I own a 2010 Chevy Trailblazer with 22,000 miles. There is wear on the inside of the tires (choppy). The truck was aligned at 18,000 miles and the tires were rotated, yet they are still wearing on the inside. My dealer checked the alignment and says nothing is wrong but he can’t explain why the tires continue to wear unevenly. Any thoughts?
Derek from ND
Excessive toe-out or loose tie rod ends often cause choppy wear on the inside of a tire. Have the front end inspected by another GM dealer. That truck has rack & pinion steering with four tie rods (two inner and two outer). There could be a loose or worn tie rod end causing the wheels to wobble as they roll down the roadway. Also, the vehicle could have excessively negative camber with out-of-balance tires causing a choppy inside wear pattern. In either case, it seems that your dealer is unable to get to the root of the problem. Perhaps a fresh set of eyes can shed some light on your problem. Good luck.
I own a ’97 Honda Accord four cylinder. After several years it started seeping oil from the oil pan plug. I used to change the oil myself every 3,000 miles, but for the past few years I have taken it to a shop. I furnished them with a new aluminum gasket for the plug as recommended by Honda, to no avail. The only way I was successful in stopping the seeping was to wrap Teflon tape pipe-thread around the plug. Is this an acceptable fix? This is a fine automobile and I maintain it meticulously. Thanking you in advance for your advice.
John from NY
Wrapping Teflon tape around the plug threads was an OK solution to the leak problem. Obviously an oil pan replacement is the ideal fix, but there is another solution. Go to your nearest auto parts house and ask for the “Help” line of products. This company offers a great line of over-sized self-tapping oil drain plugs. You simply find the proper application plug for your car and carefully thread the new plug into the pan next time you change the oil. Make sure you use the new gasket that comes with the plug. The plug is over-sized and will cut new threads into the stripped thread hole, making it like new. Good luck.
I own a very old 1990 Nissan Maxima. My son gave it to me three years ago and it has run smooth as silk. Could having an oil change cause an injector to fail? I haven’t had the oil changed in ages, and my son insisted I get it done so I took it to an Express Lube. I drove it a few blocks to the local grocery store with no trouble. But when I started it the second time it was rough! I took it back to the Express Lube and they told me it has a bad injector and they’d fix it for $400. Since I’m an impoverished old lady living on Social Security, I can’t afford the repair. And for reasons I can’t explain, I don’t trust them. They were rude and condescending. So I need to know if changing the oil caused an injector to fail? Or could they have put in dirty or recycled oil? Please help!
Kate from MA
First of all, I would not trust an Express Lube place to diagnose a drivability problem on a car, so get a second opinion. Call your local repair facility. If you don’t have one, call your local AAA club and find out who the AAA Approved Repair Facility is in your area. Yes, the car could have a bad injector, or it could have a loose spark plug wire that was jarred loose during the oil change; or perhaps there’s a loose vacuum line, or loose electrical plug on an injector. The fact that the service personnel were disrespectful is reason enough to find another auto service facility. The short answer to your question is no, performing an oil change will not cause a fuel injector to fail. Get the car into a trusted diagnostician to find the root cause of the problem. I wish you success.
For more great advice from auto expert and Jamestown, N.Y. resident Tom Torbjornsen, visit the America’s Car Show website at www.americascarshow.com or become a fan on Facebook for frequent updates. You can also hear Tom’s radio show at noon EST Saturdays on the SSI Radio Network. And, pick up a copy of Tom’s latest book, “How to Make Your Car Last Forever,” on Amazon.com. Follow Tom’s Q&A blogs every week on joltleft.com. If you have an automotive question for Tom, send him an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.