12:54 PM EDT, August 23, 2013
Q: I have a 2005 BMW 325xi with 83,000 miles. Since I had an extended warranty that was expiring this March, I had given the car to the BMW dealership to do service and check for any issues. They found issues that the warranty company paid ($3,000). They set the service indicator to show when the next inspection is due. I found out the inspection would cost at least $1,000 at the dealership, and I felt the dealership is using this as a ploy to get me back and pay additional money. I am not sure if there is genuine benefit to vehicle inspection after they looked the car over a few months back and apparently fixed issues found. Do I need to go through the inspection? Can I get the same thing done elsewhere?
— J.G., Chicago
A: Under the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, you are free to take your vehicle anywhere, and the warranty must remain intact. If your vehicle is out of warranty, you're free to choose who services it and when. As always, we suggest you follow the schedule in your owner's manual.
Q: Could you advise me on the best hand controls to install?
— J.B., Melrose Park, Ill.
A: We don't typically endorse any product as superior to another, and when it comes to hand controls, we are woefully uninformed. We suggest you go to the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (nmeda.com) for more information. You can also visit the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (driver-ed.org) to find a specialist in your area who will evaluate your needs and suggest possible equipment.
Q: I need a little clarification on your TPMS warning light fix. I have two indicator lights on my 2008 Elantra. One is for low tire pressure and the other is for a TPMS fault. The light for the low tire pressure is off, but the TPMS fault light is on. Does your fix address this problem, and if so, should I be grounding the low tire pressure light or the TPMS fault light?
— F.R., Lebanon, Conn.
A: The fix we wrote about applied to Nissan vehicles only. We would caution owners of other vehicles to contact a professional for specifics. As to the tire pressure warning lights on your Hyundai, the icon of a tire tread indicates a problem with one or more tires. The TPMS light indicates a fault that is external to the sensor(s) or receiver. A technician must check for diagnostic trouble codes.
Q: I have the habit of shifting from drive to second to slow down the car before I slowly apply the brakes to a full stop. I guess when I started doing this I sensed that I was preventing brake wear. I realized now that I may be putting undue pressure on the transmission.
— F.M., Western Springs, Ill.
A: Brake overhauls are much cheaper than transmission overhauls. Speaking of brakes, we want to thank the readers who spotted the words "break petal" in the online caption of a recent column. We suspect it was the result of spell Czech.
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