Carmakers bag the space for your purse
Q: Do you have any insight if the trend to have the console fill the entire area between the front seats will continue? I do not care for this style, as I like to keep my purse on the floor between the seats regardless of if I have a passenger in the front seat or not. I drive a Honda CRV 2007 and prefer that added space provided. The consoles now appear confining to me and leave no space for personal items. Thanks for any input you may have.
— S.S., Orland Park, Ill.
A: We did some research and could not find any new automobiles with a gap between the seats. All seem to have some sort of console, although some seem to be rather meager. A couple of the consoles look like they could be removed, but there may be no carpet beneath them. Although cars no longer have bench seats, some pickup trucks and SUVs still do.
Q: Why can I not find out what company supplied the air bags for my 2016 Toyota Camry XLE? I’ve run the gamut from car dealer to factory to corporate headquarters to the highway safety department. My Camry has 800 miles on it and will stay parked until I feel safe. — R.L., Massena, N.Y.
A: Go ahead. Drive your car. Manufacturers are not installing bad air bags on any cars since the debacle with Takata. You won’t get carmakers to divulge where they got anything, even the horn. Q: Your comments are, from time to time, of value to me. However, Attention Citizen Gearheads! The Boston Herald wants to hear from you. Here's your chance to get behind the wheel. If you have driven a 2017 Kia Niro, which we reviewed yesterday, join the conversation by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment at bostonherald.com and you may get in next week's CarSm@rt. in your column on Aug. 13, you wrote, in connection with oncoming cars that do not have headlights on, “Blinking your lights at oncoming cars is still a useful reminder.” Let me point out the suggested action may be in violation of the Illinois Rules of the Road driving manual, which states that, “Bright lights must be dimmed 500 feet before meeting an oncoming vehicle.”
— J.T, Chicago
A: Blinking your lights as a reminder to others that theirs are not on probably won’t get you into trouble. It is more of a courtesy than a felony. Doing the same to alert others to a speed trap, though, might. Some offenses are just not worth an officer’s time to pursue. When is the last time you saw someone get a ticket for failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign? Cut through a gas station to avoid a red light? Drive with ear buds inserted?
Q: My wife’s 2004 RAV-4 developed a slight hesitation with the first start of the day and has gotten worse. I have tried premium gas and a fuel system cleaner (Techron) to no avail. My mechanic suggested turning the ignition on and waiting 15-20 seconds, but that did not help much. Both Toyota and my mechanic agree that they cannot trace the problem until the engine light comes on. Any suggestions?
— J.F., Hatfield, Pa.
A: After more than a decade, there is probably a buildup of gunk inside the throttle body as well as the idle air control valve. We suggest getting the throttle body cleaned and, if it is particularly nasty, the IAC valve should be replaced.
All seem to have some sort of console, although some seem to be rather meager.