Q: I have a 2014 Dodge Durango with keyless entry. Getting out, I lock the car with the door lock button. Occasionally, as I start to walk away the car beeps three times and the doors unlock. This happens very randomly. I have had it in the shop several times but Dodge doesn't seem to think there's a problem. Is there a known problem or a fix?
G.W., Minoa, N.Y.
A: Occasionally, you may have left your keys in the vehicle. Maybe the electronic key fob has fallen out of your pocket or purse. To prevent lock-out, an unlock signal is automatically sent to the electronic door locks if the device does not depart with the driver. At the same time, an alarm sounds (usually the vehicle horn) to alert you that the keys are still in the car. Once you retrieve the key fob, the doors can be locked. You probably have two key fob transmitters, so try this simple test: Try locking one in the car to see if the doors automatically unlock. If for some reason this fails, you can use the other key fob.
Q: I am driving a 2007 Chevy Impala with over 100,000 miles. I have had the same mechanic working on this car since it was born. Recently, the check traction control and the check brake assist lights came on. I asked if this was a safety issue and he said no. I intend to have it fixed when my next emission test is due next year. What do you think?
C.S., Hometown, Ill.
A: The first thing we can think of is a faulty wheel speed sensor. Both the antilock braking system and the traction control system rely on the ABS system. If the sensors check out good, the ABS module itself may be bad.
Q: I've been to the Buick dealership, Jiffy Lube, Tires Plus, Firestone, the local mechanic, etc. These places can be either: fast, cheap, expensive, no appointment necessary, long wait times, recommend other things to be fixed, nearby, far away — you get the picture. My high school shop teacher once said that oil changes can't be quick because a qualified mechanic will wait for all the oil to drain before replacing. Bob, you would think this should be easier. What's your advice?
M.E., Pompano Beach, Fla.
A: Oil changes need not take long enough to get the last drop out, but we favor shops that do other things as the oil is draining. When we used to do LOFs (lube, oil, filter), we would oil the hinges for the doors, trunk and hood. We would check the tire pressure and peek at the brakes if we could eyeball them. We would check the fluids and top them off as necessary. Then we would install a new filter and the drain plug, and fill the engine with oil. Get to know the people at a local shop and call for an appointment for which you can wait as you play Tetris on your smartphone.
Bob Weber is a writer and mechanic who became an ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician in 1976. He maintains this status by seeking certification every five years. Weber's work appears in professional trade magazines and other consumer publications. His writing also appears in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest Send automotive questions along with name and town to motormouth.tribverizon.net.