Paul Brand: Seatbelt warning chimes in

  • Article by: PAUL BRAND
  • Updated: April 3, 2014 - 4:59 PM

Q: I really appreciated your response to the non-seatbelt wearer! I wear my seatbelt all the time, but a number of months ago the driver’s side seatbelt light/warning chime in my 2006 Pontiac G6 started going off while the seat belt is buckled. The shop said it would be $400 to repair because they would have to take the seat out to get to the area to repair. The chime comes on immediately after starting the car, then again about five minutes later and always chimes five times. The light illuminates several times while I am driving and the chime does, too.

A: From the symptoms you describe, the problem could be as simple as the seatbelt switch located in the seatbelt buckle at your right hip or its harness connector under the seat. Or it could be a more serious issue with the SDM (sensing and diagnostic module) or IPC (instrument panel cluster).

I would suggest having the shop unplug and test the seatbelt switch to determine if it’s the culprit. I think this can be done without removing the seat. If the switch is bad, have it replaced. If the switch is good and a scan tool confirms the SDM is telling the IPC the seatbelt is fastened — yet the light/chime are still indicating the seatbelt is unfastened — the problem is in the IPC. You’ll have to decide if it’s worth this level of repair.

Because of the somewhat intermittent nature of the light/chime coming on, my best guess is the seatbelt switch.

Q: I have a 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer and was informed by the dealer service department that I need to use synthetic oil. I thought this was usually required for luxury or high-performance cars and an option for the rest of us. Do I really need to use synthetic oil in this car?

A: Without knowing which engine option is in your vehicle, my answer will have to be a bit generic. The maintenance recommendations from Mitsubishi call for API “SN” 0W-20 for their non-turbo engines and API “SN” 5W-30 for their turbocharged engines. Both petroleum-based and synthetic motor oils can meet these specifications, but why not use the best — a premium synthetic motor oil.

Q: I am curious what your opinion is about using only DexCool antifreeze in our two Buick vehicles as recommended by GM. An auto mechanic and auto body repairman with 30 years experience advised me not to use this product as he found it clogged up the heaters/heating systems in vehicles.

A: DexCool coolant/antifreeze utilizes an organic acid anti-corrosion technology and claims a much longer service life than conventional antifreeze that utilizes phosphate/borate/silicate anti-corrosion technology. Both coolants are ethylene glycol-based for their antifreeze capabilities.

Is one type better than the other? That question has been and continues to be heavily debated. The biggest issue is oxidation of the coolant over time and mileage. As long as the coolant level is properly maintained and the coolant is flushed/replaced within recommended intervals, both work well.

Q: I have a 2000 Buick Park Avenue. The driver’s door refuses to open as easily as the others. It feels like there is a vacuum between the weatherstripping and the door frame. Please advise.

A: First, clean and lubricate the door seal/weatherstripping and seal area on the body with an aerosol silicone lubricant. If this does not help, perhaps the door has “sagged” on its hinges over the years and miles. A body shop may be able to realign the door for easier opening.

In the “old days” I used to do this by placing a piece of 2x4 below the hinges between the door and door frame and “push” the door toward close to slightly “readjust” the hinges.

