Archive for July, 2009

The Auto Guy Answers Questions July 24th, 2009

Friday, July 24th, 2009

2007 Toyota 4 Runner

Q.I bought a 2007 4runner, V8, brand new with 36 miles on it in August 2008. The vehicle surges when the defroster is on mostly and I notice it sometimes with the a/c on. The dealer where we bought it kept it 2 days and couldn’t find what was wrong with it but scraped varnish off the motor of the throttle?? Needless to say, that didn’t fix the problem. We then took it several months later to another dealer who told us that was a problem with the 2007 model and the problem was fixed with the 2008 models when they put something on the, I think compressor, to make it stay on all the time and not go on and off so that you would not notice the surging. What can you tell me about this and is there anything that Toyota will do to fix the problem on my 2007? I LOVE the vehicle but that becomes annoying and sometimes makes the vehicle lunge forward sometimes when you take off and are not expecting it. The vehicle is still under manufacturers warranty with around 11,200 miles on it. I would appreciate your input. I watch you on channel 7 but unfortunately can’t get through to ask you there.

Thanks, Sharon

A. I am a little surprised at the answer. As far as not being able to repair, when the A/C comes on there is an automatic raise of the idle to compensate for the additional engine load. I suspect that that idle speed needs adjusting. However, there may not be an adjustment for that system so I would ask them to go a little deeper to determine if a component is not working correctly. Which means it may show to be in specifications but still not performing as expected?



2005 Mazda 3

Q. We bought an 05 Mazda 3 for our daughter and it never seems to cool off enough.  When it was new, bubbles came through the air conditioner vents when she went through a car wash.  Other trash has done that also making us suspect that something was not connected properly.  We had the dealership look at it and they didn’t find anything.  We’ve just put up with the unsatisfactory cooling since then.

A. The a/c system itself is sealed.  However, It sounds like the fresh air duct is not sealed allowing outside air and stuff in at anytime. I would look at how the fresh air comes into the vehicle and determine if there is an outside air leak. You probably want to take it to a NAPA Auto Care Center like Parkway Automotive to help find the problem. It will be a difficult repair- which means it will be an expensive one…



1999 Oldsmobile intrigue

Q. I need help – I have a 99 intrigue. My signal lights are going out right after I replace the bulb. The car also has a problem going up hills I changed the fuel filter and bought new spark plugs and wires and it still has problems what should I do.


A. Your car is equipped with an OBD 2 diagnostic system. It monitors your fuel management. For the running problem it will need to go in for diagnostics by a mechanic who has a piece of test equipment called a “Tech 2”. Most NAPA Auto Care Centers like Parkway Automotive  have the capability  As far as the bulb I believe an electrical systems test on that particular circuit will show it to have a direct short to ground.




1987 Chevy truck

Q. Mr. Davidson,

I watch you on channel 7,THE AUTO GUY, Great show .

I have a 1987 Chevy 4WD.When I apply the brakes, the truck pulls hard to the left, and then ease off the brake pedal, goes back to the right.

Could you please tell me what the problem might be?

I had MIDAS put new Brakes on and they couldn’t correct the problem.


Thank you So MUCH


A, Look for a problem with the suspension. Your control arm bushings or ball joints are most likely worn causing the suspension to move excessively when you are braking. A NAPA Auto Care Center like Parkway Automotive Services can do that work for you. Go to our website and click on the Napa Auto care logo to find a shop near you.

The Auto Guy answers questions July 8th 2009

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

2001 Ford windstar

Q. I have a 2001 Ford Windstar and the engine light stays on, and the gears seem not to shift properly.  You can feel it when the gears shift.  I went to Auto Zone where they put it on a diagnostics machine and was told that it may have something to do with the mass air flow sensor.  Please let me know if this could be correct. Thanks. Dorothy M.


A. The sensor reads the amount of air coming into the engine and the temperature of the air. We see a lot of failures with the wiring to the air mass sensors. We have also seen them just get dirty. If that is the case just clean the little wire inside the air mass meter.



1995 Lexus

Q: Something keeps draining the battery in my Lexus.  I have replaced the battery several times, but it still doesn’t stay charged for very long.  I rarely drive the vehicle, but is it possible that the old-timey corded phone could be causing the problem?  I disconnected the handset, but when I start the car the phone still beeps. My main question is can I remove the fuse for the phone? Is it safe to have an empty fuse location? 

