I bought a 2005 Chrysler Sebring convertible from a rental car company. The car was running well until I hit a pothole. Now the back of the car shakes a lot. It happens every time I hit a bump or a pothole. I changed the tires but this did not alleviate the problem. Please tell me what could have happened to cause the shaking.
Joe from Kissimmee, FL
Get the car up on a lift and have the rear suspension, struts, wheel bearings and trailing arms checked. There could be a broken strut, excessively worked wheel bearing, broken or worn training arm, or trailing arm bushing. You should find your problem in one of these areas.
I own a ’95 Saturn SL that is consuming oil. I have to check the oil between gas fill-ups and then some. I can’t seem to find the cause of the leak. Also the car has very high mileage. What is the best weight oil to use to keep it running?
EJ from Dallas
High-mileage engines tend to use and/or burn more oil because of internal wear. Over time, cylinder walls and piston rings wear out resulting in a diminished seal. Other conditions that cause excessive oil usage are a plugged PCV system, worn valve guides or broken valve seals, a leaking head gasket, as well as many other root causes. You asked what weight of oil? Use the weight recommended by the carmaker for your vehicle.
I own a 2002 Toyota Highlander with 33,000 miles. A Toyota dealer told me that “it is recommended” that I have the serpentine belt changed. My mechanic friend looked at the car and told me not to worry about changing the belt. In your opinion, when is a good time (number of miles) to change the belt? Thanks.
Peanut from San Dimas, CA
Many people hear the words “it is recommended” when they bring their vehicles in for service. This is a buzzword used by the auto service industry. Whenever you hear these words a bright red flag and alarms should go off in your head. You always hear those words used in conjunction with phrases “engine flush,” “transmission flush” and other automotive flushing or cleaning services. A simple review of Toyota’s service specs indicates that Toyota has no replacement interval for the serpentine drive belt. It should be inspected for wear every 15,000 miles starting at 60,000 miles, and replaced as necessary.
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.