Paul Brand

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

Recent content from Paul Brand

A few jerking episodes with 2003 Murano's engine

Typically, the flashing "check engine/service engine soon" light points toward multiple misfires and a significant amount of excess unburned fuel reaching the catalytic converter.

Updated: December 07, 2012, - 03:49 PM

Front-seat floor of pickup gets soaked when it rains

If it's not the windshield, the most common source of water collecting on the front floors is a plugged drain for the HVAC evaporator housing.

Updated: November 30, 2012, - 03:53 PM

Power steering goes out when SUV maneuvers at slow speed

This is an irritation, if not a hazard, but an experiment shouldn't also need $250 to $300 in parts plus labor.

Updated: November 23, 2012, - 04:12 PM

Could trouble with key fob and accessories be related?

A I'm glad you included the fact that the passenger door "always turns things off." That's a key piece of information. The VSM (vehicle security module) located in the passenger footwell individually controls the driver and passenger door lock/unlock relay. This module or its connections may be at fault.

Updated: November 16, 2012, - 04:40 PM

Extended warranties: Value is a matter of personal choice

Repairs from mechanical and electronic failures, and wear and tear over the 10-plus years of vehicle ownership, are virtually inevitable.

Updated: November 02, 2012, - 04:02 PM

Manual transmission died on low-mileage Toyota MR2

When the transmission was removed, the clutch was fine.

Updated: October 26, 2012, - 03:58 PM

Maxima should recover fine from accidental use of diesel

How concerned should I be about the possibility of issues developing later that would affect my car's performance or value?

Updated: October 19, 2012, - 04:04 PM

Today, extended warranty may be worth the money

A My perspective on extended warranties or service contracts, as they are often called, has evolved quite a bit in the nearly 30 years I've done this column. In fact, my position is exactly the opposite of what it was in the '80s. With the massive costs of purchasing, operating and repairing modern automobiles, I think extended warranty/service contracts are almost a no-brainer in many cases.

Updated: October 12, 2012, - 03:58 PM

Altima driver's window won't close in one touch

A It seems the window safety switch thinks the glass has hit something -- like fingers! -- before fully closing. This causes the window to reopen several inches to free any pinched pinkies.

Updated: October 05, 2012, - 04:52 PM

When it's time for a coolant change, does the type matter?

As coolants and engine technology continue to improve, I've softened my position on coolant changes. Assuming a long-life coolant and 15,000-25,000 annual mileage, I'm willing to go five years now -- a huge step for me!

Updated: September 28, 2012, - 04:07 PM

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