Thank you so much for any info!  Sincerely, Tammy H.


A. Tammy- it is ok to remove a fuse – however when you do look to see what does not work- as some other circuits are usually tied to the same fuse. You should have a NAPA Auto Care Center check it out to make sure that that is your drain source. Just go to our website to find one near you.




1989 Suburban

Q. I have A/C condensation coming into the cab on the passanger side floor. I have looked for the condensation drain on the housing but can’t find where the drain is located, can you help? Thanks, Dave G.


A. The drain is located on the passenger side at the firewall. Check from inside the truck 1st and make sure it is connected. At Parkway Automotive in Little Rock we sometimes can  clean the drain with a LITTLE compressed air.



1999 Mazda

Q.  I have a 1999 Mazda 626 4cyl. I have been having a problem with the car running hot while  idling with the air conditioner on. As long as the car is moving it doesn’t get hot, but if I let it idle for a few minutes it runs HOT. I haven’t heard my fans kick on any at all. I changed the fuse for the fan, but I still haven’t heard it running. Can you give me an idea of what I can try next.Thanks,

Pam K.


A. The cars computer system has sensors that turn the fans on and off. They should both be on anytime the a/c is turned on. You will need to have the system diagnosed to determine if the fans are getting a signal to turn on. If they are then the fans will require replacement. If they are not getting a signal, a test on the sensors etc… will need to be performed.


2002 Honda CRV

Q. Live in Camden, and watch you one channel 7.  In your opinion will an after market condenser work satisfactorily on a 2002 Honda CRV? Bill B.


A. yes it will! A NAPA Auto Care Center can do the entire job for you. Just go to our website to find one near you.


2007 VW beetle

Q. Mike- I have a problem, need help Daughters car is a 2007 vw beetle head lights and daytime running lights wont come on however hi beam lights still register on dash like everything is normal dealers too far to go to and moneys too tight it was recently rear ended (minor)got it fixed – then airbag light wouldn’t go off took it back they (fixed it) got it home now headlights wont work. I cant keep doing this- husbands job closed down, doing everything just to make payments on it feel like I’m caught in a car repair rip off I’d go more into detail but it would take too long  maybe husband could just fix it please e-mail me at- appreciate you on the tv show keep it mike! people like me, need people like you are we couldn’t survive.


A. The headlights on the Beetle have a problem with the connector staying tight. The headlights are very hard to remove  VW has a updated wiring harness for some of the earlier 98-03 possibly later, headlights. It is the short piece inside the black portion that plugs on to the bulb spade and ground spade.  Be sure and ask your Local NAPA Auto Care Center if they are familiar with removing the headlight- otherwise I recommend you take it to the dealer.



2001 Pontiac Sunfire

Q. My trac off light has come on and the car stalls.  This has happened 3 times so far.

Why might this be happening? I didn’t hit the button accidentally or intentionally to turn off the trac brakes….

Here are some details….

This morning, yesterday afternoon and a week ago my Trac off light came on and my engine stalled.  It took me several times before I could get the engine to restart.  I would put it back in park and try to start it several times before it would finally restart.  (this morning it did this while I was on I-40….scary).  I had my front brakes (rotors and pads replaced May 23).  Before these occurrences the car hadn’t done that before ( the trac off light and engine stalling). 


I hadn’t hit the off trac button…….before the light came on…..though when the light stayed on and the car wouldn’t restart….I did push it just in case something had automatically done it…..


The first time that the light came on and the car stalled a week ago… had started idling roughly….these other 2 times that didn’t happen.


The first time this happened, I did some online research….and there had been some sites that stated that sometime when brake work in done some of the wiring is loosened and sometimes that may cause some of these things……


I need to have this taken care of, I can’t be stranded.  Being female, when I go into an auto place, having a little knowledge is helpful…, if I can get some information from you I will know where I should take my car.  I had the brakes done at Firestone.  Is this something that I should go back to Firestone with or do I need to take my car to the Pontiac Dealership? Thanks for any information. Donna S.


