understand the major petroleum companies formulate their gas
according to the seasons. If they formulate their gas for cold
weather, do I need to also use gas-line antifreeze in my car?
— M.G., St.
seasonal gasoline blends are adjusted to provide good starting, not
freeze protection. When gas is shipped to the stations it is
supposedly dry. Water in your gas tank is often the result of
condensation due to temperature changes. Ice is prevented by using
fuel system antifreeze. Most gasoline antifreeze products are some
kind of alcohol. Since most gasoline already contains 10 to 15
percent alcohol, additional antifreeze may not be necessary.
Q: I have a
2016 Kia Sorento. As I was pulling out of my garage the rear window
on the lift gate exploded into a million pieces, scaring me half to
death. There was no damage to the car other than the rear windshield
wiper mechanism. Meanwhile, nobody can explain what caused this.
Looks to me like Kia is installing inferior glass. I’d appreciate
any thoughts you might have.
Boynton Beach, Fla.
automotive glass must meet Society of Automotive Engineers
standards, so we can dismiss any carmaker’s use of substandard
glass. Yet spontaneous glass breakage does occur. Fortunately, auto
glass is tempered and, as you found, breaks into countless cubes
instead of sharp shards. Breakage may be due to thermal shock, a
nick or chip caused during installation, body damage or occasionally
from contaminants during the manufacturing process.
Q: We had a
new battery installed at a local Volvo dealership. Once we got home
the sunroof would not operate. We brought it back the next day. The
dealership charged $135 to "recalibrate the sunroof." Were
A: Fleeced may
be too strong a word, but you certainly should not have been charged
to reinitialize the sunroof. During the battery swap, the
technicians should have used a "keep alive" device to
prevent power to the electronics from being interrupted. They goofed
and you should get a refund.
Q: We recently
bought a 2017 all-wheel-drive Subaru Forester. I have heard that
after a certain amount of miles, if only one tire is damaged and has
to be replaced, you must install four new tires because the
difference in tire diameters between the new and older tires could
damage the AWD components. If so, are there any mileage guidelines?
A: A rule of
thumb about mileage is hard to come by. Different brands and models
of tires wear at different rates. That is why it is better to
measure the tread depth of the remaining tires and compare it to the
tread depth of a new tire. Most owners’ manuals will provide the
maximum allowable variation. About the only alternative to replacing
all four tires is to have the one new tire shaved down to match the
tread depth of the others.
along with name and town to Motormouth, Rides, Chicago Tribune, 435
N. Michigan Ave., Fourth Floor, Chicago, IL 60611 or