Paul Brand

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

Recent content from Paul Brand

Can he do right by his '96 Buick with 5W-30?

Q I am a stickler for following owner's manuals and scheduled maintenance. My '98 Sable recommends 5W-30 oil. I just inherited a beautiful '96 Park Avenue, and it calls for 10W-30. Should I stick with the recommendations, or can I use 5W-30 in both cars?

Updated: November 17, 2010, - 04:16 PM

Engagement is off after all these years

Q I have a '94 Lincoln Town Car with 111,000 miles on it. It runs real well, except I get a skidding sound from the front if I put my foot on the gas pedal too fast or climb a steep hill. Also, there's a small vibration in the front when going up a hill. The skid sound reminds me of those strips on the highway as you approach a stop sign. Could it be the transmission?

Updated: November 10, 2010, - 04:22 PM

Battery drain may be warning of catastrophe

Q I have a '99 Lincoln Town Car that is afflicted by an intermittent battery drain. Whenever the air bag light is on while I'm driving, I have a dead battery the next morning. The last time this happened the battery would not take a charge until after I disconnected it. However, when the battery was connected there was a hissing sound, but it didn't hinder the starting. Do you have any suggestions?

Updated: November 03, 2010, - 03:47 PM

Customer got held up on strut job

QWhy did I need front and rear struts on my 2004 Lexus LS430 with only 22,219 miles on it? According to the shop, if a car sits not being driven for some time, adding weight such as groceries or suitcases causes pressure on the struts and they start leaking. Was I taken advantage of?

Updated: October 27, 2010, - 04:46 PM

'Persuasion' could bring tach back to life

Q The tachometer in my 1997 Dodge Stratus operates intermittently. Also, the odometer display goes out when the tachometer doesn't work, even thought the odometer still accumulates mileage. After driving a while, they both resume working -- but sometimes go out again. Any recommendations before taking the car to a mechanic?

Updated: October 20, 2010, - 11:17 PM

Nissan Rogue's windshield has driver in a fog

Q I bought my 2008 Nissan Rogue new. The front windshield fogs up on the inside when I get in the car after work or after it's been parked at the gym for an hour in the morning. Other cars in the parking lot don't have this problem. The dealer resealed the windshield, but it still happens. Any suggestions?

Updated: October 13, 2010, - 04:29 PM

Dirty glass, no squirt. What's a guy to do?

Q I have a 2007 Saturn Vue with 40,000 miles. My windshield washer fluid won't "squirt." Yes, the reservoir is full. What is this going to cost me?

Updated: October 06, 2010, - 05:17 PM

If cruise control isn't working, check these out

Q The cruise control on my 1990 Bronco II with 60,000 miles has stopped working, and it won't turn on. I have replaced the fuse, switches and servo assembly with good working used ones and checked the brake-light vacuum switch. Am I missing something?

Updated: September 29, 2010, - 04:32 PM

Oil seep means costly repair car may not need

Q I have a 2004 Honda Odyssey with 90,000 miles with a small amount of oil seepage under the transmission and engine. The dealer recommends a costly repair but is not too concerned about it. I have heard of a "magic" caulk that can be applied over any surface to seal a minor leak. Is this true?

Updated: September 22, 2010, - 05:38 PM

Engine knock can be easily knocked out

Q I have a very clean '94 Cadillac DeVille with only 70,000 miles. It was my mother-in-law's car from Florida, and it has developed a problem. While under load and light acceleration, it has an engine knock. It does not have a knock before the car warms up and does not knock while accelerating in neutral. What do you think the problem is? Could you give me a rough estimate of what the repair cost would be?

Updated: September 15, 2010, - 04:40 PM

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