Paul Brand

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

Recent content from Paul Brand

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

A sputtering Corsica needs a professional diagnosis

The 1996 Chevy Corsica with 107,000 miles on it has an idling problem that happens only during warm weather, whether the engine is cold or hot.

Updated: December 02, 2011, - 04:19 PM

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

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