Paul Brand

Columnist | Cars
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Paul Brand writes about autos for the Star Tribune.

Recent content from Paul Brand

Chrysler's flickering lights could be programming glitch

When the car is started, the dash lights and headlights flicker, and the battery light illuminates, then goes off after a while.

Updated: February 10, 2012, - 04:11 PM

Pricey hybrid battery alters repair vs. replace equation

At what point do you throw in the towel and replace the car -- when the cost of the repair is about the same as the value of the car?

Updated: February 03, 2012, - 03:57 PM

Shutting off after 25 minutes defies do-it-yourself diagnosis

Despite desire to save money, a professional shop and its sophisticated testing equipment might be a good choice.

Updated: January 27, 2012, - 04:00 PM

Confusion over brake fluids: Which is right for your car?

How do synthetic DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluids differ from the conventional DOT 3 or DOT 4 ones?

Updated: January 20, 2012, - 03:50 PM

Sputtering, then dying: Suspicion falls on fuel pump

Troubles with 2003 BMW 330i leave the driver nervous and asking questions.

Updated: January 13, 2012, - 03:50 PM

Remounting driver's seat complicates air-bag light fix

Q About three years ago, the air-bag light came on in my 2005 Hyundai. The dealership fixed it, and the...

Updated: January 06, 2012, - 04:08 PM

After 8 years, original battery is living on borrowed time

A Not only has it lasted significantly longer than typical -- three to six years -- I suspect you're now on borrowed time with the battery. Batteries always seem to last until, well, you need them most. You can have the battery load tested to determine how many amperes of current it can deliver to crank the engine, then compare that to its original rating. I suspect it will be at something less than half of its original capacity.

Updated: December 30, 2011, - 04:29 PM

After several fixes, Explorer still doesn't want to start

A tune-up, new plug wires and a new battery haven't helped.

Updated: December 23, 2011, - 03:49 PM

For wintertime warm-ups, moderation is the way to go

Park nose-in, wait perhaps 10 seconds until the engine idles down smoothly, shift into reverse and back out into the driveway. Leave the car in gear, hold it with the brake and let it idle for 15 to 30 seconds.

Updated: December 16, 2011, - 04:06 PM

Brake job has left Crown Vic with a case of the shakes

Is there a certain way to bleed the brakes or do you need a special tool?

Updated: December 09, 2011, - 04:10 PM

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