Q: I’m the
original owner of a 2003 Acura MDX. It just hit 85,000 miles. I hear
timing belts should be changed at 100,000 miles but given that the
car is already 15 years old should I change it now or wait until it
hits 100,000? I have no plans on selling it.
A: If you plan
to drive your car until it dies, we say replace the timing belt now
and take advantage of the peace of mind that it will provide. While
the tech has the front of the engine torn apart, also have the water
pump replaced to save the potential cost of replacement in the
respectfully take issue with
— J.D., Atco,
A: We were
neither advocating nor apologizing for the demise of the CD player.
We were simply reporting the reality. As you surmised, the
"stack," as it is known in the car industry, is forcing
designers to salvage every millimeter of interior space and CD
players take up a lot of real estate. Ditto for shifters, which are
morphing into knobs — another topic we addressed here that annoys
motorists. Incidentally, good luck finding a laptop with an optical
Q: I recently
received a 2009 Hyundai Sonata with 180,000 miles on it. I replaced
the battery and had a new timing belt installed last June. The car
is used very sparingly (usually on weekends for local travel). The
battery has markings that I do not understand: MTP-124R, CCA 700, CA
875, RC 120. I would like to purchase a battery minder but am
confused as to what to buy. I keep the car garaged when not in use.
Can you help me?
A: The codes
indicate the group size, the cold cranking amps, cranking amps and
reserve capacity. None of this matters when you are buying a battery
Q: Every car
nowadays seems to tell us how many miles we can drive before we’re
out of fuel. My wife likes to push the limits, by running it down to
2-3 miles remaining. How accurate are these gauges? Since I’m the
one who has to drive nervously to the gas station, I’m never sure
I’m going to make it. My wife thinks that there must be some type
of reserve fuel remaining.
A: There is no
reserve. When the fuel runs out, you’re out of luck. It is not
only a good idea to have enough gas in the tank to make it to the
gas station, it is important for keeping the fuel pump cool. The
pump is bathed in gasoline which helps dissipate heat that could
shorten its life.