Paul Brand

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

Recent content from Paul Brand

Cold starts, short trips can be an unhealthy combination

An older Jeep Cherokee has starting problems that may be battery-related. Batteries can wear out after just a few years, so it could be the charging system.

Updated: February 24, 2012, - 04:06 PM

Brake light switch could be to blame for balky shifter

The 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe starts but then can't get shifted out of park unless the engine is shut off and the driver starts over.

Updated: February 17, 2012, - 03:52 PM

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

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