I own a 2005 Dodge Stratus Sedan. My car started making a cracking sound on the right side when I go over bumps and curbs. One company told me that I needed to replace the ball joints and quoted me $525 for each one. Is this price about right, or am I being taken for a ride?
Bertha from New Brunswick, NJ
I did an ALLDATA database search of the problem and came up with this recall from Dodge:
Recall # 04V579000: Steering Knuckle Replacement
PROBLEM: On certain sedans and convertible model vehicles, the RIGHT steering knuckle may have been damaged during the component manufacturing process.
CONSEQUENCE: This could cause the steering knuckle to CRACK AND SEPARATE from the upper control arm, which could result in a crash.
Get this recall taken care of first. I think your problem will be corrected by having this done.
I own a 2011 Chevy Impala with 2,300 miles. Should I change the oil prior to what the dealer manual shows? I read somewhere that the oil should be changed at 1,000 miles, because by that interval there are a lot of metal particles in it. Is this true?
Sizemore from OK
Your car has an OLM (Oil Life Monitor) so follow the dictates of the light. For the first oil change, I recommend 1,500 miles because, as you correctly stated, mating surfaces are being established and yes, there is a lot of wear material in the oil and filter at that time. Change the oil and filter now, reset the OLM light and then follow the dictates of the light thereafter. Success to you.
I own a 2004 G35 Infinity. When I back the car up, I hear a squeal. Applying more or less pressure to the brakes has no effect. It has gotten worse over the past few weeks. What is causing this noise and what will it cost to fix? Thanks.
Carl from NH
There is a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) for this condition on your car. It is TSB #ITB03-069a. The repair procedure talks of installing brake pad shims and lube the front and back of each replacement shim with a special grease designed to eliminate the noise. Call your local dealer and inquire what it will cost to have this procedure done. Good luck.
Tom Torbjornsen is an automotive expert of 37 years. An automotive journalist in good standing with the IMPA (International Motor Press Association) and MPG (Motor Press Guild), Torbjornsen is the Repair and Maintenance Editor for AOL Autos, At Home Portals and many other websites. Hear his radio show. America’s Car Show, on the SSI Radio Network Saturdays at 8 a.m. Listen to the show on the live stream during regular show times at www.americascarshow.com. Send your car questions to his website at www.americascarshow.com. You can also find Tom’s book, “How To Make Your Car Last Forever,” in local Barnes & Nobel booksellers, or order online at Amazon.com.