Q: I have a
2013 Hyundai Genesis coupe with rear-wheel drive. I would like to
install two snow tires at the rear to help with fishtailing. The
tire dealer said I would need four snow tires. Can I get by with
only two rear snow tires?
winter tires are better at providing ice and snow traction than ever
before, states Tire Rack, which tests and sells many brands of
tires. The company reports that "7 out of 10 vehicle
manufacturers recommend four winter tires be used on rear-wheel,
front-wheel or four-wheel-drive vehicles. This is because if you use
two dissimilar types of tires on your vehicle, you’ll have a
vehicle that has a ‘split personality.’ One end of the vehicle
won’t react and perform the same as the other. Especially in
emergency situations, you’ll find that your vehicle will probably
understeer in one condition and oversteer in another. It is
preferable to keep your vehicle’s handling as consistent as
possible by matching all four tires."
Q: I have a
new Chevy Traverse, but washing the inside front window is quite a
challenge. Any suggestions?
A: Not only
windshields, but rear windows can be a challenge. For years, we have
used a Stoner cleaning tool. It’s like a miniature Swiffer with a
two-foot handle and hinged wiping pad shaped like the ace of spades.
There are other brands and tools in auto parts and other stores We
suggest a two-step process of cleaning with automotive glass cleaner
followed by polishing with a clean, soft microfiber cloth.
Q: My 2013
Miata has come down with several cases of the dashboard rattle.
like a loose bolt rolling back and forth behind the dashboard turned
out to be a loose bolt that had become unattached from the left sun
visor. When I lowered the visor, the bolt fell into my lap. An easy
The next loose
bolt, which I was certain was behind the dash, dropped down from the
right sun visor. Another easy fix.
however, another loose bolt, but no easy fix. It cost $127 at my
dealer to learn that yet another bolt had come loose, this time from
the roof latch at the window frame. When the mechanic removed the
covering along the windshield frame, the bolt fell into his lap. Was
$127 for 20 minutes of work a fair price?
South Milwaukee, Wis.
A: If the shop’s
labor charge is $381 per hour, it is a fair price. Yet there is
intrinsic value in the mechanic’s knowledge.
us of the story of the day an IT technician was asked if he could
help identify the problem with a desktop computer. The tech walked
up to the unit and tapped the case on the side and it sprang back to
life. The owner was thrilled, and told him to send an invoice. The
bill arrived, for $100. The owner asked for a breakdown. The tech
sent another invoice, indicating a $1 charge for whacking the
machine, and $99 for knowing where to whack it.