Car­mak­ers bag the space for your purse

Boston Herald - - CAR SM@RT - MOTORMOUTH By Bob We­ber AUTO FEED­BACK Bob We­ber is a writer and me­chanic who be­came an ASEcer­ti­fied Mas­ter Au­to­mo­bile Tech­ni­cian in 1976. He main­tains this sta­tus by seek­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion ev­ery five years. We­ber’s work ap­pears in pro­fes­sional trade mag­azi

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 bizs­mart@boston­her­ or comment at boston­her­ 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.

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