Paul Brand

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

Recent content from Paul Brand

Transmission fluid should be exchanged completely

A To completely change the transmission fluid, the old fluid must be exchanged for fresh fluid by some type of pumping action, because most of the fluid is in the torque converter rather than the transmission pan. The best method is an exchange of fluid through the transmission cooler lines connected to the radiator. Connecting these two lines to a transmission flush machine allows the vehicle's transmission fluid pump, with the engine running, to pump out all of the old fluid while the machine pumps in fresh fluid at the same rate. This is a quick, easy and clean method for a complete transmission fluid flush and refill, and it's the service I would recommend for your truck. If the transmission filter has not yet been changed, it should be done with this service and requires removal of the transmission pan.

Updated: November 25, 2011, - 03:58 PM

What could make steering go haywire on the freeway?

I could sense right away that this wasn't going to end well as a cement truck following us T-boned us and spun us across the highway into the concrete median barrier. We came to rest in the left lane pointing northeast. No one else hit us. No rollover. No air bags deployed because both impacts were sideways. We suffered no whiplash, but did get some bruises.

Updated: November 18, 2011, - 04:39 PM

Are the wheels ready for winter?

Today's cars are tough, but you'll still need to prepare yours for the worst of the weather.

Updated: November 15, 2011, - 11:07 AM

What to do when steering acquires a mind of its own

The first step in diagnosing any power steering problem would be GM's scan tool to check for fault codes relating to the electronic power steering.

Updated: November 11, 2011, - 03:32 PM

Cold-start engine clicking is a nuisance, not a disaster

Is it piston slap, valve train noise or some other problem?

Updated: November 04, 2011, - 04:14 PM

Losing your air conditioning? Find the leak and get it fixed

With a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan that has lost its air-conditioning cooling capacity, can it wait until next summer to recharge and check it again? Or is leaving the system discharged for so long bad for the air conditioning?

Updated: October 28, 2011, - 04:03 PM

Brand: Humming noise on road: Is it the tires or the wheels?

A Have the tires rebalanced and rotated once again, making sure the front tires end up on the rear of the vehicle. If this has an effect on the humming noise, the problem is with the tires.

Updated: October 21, 2011, - 03:51 PM

Bad circuit can cause battery to keep leaking electrons

A I'd be looking for electrons. Somehow, while the vehicle is parked, electrons are escaping from the battery. When enough of 'em get away, well, the few remaining can't carry the load of starting the car.

Updated: October 14, 2011, - 03:56 PM

Brand: Van's slipping transmission could be more than old fluid

The transmission fluid is bright in color, has no unusual odor, and is up to the full level. The instrument panel does not indicate any failure codes. I suspect the problem existed before I bought the van at 68,000 miles. At the time of purchase an independent mechanic suggested the transmission fluid be changed, and I assume the dealer did so. What do you think?

Updated: October 07, 2011, - 04:34 PM

New tires 'scalloped': Live with them or replace them?

The call for new tires after 12,000: Is that necessary?

Updated: September 30, 2011, - 03:52 PM

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The Drive: Metro traffic

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