The article I read in Newsday, May 6, 2011, describing a transmission problem in a 2009 Hyundai Sonata with 23,700 miles didn’t address that fact that these cars are warrantied for five years or 60,000 miles bumper to bumper coverage and 10 years or 100,000 powertrain. Why this woman was charged for anything just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. The way I would understand it this should be covered by the factory guarantee. Why wasn’t that issue addressed? Am I missing something or was this a misprint?
QUESTION: The article I read in Newsday, May 6, 2011, describing a transmission problem in a 2009 Hyundai Sonata with 23,700 miles didn’t address that fact that these cars are warrantied for five years or 60,000 miles bumper to bumper coverage and 10 years or 100,000 powertrain. Why this woman was charged for anything just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. The way I would understand it this should be covered by the factory guarantee. Why wasn’t that issue addressed? Am I missing something or was this a misprint?
ANSWER: It is true that there is a five-year 60,000 bumper to bumper and 10 year 100,000 mile power train warranty that covers major part failure, not routine service. In this case the dealer was performing a service not a major repair. You have to look very closely at the fine print of any warranty, especially on this car. If the transmission service did not solve the problem, any other repair should be at no charge.
QUESTION: I bought a new 2010 Infiniti G37x several months ago. The car has less than 1,600 miles. All of a sudden, car has a low “beep” instead of a loud “honk.” Took car to dealer. Work order stated: “Found low horn inop due to break in ground circuit. Removed filler panel and grill to access harness. Stripped harness at break and resoldered to correct concern. Reinstalled grill.”
Questions: Never had this happen before on a brand new car.
1. Why should the ground circuit break?
2. Why should anything be resoldered?
3. Shouldn’t all the pieces be totally replaced instead of just resoldered?
4. Is resoldering a “stop-gap” measure? When it will break again?
5. Was this a “band-aid” temporary “fix?”
6. Although this was done at no charge under the 4-year warranty, I am concerned that the horn will go bad again. What if it goes bad after the warranty ends? What do I do then? What would the cost be to do the job right?
7. Any TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) or recalls on this problem with this car? (Also have an older model of same car and so far never had this same problem.) What gives? Have you seen/heard of this problem?
8. Was my horn fixed properly or not?
9. How would you have fixed this horn? Would you have done the same thing or not? Please explain.
(Personally, I’m afraid that resoldering will break and is not the right way to do things. I always thought that if something breaks that it needs to be replaced. Am I wrong? If so, why?)
Would greatly appreciate it if you can respond in your column. Thanks for your help and your great column.
ANSWER: Repairing a broken wire as the dealer says they did is fine. There would be no reason to replace a wire harness for a break in wire. You ask how can this happen? The answer is simple: it did, and there is nothing you or anybody can do about it. Also, we do not know if the problem was at a terminal end or even a defective horn. If this is the only problem you have, you are very lucky. There are a lot more important things in your life to worry about besides a vehicle.
QUESTION: I have had a 2009 Camry for about a year and a half. This is my third Camry and my sixth Toyota sedan. The control for air recirculation is now electric (all prior cars hand a mechanical control) and seems to have a mind of its own. I am very sensitive to allergens and pollutants, and I don’t want the outside air to be sucked into the car and into my face. However, the control switches “off”‘ (to the fresh air setting) according to who-knows-what programming apparently built in to the electronics. Do you know if there is any way for me to gain control of this setting, so I can decide when it is on or off?
ANSWER: The HVAC system needs to be turned on to keep the inside air circulating. My wife, to my knowledge, has never shut off the HVAC system; it is always set during the cold months on 70 degrees and during the summer 68 degrees. Yes, the a/c compressor does run on most vehicles in the automatic mode, only to remove moisture from the interior. Most newer vehicles also have a carbon treated cabin filter that helps trap pollen. These should be checked on an annual basis.
QUESTION: I have a 1998 Dodge Stratus with 84,000 miles on it. It has been a wonderful car with no major problems. I leave it in Florida, covered and disconnected. This year before I left, the horn started to blow at odd times. I removed the fuse for the horn but the back lights and cigarette lighter are on the same fuse. The horn seems to go off with any movement (turning the wheel), and it seems to go off even if another car pulls up next to it. I almost sold it but it is in such great shape otherwise that I disconnected the battery and covered it again in preparation for next season. Do you think it is worth fixing and do you have any idea what this might be?
ANSWER: To get the horn to blow, there is a ground connection being made. You mentioned that when turning the steering wheel, the horn blows. The way the horn works is when you push the horn pad or button, a ground connection is made from the horn pad to the horn relay. From the pad or button the wire goes through the clock spring down to the horn relay. The most common problems are either the horn button or pad especially in cold weather. The second problem is the clock spring. This can also cause the air bag and cruise control if equipped to fail. Yes, this car is worth the repair.
Junior Damato writes weekly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360.