that you have to as­so­ciate that ex­pe­ri­ence with ev­ery other per­son with the same back­ground. That my friend, is a prob­lem with you and not the sales­per­son. If I took that po­si­tion with ev­ery­one that I have dis­agreed with in the past, I would not be talk­ing to any­one other than the per­son in the mir­ror. If you are ca­pa­ble of read­ing con­tracts then make sure that ev­ery­thing that you are ask­ing for is put on that con­tract and by do­ing so, it does not mat­ter if that sales­per­son is from an­other back­ground or not.

QUES­TION

I pur­chased two new tires from a lo­cal garage about two months ago and just last week, while driv­ing to St Ja­cob’s, the left rear wheel came off the car and caused ex­ten­sive dam­age to the rear quar­ter of the car. I have zero de­ductible on my car but I do not feel that my in­sur­ance should be pay­ing for the dam­age when it was the garage that left the wheel loose. I have been back to the garage and they ba­si­cally told me to shove salt - - -. My in­sur­ance com­pany does not seem to have any back­bone to try and re­solve this prob­lem. Is this some­thing that you can look into for me? Danny from Guelph

AN­SWER

If you have no­ti­fied your in­sur­ance com­pany about your con­cerns then they will def­i­nitely look into the pos­si­bil­ity that the garage might have left the wheels loose. I sus­pect that the in­sur­ance com­pany has al­ready told you that, at this time, it would be fu­tile to go af­ter the garage when two months have gone by since they in­stalled the wheels. Rather than steam rolling ahead to look for fault, you should just be thank­ful that you and/or oth­ers on the road were not in­jured when the wheel came off. Rest as­sured that if the in­sur­ance com­pany could fault the garage, they would jump at the op­por­tu­nity to do so and they would be to­tally within their rights.

QUES­TION

I have a new GMC Ter­rain with stop and start equip­ment. I do a lot of town driv­ing and the en­gine shuts off at all stop lights and stop signs sup­pos­edly to save fuel. I have been putting it in neu­tral most of the time when I have to stop to keep the en­gine run­ning. Is it worth the money to save some fuel? Would the ex­pense to re­pair or re­place the starter mo­tor su­per­sede the fear of be­ing stranded at a stop­light due to a bad bat­tery that would not restart the en­gine? Jim from Kitch­ener

AN­SWER

Some Gen­eral Mo­tors prod­ucts do not of­fer an over­ride but­ton for Auto Stop and your ve­hi­cle is one that does not of­fer a shut off switch for the Auto Stop. You are not the only per­son to not like the stop start fea­ture but it does take get­ting used to. Does it save gas? The an­swer is yes and from the re­search that I have done, the starter and bat­tery are far su­pe­rior than the ve­hi­cles that do not have this fea­ture. The alarmists on cli­mate change and with their in­flu­ence over gov­ern­ment law­mak­ers, I sus­pect that it will not be long be­fore all the man­u­fac­tur­ers, that are still mak­ing com­bus­tion en­gines, will have to make the auto stop a fea­ture that can­not be dis­con­nected with­out ma­jor changes to the starter sys­tem. There is some con­cern that a ve­hi­cle’s auto stop sys­tem will take much longer for the car to warm up but the sys­tem reg­u­lates it­self by not op­er­at­ing un­til the en­gine reaches a cer­tain tem­per­a­ture. Still, there are many scep­tics that do not be­lieve that the auto stop fea­ture does, in the long run, save any more fuel. Some re­ports do claim that if you are do­ing city driv­ing, it will in the long run save your fuel costs but if you are in stop and go traf­fic, such as you would be on the QEW where you are stop­ping about thirty times in a kilo­me­tre, then the fuel sav­ings are min­i­mal at the least. I am not a sci­en­tist nor do I sug­gest that I know a lot about pol­lu­tion but I do know, as some statis­tics claim, that cows do more harm to the en­vi­ron­ment than cars, trucks, planes or trains can ever do. The en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and our gov­ern­ment agen­cies, on the other hand how­ever, seem to place the full blame for any weather dis­rup­tions (green­house gases) on the mo­torists, while at the same time do­ing noth­ing to pres­sure China or In­dia to re­duce their emis­sion out­put till some­time in 2030. I love clean air and wa­ter and it is up to ev­ery­one to keep our air and wa­ter clean for the next gen­er­a­tion to come. In say­ing that, it is my opin­ion, that clean air and wa­ter is a chal­lenge for ev­ery­one and should not be left up to the gov­ern­ment or the en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists to is­sue costs to us when we have the power and in­cli­na­tion do what we can our­selves.