A. you will need to find a NAPA Auto Care center that has a specific diagnostic tool called a “Tech 2”. They must also be able to Re-flash the Computer system. The connection between the traction Control Light and the engine shutting off is the vehicles Powertrain Control Module (PCM). There should be codes set for the technician to determine what system is failing. Once he has retrieved the codes he can engage in the correct diagnostic procedure.  I will tell you that the PCM is the most likely cause. But please allow test to be performed first.


1994 Chevrolet Truck

 Q. I have a 1994 Chevy pickup. It is a 5 speed manual trans. It is hard to put in gear and gets harder after it get hot (mainly 1st and 2nd ) Please reply Thanks Camron


A. Most likely it is the synchronizers inside the transmission. You might prolong it by replacing the fluid with a synthetic lubricant. Most any NAPA Auto Care Center like Parkway Automotive in Little Rock can complete this service for you.



1998 Lincoln Town Car

Q. I have a 1998 Lincoln Town Car.  It has 208,000 miles on it.  I can run the A/C when it’s in the 70’s & 80’s, but when the temps reach the 90’s & 100’s, the car quite often runs hot.  It usually does ok while driving down the hwy ( but has occasionally run hot doing that), but it mostly runs hot when driving slower around town & sometimes when I stop at stop light the temp gauge will jump straight up to hot & it will boil over.  Also, when the temperatures are this high, acceleration seems sluggish.   Thank you for taking the time to help me. I’m afraid to drive very far for fear of breaking down. Kindest Regards & Thanks,


Sharye B.

Brinkley, Arkansas


A. your right you should not drive a car while it is running hot. The problem is air flow. Make sure the front of your car is not covered with Brinkley Bugs. Look especially on the front of the radiator. A NAPA Auto Care Center can test your system to get the engines cooling system working properly.


 2003 trailblazer

Q. My daughter has a 2003 Trailblazer and even though it runs perfectly well, the engine light keeps coming on.  For about 2 months, it would come on and then go off.  She talked with the dealer and they said to check her fuel tank – air may be in there, etc.  She has done whatever they have suggested and now the light stays on.  It is not time to have the oil changed.


She is a single mom, presently unemployed, and can’t afford a large repair bill so she has hesitated to take it to the dealer (of course the warranty is gone) so I told her you would know just what to do about this situation. Please give me your take on this. Thanks so much


Joanne S.


A. if there are no performance problems in the way it runs, driving it will be ok for the short term. That light will come on when there is a fault in the vehicle’s emission system. A Napa Auto Care Center like Parkway Automotive in Little Rock can at least read the code and determine if the issue is serious or not. Ultimately you will want to repair it.


2000 Chevy Truck

Q. I’m now getting water in the oil. Last time I changed the oil I had a lot of water and sludge in the filter. I’ve had it pressure tested again and still no sign of water leak. Is there any “TSB” out there on this problem? The engine at times will miss when you first start it up. I’ve talked to a mechanic about pulling the heads but we don’t know which one to start with.   Your thoughts?


A. anytime there is water in the oil the heads have to come off. Once removed have the heads inspected for cracks by a machine shop. Do not rely on your eyes to see a crack. At Parkway Automotive in Little Rock we would send the heads to a machine shop as they have a couple of different ways to see small cracks.




2005 Ford Lariat

Q. The speedometer on our 2005 Ford F150 Lariat has started acting crazy.  It starts at about 60 when the truck is started and then moves up to about 100 as you drive NORMALLY.  A friend has told us that they had a dash gauge replaced on their truck (same model) and that the dealership said the entire dash had to be replaced as a unit!  It cost him several hundred dollars.  This shocked me.  He swears that it HAD to be done that way-no other options (but he has a bit more money than we have). 


Does the whole dash unit have to be replaced on these trucks just to fix a speedometer?  I terrified to take it in now, but know we need the speedometer.  Can just the speedometer be replaced on that year model?  Thanks for any suggestions.  We live about an hour and a half from LR, but would be worth it if it would save the hundreds he paid. 

A. The instrument panel is usually replaced which includes the speedometer head. The mileage has to be documented carefully, so check with your local NAPA Auto Care center to see if they can handle that type of repair. At Parkway Automotive in Little Rock we would be able to replace the panel. It usually takes about ten days to get one and the dealer will need you current mileage to order it.