Q. I remember reading about a solution for static electric shocks that happen this time of year when you get in or out of your car. The problem is, I don’t remember how to fix the problem. Can you answer this question again?
A. The fix is actually quite simple, about once a month or so spray the seats and carpet with anti-static spray. This is the same product you spray on clothes to eliminate wrinkles. At the same time to eliminate another winter problem, you could also spray the gaskets around the doors with silicone spray. This will keep the door from freezing shut during cold winter weather.
Q. I had four new tires installed and the wheels aligned on my 2006 Honda Pilot. The car has a slight pull to the right that existed before the tires went on. Do you have any suggestion to what else could be wrong?
A. Honda issued a very detailed technical service bulletin to help technicians correct pulling problems on all Honda models. The bulletin is number 06-068 and is available through aftermarket technical databases such as AllData and Mitchell On-Demand. Following these steps may help solve the pulling problem,
Q. I have been a VW owner for years and very loyal to the brand, I have owned four Volkswagens. A very close family member now owns a Honda CRV which I cannot stand and truly believe to be dangerous. In my humble opinion, I feel the manufacturer has sacrificed safety and handling for gas mileage. I want them to consider the VW Tiquan but they’re constantly dissuaded by others because of poor performance ratings and the maintenance costs associated with German vehicles. What’s your opinion on each vehicle? Do you lean on one side or another regarding performance, handling, safety and mileage?
A. I my opinion I believe that the Honda CRV is still one of the best small SUVs, it handles poor weather easily, rides well and as you pointed out sips fuel; at least for an SUV. That said, it is a bit noisy, the interior is hardly luxurious and the seats lack any real support. Although I will say I haven’t driven the 2012 version yet. The VW Tiquan has a great interior, “drives” bigger than it size and overall has a very solid feel. As good as Volkswagens are, the overall quality has proven not to be as good as the Honda. If you want dependability coupled with decent on-road ability, go with the Honda. For something with a bit more soul, the Volkswagen is a better choice.
Q. I recently had my car in for a timing belt and water pump replacement and was shocked how expensive the repair is. I was quoted nearly $1000.00 for the repair and this is an economy Plymouth with a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine. What are vehicle manufactures thinking building cars that need a $1000 maintenance item every 60,000 miles?
A. I agree, for an exotic car owner expensive maintenance bills are normal, but for a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine in a Chrysler product spending $1000 to me seems unreasonable as well. The problem is that this repair takes six to eight hours depending on the model. The good news is we are seeing more vehicle manufacturers switching over to timing chains, which don't require regualr service.
Q. I own a Chrysler minivan with built in booster seats. I have read that car seat manufacturers generally feel the life of a car seats is six years or so. Do you know if this applies to built-in booster seats?
A. I spoke to the engineering staff at Chrysler and they tell me the built-in booster seats were designed to last the life of the vehicle. For more information about child safety, check out www.safekids.org
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee