Q: I read the column
in which a reader who owns a 2007 Ford Fusion in need of $1,100 in
suspension repairs was asking whether to do the work if the car’s
airbags had not been replaced.
I own a 2008 Acura RL,
which was included in the airbag recalls. I received the standard
letter from Acura letting me know repairs would be covered and to
contact the dealer to schedule the repair. I called the dealer and
they told me they did not have the airbags yet and they would
contact me when they receive them. I called a few times over the
succeeding months and was told the same thing: We’ll let you know
when they come in.
I brought the car in
for a major service, timing belt, which includes the water pump and
a complete tune-up. When I sat down with the dealer rep to go over
the repairs, he looked at the vehicle history and reminded me the
car was under recall for the airbags and that they could go ahead do
that repair while the car was in for the timing belt service.
My advice to the Ford
owner is to tell the dealer he’ll bring the car in for the
suspension work if they’ll replace the airbags at the same time.
My guess is they will “find” the airbags for him.
— D.F., Center
A: You make an
interesting point, and I am happy to pass it along. Coincidentally,
I got an airbag recall a couple weeks ago. I called the dealership
to schedule the service and they offered an appointment for two days
Q: I read your column
weekly and find it amusing most of the time.
eating the wiring, you didn’t inform your readers that this is
probably covered under their insurance. I have fixed many vehicles
for chewed wires and have always informed the customer to call their
insurance carrier. I had a Caravan the other day where a critter got
under the battery and made a nest. The whole interior of the vehicle
had to come out to replace the wiring loom. It cost over $5,000 in
parts and labor. The insurance company wrote a check.
A: Great advice. Many
motorists are unaware of what stuff the comprehensive coverage will
Q: We have a 2016
Audi. During the summer, most times when the air conditioner is
turned on, it smells like vinegar. I contacted the dealer and was
told that the condensation catcher needs to be drained. The dealer
said it is not covered by the warranty and costs about $150. I never
had this problem in any of my previous cars. They might have had an
odor at first but not almost every time it was turned on.
I also thought it
might be the cabin filter, but now I am just confused.
— D. S., Morton
A: A clogged
condensation drain is surprisingly common. Stuff such as dust or
leaf matter can collect in the bottom of the housing, much as hair
can clog the bathtub drain. And the repair is often surprisingly
simple. The obstruction has to be removed. The vehicle needs to be
put on the lift to access the drain and the dealer is probably
charging a one-hour minimum.
A new cabin filter is
also a good thing.