- The Washington Times - Friday, November 21, 2008

Q: I have a 1999 Nissan Maxima SE with 95,000 miles and have problems with bad idling. When the car sits in traffic at a light the engine jumps (with a jittery take off, too). When I gas it hard, especially on ramps, it shakes. I had new NGK sparks put in a year ago. I think it can be the coils, fuel injectors or some kind of wiring. I also put in a new fuel filter and pump thinking that might fix it. No codes pop up and the check engine light doesn’t illuminate.

A: There are many possibilities for the problems your Maxima is experiencing. Since no codes are presenting, the first step is a full engine performance test. Without trouble codes present the technician will have to have knowledge of good sensor values and compare the values in your car. The best bet may be the dealer if your technician does not have knowledge of your car.

Q: I have a 1996 Cadillac Eldorado that I store outdoors. I have it covered with a gray breathable car cover and on top of that a blue breathable water proof cover. When I had the car detailed in August I was told it wasn’t a good idea to keep it covered because locked-in moisture will cause damage to the paint. He cited acid rain. I was told it was better to keep it uncovered and clean. Please advise; covered or uncovered?

A: Cars covered outside are vulnerable to the effects of acid rain being burned in from the heat and moisture under the sun’s rays. Indoor storage is the best idea.

Q: I have a 2006 Chrysler 300C with a Hemi engine. The car shudders between 40 and 60 mph when it is warmed up. I have taken it to Chrysler at least three or four times and they keep blaming the wheels. I know it is not my wheels because they have been checked by a Tire and Wheel shop.

A: There are two Technical Service Bulletins on the Identifix web site both regarding shudder under light acceleration. TSB# 21-003-06 involves transmission fluid flushing and torque converter replacement. TSB# 21-012-07 involves a computer flash update. If it were a tire balance problem then the engine temperature would not matter with the shudder. Take the car back to the dealer with this article so that they can reference the TSB numbers.

Q: I have a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD with only 12,000 miles. I have the manual door locks and windows and I’d like to covert to power. I can get the parts. Would I need to change the body control module and change the wiring harness within the dashboard?

A: I would recommend using aftermarket parts for your DIY project. It will cost less and be easier to install. You might also check with a local radio shop for sources of required parts.

I am from the old school and like the idea of 3 months/3,000 miles for oil changes with regular oil and 5 months/5,000 miles with full synthetic oil.

Junior Damato is an ASE-certified Master Technician. E-mail questions to [email protected] or mail questions to: Auto Doctor, 3 Court Circle, Lakeville, MA 02347

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