- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2008

I live in the Sun Belt and own a 2000 Buick LeSabre with 78,000 miles. I have already replaced both rear window motors and now both of the front window motors are very weak. These motors are very expensive and should not have failed. I spoke with GM and did not get any satisfaction.

My previous 1988 Oldsmobile with more than 100,000 miles has never had power window problems. I spoke with other Buick owners and they had experienced the same window failure. What are your thoughts?

A: Power window failure occurs with manufacturers, both American and imports. Your car is eight years old and living in the extreme heat, which means all the parts of the electrical system are overworked.

I have seen the grease that is used during vehicle assembly melt onto the brushes and cause the motor to be very slow.

We sometimes take the motors apart and simply clean them and they will work fine.

Q: I own a 2008 Mercury Sable. At 3,500 miles I did a full-synthetic oil and filter change. At 7,100 miles the oil life monitor read 5 percent oil life left. This seems to be a short life for synthetic oil.

How does the computer know it’s already time to change the oil?

A: The oil change mileage counter works on preprogrammed information based on engine revolutions, as well as time in some vehicles. There are no test sensors for actual oil dilution or contamination. Some oil change intervals can be changed to accompany the longer intervals with synthetic oil.

However, some manufacturers will still want their oil change intervals followed, even with the use of full-synthetic oil.

Q: We own a 1993 Ford Explorer with 94,000 miles. The truck runs good for the most part. There is one odd problem. When starting the engine, if we do not hear the fuel pump run, the engine will not start up until opening the hood and tapping the fuel pump relay.

I took it to the Ford garage and they could not find any problem.

The engine will run fine but sometimes if I turn it off, the engine will not restart until I tap the fuel pump relay. what’s the problem?

A: We can both agree that the problem lies in the fuel pump relay and/or wire connectors. Did anyone replace the fuel pump relay to start with? There can also be a corrosion problem under the relay box.

This repair will require a technician with electrical experience.

Q: I own a very low mileage 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera 2.5-liter four-cylinder with only 65,000 miles. In the winter, the engine starts up immediately. In the summer, I have to hold the accelerator down to start the engine.

I took the car back to the GM dealer for a week and they could not find any problems. Can you help?

A: The first thing that needs to be done is a full engine performance test. This test will let the technician see all sensor input and output values, along with fuel pressure and total spark output. Problems range from fuel pump low pressure, ignition module poor spark, and coolant sensors out of range.

You will need to find a technician willing to take time to investigate the source of the problem.

Q: I own a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier with 98,000 miles. The dealer suggests I replace the fuel filter and change over to high-mileage oil. What do you think?

A:I think the dealer is on target. We use high-mileage oil on vehicles eight years-plus with high miles.

Fuel filters are maintenance items that require replacement at prescribed intervals, about every two years on average for external fuel filters.

Q: With the high price of gasoline today I would like to buy my gas from a no-name gas station. My coworker says that´s a bad thing to do because you never know what´s in the gasoline.

What are your thoughts on the less expensive off-brand gasoline?

A: They are fine. When I fill-up I will find the least expensive price for gasoline from a clean-looking gas station with digital gas pump dispensers that accept credit cards, including any no-name service stations.

Q: I own a 1964 Ford with a 352 cid V-8 engine. I have been adding 8 ounces of Max Lead to my gasoline every 20 gallons. It claims to raise the octane and treat the valves on this old engine. What do you think?

A: Those old engines needed top-end lubrication and got it from the lead additives that used to be in the gasoline. There are many additives on the market for added engine protection and power. Some owners add Mystery Oil to both the gasoline and engine oil. However, additives, such as Mystery, could do harm to a vehicle designed to run on unleaded fuel only.

  • 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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