QUES­TION

I am writ­ing this just to re­late my re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence with two Nis­san deal­er­ships. I am do­ing this in or­der to let peo­ple know how to pos­si­bly avoid a prob­lem. If you pub­lish this, feel free to use the busi­ness names, or not.

On Au­gust 28, 2018, I phoned a Nis­san ser­vice depart­ment to book an ap­point­ment to look af­ter a mi­nor prob­lem with my 2013 Rogue. I ex­plained that my daugh­ter-in-law was ex­pect­ing our first grand­son any day and I was on call to take her to the hos­pi­tal. I would there­fore be wait­ing at the deal­er­ship while the work was be­ing done. I asked if I brought the car in first thing in the morn­ing, would it be looked at rel­a­tively quickly. I was as­sured that it would be. I ar­rived the next morn­ing at 8:30 am. I checked in and sat in the wait­ing room. Af­ter check­ing sev­eral times, I went out­side at 11 am and my car was still sit­ting there. I went back in, asked for my keys and to speak to the ser­vice man­ager. He came out and we had a calm and po­lite dis­cus­sion about the sit­u­a­tion. Ba­si­cally, he said that is how they do things in the ser­vice depart­ment. They are un­able to con­trol who gets the work done first.

On the way home, I stopped in at the Park­way Nis­san ser­vice depart­ment. I ex­plained my sit­u­a­tion. The counter per­son looked at their sched­ule and ad­vised me that they were short staffed and could not ac­com­mo­date my re­quire­ments un­til 3 busi­ness days later. I said fine and made the ap­point­ment for Tues­day Septem­ber 4 at 8 a.m. I showed up on the 4th, took a me­chanic out for a short ride to de­scribe my prob­lem. It was fixed for a very rea­son­able charge and I was home at 8:45 a.m. As far as I am con­cerned, that is how to treat a cus­tomer prop­erly and it doesn’t take much ef­fort on the part of the dealer to do this. Nat­u­rally, I will deal with Park­way in the fu­ture and I will be telling this story to many other peo­ple. I sug­gest to peo­ple with time re­straints for get­ting their car ser­viced, to be very spe­cific about their re­quire­ments when book­ing an ap­point­ment. This ap­plies to all deal­er­ships and garages. You may have to con­tact more than one of them be­fore find­ing one that is ac­com­mo­dat­ing but it is worth the ef­fort. Great job Park­way Nis­san! Bill from Hamil­ton

AN­SWER

When some­one books an ap­point­ment, they ex­pect within rea­son that their ap­point­ment will be kept and if you ever vis­ited a doc­tor’s of­fice, you know that an 8:30 a.m. ap­point­ment can mean any­where from 8:30 to 10:30. There are some cir­cum­stances where an ap­point­ment can­not be kept in a ser­vice depart­ment such as a me­chanic off sick or an un­solved prob­lem with an­other cus­tomer’s ve­hi­cle who had an ap­point­ment be­fore yours. That be­ing said, the ser­vice depart­ment should have told you about the de­lay and left it up to you to resched­ule if you wanted to. I will con­tact the dealer in ques­tion and let them know about your dis­plea­sure with their ser­vice depart­ment.

A HAPPY READER

I just want to thank you and the Spec­ta­tor for hav­ing a col­umn where a cus­tomer can get sat­is­fac­tion when they have been wronged by a garage. The garage in ques­tion did give me back thirty-six dol­lars out of a thirty-six dol­lars and sixty cent dis­pute and I am happy with that. The garage even gave me a free oil change while I was there so I will con­tinue to use that garage for the fore­see­able fu­ture. Iona from Kitch­ener

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.