The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

Questions and answers from the ‘Car Doctor’


Q. I have a 2005 Honda Pilot and two months ago I changed my power steering pump and it started making this whining sound. It wasn’t making that sound before I changed it, I replaced it due to a leak. Any suggestion­s?

A. If it was a rebuilt power steering pump (most are) it could be faulty. The other issue is, if the power steering pump was not bled prior to starting the car it could have even damaged the new pump. Although Honda doesn’t have a specific procedure, in my opinion bleeding a power steering system in still necessary. The procedure I have used for bleeding a power steering pump is to fill the reservoir and turn the wheel from lock to lock without the engine running until all the air is out of the system. I have seen incidents of new pumps having issues if that isn’t done. The other possibilit­y is a slight restrictio­n in one of the hoses. One last note, only use Honda power steering fluid, using other power steering fluid or transmissi­on fluid as a substitute can cause a multitude of issues.

Q. Not question for you, but I read your bio and it said you once owned a Lectric Leopard. I just wanted to say that I grew up in the next town over from where the Lectric Leopard was built and remember checking them out as a teenager. A far cry from the Chevrolet Bolt that we have now!

A. Those electric cars built in that era (mid 1970’s) such as the Lectric Leopard, Vanguard Citicar and a few others as well as homebuilt vehicles were certainly crude and looking back dangerous by today’s standards. In many cases the batteries, maxed out the vehicle weight limit. And at least in the case of my car, the batteries were held in place with angle iron brackets and threaded rod. Who knows what would have happened in a crash. The Chevrolet Bolt in spite of some battery issues is a very good car, functional and fun to drive.

Q. I have A 2009 Grand Marquis with what I believe is a factory autostart. Over the last couple of years, the car has occasional­ly started itself. I have recently noticed that it seems to occur if I use the auto start to melt snow, until it times out but don’t actually get in and drive it. It will start itself 4-6 hours later. My mechanic had no clue. Any thoughts?

A. Looking at the trouble shooting fault diagnosis it could be any number of items. Ford’s first recommenda­tion is to start with disconnect­ing the battery for 10 minutes. Since this is simple and doesn’t cost anything, I would start here first.

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