Paul Brand

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

Recent content from Paul Brand

In the end, decision on when to change oil is up to you

The dealer advises oil changes when we reach 20 percent of oil life remaining, but waiting 11,250 to 14,100 miles between oil changes raises some worries.

Updated: September 23, 2011, - 03:43 PM

Fluid changes after 'break-in' period can still be worthwhile

I am now getting ready to buy another new vehicle, and my question is this: Am I wasting my money having the dealer change all these fluids so soon, or is this still a good idea for the drivetrain?

Updated: September 16, 2011, - 03:45 PM

Yukon's sealed ball joints are nothing to worry about

Is he getting the runaround from the dealer on the warranty claim, because of a very subjective standard in evaluating ball joints?

Updated: September 09, 2011, - 04:08 PM

Electrical gremlins make for balky window, doors, ignition

What's causing problems with a door's power lock and window?

Updated: September 02, 2011, - 04:12 PM

Engine won't even crank? Start with a battery check

My '06 Malibu does not start. When I turn the key, the engine clicks -- nothing else. If I hold the key in the start position, it clicks once every second or so

Updated: August 26, 2011, - 04:01 PM

Before the big-ticket repair, try doing the simple fix first

An older vehicle with an expensive repair diagnosis is a good time to consider the more common causes first.

Updated: August 19, 2011, - 03:50 PM

No restart in warm weather? It's probably vapor lock

Once restarted after the 40-plus minutes of waiting, it runs just fine. This problem doesn't happen in the winter, only on hot summer days, and every once in a while it idles roughly, but not often. It has been extremely frustrating to have to always wait awhile after driving it somewhere before I can drive it again.

Updated: August 16, 2011, - 06:58 PM

Looking for an angry fix for Jeep's mysterious howl

QI own a rear-wheel-drive 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 4-liter engine. I recently had both rear axle seals and bearings replaced. At the same time I had the mechanic check U-joints, shocks, etc. The noise from the failing bearings is gone, but now I have a loud "howl" that gets louder the more I accelerate. If I take my foot off the accelerator, the sound is gone. As soon as I accelerate, the sound returns. It is barely noticeable at speeds less than 35 mph, but the howl gets increasingly louder as the speed increases.

Updated: August 05, 2011, - 04:08 PM

Tire pressure monitoring: It's useful, not a conspiracy

A safety system might be frustrating, but it's mandated.

Updated: July 29, 2011, - 04:02 PM

An engine in a sticky situation: Dealing with a stuck spark plug

Q I recently took my '02 Chrysler minivan in for 100,000-mile service and was told that one of the spark plugs would not come out of the cylinder head. The shop tried, but it would only come out so far. Rather than force the plug out, they just screwed it back in place and replaced the other five spark plugs. The van is running fine but what happens if the old spark plug goes bad? Is it OK to do nothing, or should I pursue having it replaced?

Updated: July 22, 2011, - 03:51 PM

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