If the hinge pins/bushings are worn, they can be replaced.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 8 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 5 FINAL
Baltimore 4
Toronto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 2 FINAL
Cleveland 4
San Diego 3 FINAL
Seattle 4
Chicago WSox 6 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Kansas City 13 FINAL
Texas 2
Oakland 9 FINAL
San Francisco 2
Wisc-Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Milwaukee 8
Arizona 6 FINAL
Colorado 3
Univ of Minnesota 1 FINAL
Minnesota 3
New York 82 FINAL
Indiana 105
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Orlando 100
Cleveland 120 FINAL
Toronto 112
Utah 84 FINAL
Boston 85
Charlotte 115 FINAL
Brooklyn 91
Denver 98 4th Qtr 1:19
Minnesota 82
Detroit 81 3rd Qtr 1:24
New Orleans 81
LA Lakers 88 4th Qtr 5:32
Miami 85
Philadelphia 96 4th Qtr 5:31
Oklahoma City 102
Memphis 102 FINAL
Houston 100
Sacramento 53 3rd Qtr 3:43
San Antonio 76
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 3 3rd Prd 1:40
Winnipeg 1
NY Rangers 1 3rd Prd 9:28
Detroit 1
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Colorado
Montreal 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 65 FINAL
Presbyterian 61
Campbell 64 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 80
Ohio State 77 FINAL
Penn State 67
Maine 66 FINAL
Albany 83
Duquesne 81 FINAL
Fordham 66
George Washington 67 FINAL
George Mason 51
Tennessee 78 FINAL
LSU 63
Notre Dame 71 FINAL
Louisville 59
SE Missouri St 74 FINAL
Morehead State 79
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Mount St Marys 58
Hartford 52 FINAL
New Hampshire 54
Wagner 68 FINAL
Robert Morris 91
Long Island 70 FINAL
St Francis-NY 79
La Salle 50 FINAL
Saint Josephs 55
Providence 79 FINAL
Seton Hall 66
UCF 45 FINAL
South Florida 74
Binghamton 57 FINAL
Stony Brook 62
UMBC 39 FINAL
Vermont 66
Sacred Heart 85 FINAL
Bryant 91
Richmond 56 FINAL
Massachusetts 53
Wake Forest 51 FINAL
Duke 94
Purdue 58 2nd Half 0:48
Michigan State 65
Miami-Florida 67 FINAL
Pittsburgh 63
St Bonaventure 64 FINAL
Saint Louis 48
New Mexico St 69 FINAL
TX-Pan American 48
Houston 65 1st OT 0:43
Tulane 63
Howard 62 FINAL
NJIT 71
TCU 33 2nd Half 16:59
Oklahoma State 44
Cincinnati 27 2nd Half 17:57
Tulsa 22
USC 39 2nd Half 17:34
UCLA 49
Miss State 40 2nd Half 16:08
Vanderbilt 46
Utah State 34 2nd Half 15:21
Wyoming 50
St Johns 34 2nd Half
Marquette 27
SIU Edwardsville 23 1st Half 2:37
Eastern Ill 27
Air Force 2 1st Half 17:14
Fresno State 3
Nebraska 0 1st Half 19:05
Illinois 0
Colorado State 5 1st Half 17:43
Nevada 4
Boise State 9:15 PM
San Jose St
San Diego St 10:00 PM
UNLV
Oregon 10:00 PM
Oregon State
UC Santa Barbara 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Toledo 64 FINAL
Northern Ill 68
Wake Forest 69 FINAL
Boston College 53
Eastern Illinois 35 FINAL
UT Martin 68
Austin Peay 69 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 72
Virginia Tech 57 FINAL
NC State 56
Massachusetts 55 FINAL
St Bonaventure 49
Auburn 71 FINAL
Florida 49
Penn State 63 FINAL
Indiana 68
Clemson 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 80
Davidson 63 FINAL
La Salle 74
Loyola-Maryland 46 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Boston U 48 FINAL
Colgate 58
Coll of Charleston 58 FINAL
James Madison 107
Delaware 76 FINAL
Elon 77
Drexel 58 FINAL
Northeastern 42
Hofstra 75 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 76
Towson 56 FINAL
William & Mary 68
Miami-Ohio 55 FINAL
Akron 67
Ball State 85 FINAL
Central Michigan 69
Buffalo 55 FINAL
Bowling Green 47
Western Mich 65 FINAL
Eastern Michigan 74
Ohio U 69 FINAL
Kent State 56
Youngstown St 62 FINAL
Cleveland State 73
Illinois-Chicago 54 FINAL
Wright State 74
Alabama 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 66
Detroit 60 FINAL
Milwaukee 56
Purdue 58 FINAL
Wisconsin 56
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close