AUTO DOCTOR: Tread, driving habits determine when to rotate truck tiress

AUTO DOCTOR: Tread, driving habits determine when to rotate truck tiress

Dear Doctor: I own a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado. Last year I purchased a set of Cooper Discoverer 265/70R17 tires from Mavis Discount Tire with free tire rotation every 10,000 miles. I brought it back with 9,800 miles on them. They checked the tires with a tire gauge for wear. Mavis said the tires were good for another 3,000 or 4,000 miles. That sounds like a lot to me. What is the proper time or miles for a tire rotation on a pickup truck? I do a mix of local and highway driving. - Rich

Dear Rich: Pickup truck tire rotation mileage varies on actual tire wear. Tread design and driving habits are main factors. With this said, 10,000 miles is the maximum for any vehicle, car or truck. I have found that some shops that include lifetime rotation do not encourage early tire rotation. I would not measure for tire wear at 9,800 miles - I would just rotate the tires. You can also vary the tire pressure by raising the pressure 3 pounds every three months and lowering back to the recommended pressure for three months. This will give the tire a different footprint to the ground.

Dear Doctor: Periodically, I get a "service vehicle soon" light while driving my 2003 Chevy Malibu. Then, some functions like cruise control, the fan, and the fuel gauge don't work. I've had diagnostics run several times, and they did not find anything. But, the car runs OK and eventually those functions resume functioning. Since the diagnostics are not showing anything, what should I do next? - Terry

Dear Terry: These intermittent faults, along with the loss of the fuel gauge and fan, means there's a problem with the power or ground and/or a relay; even a poor connection in the fuse box could cause these issues. When the service light or certain fault codes are present, the cruise control will not operate for safety reasons. Get a qualified technician to look at the wiring diagram for the fan and fuel gauge. An ASE technician will inspect the system and refer to Identifix and Alldata for common faults before spending a lot of money on diagnostic time for this problem.

Dear Doctor: I have 2007 a Volvo S60 with 90,000 miles with a P0027 code. I changed the exhaust control valve and intake valve solenoids, oil and filter twice, reset the code, but it still comes up. What else should I try? - Gaden

Dear Gaden: Before installing solenoids, check the power and ground to the solenoids, as well as the actual connector. You must use a factory solenoid, not a cheap aftermarket solenoid. It could also be a problem with the bolts on the camshaft sprocket bolts or even a loose timing belt. You must use a qualified technician for a quick resolution to your fault code.

Dear Doctor: I own a 2010 Lexus IS 350 convertible with 29,000 miles that I really love. Unfortunately, Lexus has not come out with another convertible offering, so I'm keeping this one for a while. That said, the front leather seats never wear well and I'm thinking of having them redone. Is there anyone you would recommend? Or should it even be done? Lastly, we will be moving south in a few months and I would like the car transported. What's the best way to get the car to our destination unscathed? - Ulrike

Dear Ulrike: Many upholstery shops can replace the leather seat covers. Beware: some of the aftermarket seat covers look great in the package but have poor fit and wear out quickly. You can also check with Lexus to see if the seat covers are still available at a reasonable price. I would wait till I got down south to replace the leather seat covers. Many vehicle transportation companies are available; most of the companies use a center call office to sub out the drivers. I use a company out of Ware, Massachusetts, called Intercity and have always been satisfied.

(These questions were answered by Junior Damato, an ASE-certified Master Technician. Questions may be emailed to info@motormatters.biz or sent to the Auto Doctor at Motor Matters, P.O. Box 3305, Wilmington, Delaware, 19804.)

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