Q: My 2014
Honda Accord tested "not ready" when I went in for
emission testing. I was told to go out and drive around for a week
and come back. I did; same result. The dealer said drive 100 miles
between 45 and 50 mph. I did the best I could and the car passed the
next test. The problem was called "drive cycle." What is
it? If it is common enough to have a name, why canít the equipment
be set to test those cars?
A: Did you get
a "check engine" light recently? Did you have a repair
made? Did somebody replace the battery? If so, the engine control
moduleís memory needed to be cleared. Although most codes are
deleted right after the repair, others wait to clear until certain
criteria are met. The onboard diagnostic system, or OBD,
continuously monitors the emission controls, but some emission
controls will not clear the readiness monitors until the car goes
through an OBD drive cycle. Part of that cycle includes driving the
car below 55 mph for at least three minutes and then allowing it to
slow down below 30 mph without using the brakes. Then you have to
speed back up to between 55-60 mph and hold the throttle steady for
five minutes before allowing the car to slow down, again without
braking. In other words, drive your car the way most people do. The
emissions center test equipment cannot do this for you.
C.Q. from Flourtown, Pa., about vibrating brakes, I completely agree
with your diagnosis of warped rotors. However, when I worked at the
local Cadillac dealer, around 1996 we started having similar
problems with the DeVille series with lower mileage, usually city
driven. What we found was the rear rotors were rusting where the
pads rested for a long time. This would usually cause the vibration
at higher speeds, but not at lower speeds. Machining the rotors
would only correct the problem temporarily. I felt it was a defect
in the metal composition. Replacing the rotors was the only sure
Evergreen Park, Ill.
A: Thanks for
checking in. It is not unusual for rotors to rust while a car sits,
especially in wet conditions. Itís more common near ocean spray.
The brakes will usually vibrate until the surface rust is worn off
from several brake applications. We were not aware of a
Q: Many cars
now have very dark tinted driver and passenger side windows, making
it hard to see the occupants from the outside, which makes it
difficult to tell whether they are seeing me when I am driving or
crossing an intersection by foot. I thought it was illegal to be
driving around with such windows.
A: Window tint
can help keep the interior cooler, reduce damage to upholstery, cut
down on UV rays and look cool. Benefits? Yes, but there are
drawbacks for both you (as you stated) and law enforcement officers.
There is no federal code regarding tint. Each state dictates the
amount of tint, and on which windows it is legal. Tint limits range
from zero in New Jersey to 70 percent in California.