Q: I live in Las Vegas and must replace my 12-volt battery every three years because of the heat. Will I have to worry about this with the electric cars? Batteries don't come cheap.
A: Your concern is shared by the carmakers. But replacing the battery pack is less a concern than replacing a car that catches fire. Air cooling has been the traditional method, but liquid cooling is becoming the current choice. Coming along slowly is heat pump cooling. A heat pump has an additional advantage of routing some of the heat into the cabin in colder weather. Currently, cabin heat in electric cars comes from an electric heater, which consumes battery power.
Too much sun
Q: It seems that whenever I have a long drive, no matter the direction or the time of day, I need a sun visor that works, not one that covers the top 3 inches or so of the windshield or side window. My cars have a little extension for the visor, but none of them deals with a blinding sun that is low on the horizon. Have you heard or read of any attempts at improving the safety?
A: The rising and setting sun is blinding during rush hours, especially in the spring and fall. With all the technology and brain power in the auto industry, there should be a solution, but I have not yet seen one. (Maybe it is because I am still sun-blinded.) The best solution I've been able to come up with for myself is to wear a baseball cap and tilt my head down to block the glare.
This problem stinks
Q: Eight months ago, I bought a 2020 Buick Encore. Within two weeks, I noticed fumes from trucks and traffic coming into the car when I was on the highway. Now the fumes are showing up even when I'm driving around town. There is no recirculate button. I went to my dealer. They took it on the road with the ionizer blowing full blast and then said I didn't have a problem. I talked to a GM plant manager; he said no fumes should be coming in when I am running the ionizer. Can you come up with a solution?
A: Ionizers are great for most things, but they can't eliminate gaseous odors. Ionizers work by getting particles such as pollen to clump together, making them large enough to be caught by the cabin air filter. If the dealer didn't find a problem, I'm wondering if what you smell might be due to outgassing of the vinyl components inside the car.
An easy install
Q: My last two vehicles had daytime driving lights, which gave me a small sense of security that other vehicles could see me OK during the day. The car I'm looking at now for possible purchase doesn't have them. Can these be installed as an option?
A: There are a gazillion brands of aftermarket daytime driving lights, many of them with DIY potential.
Bob Weber is a writer, mechanic and ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician. His writing has appeared in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest. Send automotive questions along with name and town to email@example.com.