Ask John Paul: AAA’s Car Doctor

John Paul

John Paul

I have a Chrysler 200 convertible that I drive year round that has a sloshing noise when going around corners. It sounds like water, is there a leak in the car because it is a convertible? Should I be driving my convertible year round?

The problem is most likely due to debris building up in the heater/ventilation system and has nothing to do with being a convertible. Cleaning the drain tube and replacing the cabin air filter should solve the problem. There is no reason that with a little care you can’t drive any convertible year round. My wife has been driving a convertible since 1999.

 I have always changed my own oil and when doing an oil change always lubricate the hinges with white grease. The doors clunk when I open the doors, it is thoroughly “lubed” why is the hinge making noise?

This may be a case of too much of a good thing. Most cars only need a very small amount of lubricant to allow for smooth door operation. Remove any excess lube from the roller and cam while still lubricating the hinge pin and the inside bearing area of the roller. This should get the door hinge working properly.

 I have a 2010 Hyundai Elantra with only 40,000 miles on it and it makes a thumping noise over bumps. I had the local shop check the car and they couldn’t find anything wrong. Any ideas?

There have been some issues with the bushings on the front struts. Replacing the “bump-stop” bushings should solve the problem. Since the car under warranty have the dealer reference technical service bulletin number: 10-SS-006

What do you think about using nitrogen in car tires? I recently had my car serviced and they offered a tire rotation and nitrogen air fill for $49.95. The dealer suggested that nitrogen would also improve the tire life and the service included free tire rotation, what do you think?

Nitrogen has been used in racing for years and it has several benefits. Loss of inflation pressure up to 5 percent a month is normal for most tires. I have been told that nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen molecules and, therefore, are less prone to “seeping” through the tire casing. In addition it has been shown that pure nitrogen may cause a bit less rubber degradation over time. The real reason tire life will improve is because the tires will get rotated regularly and the tire pressure will be maintained. In my cars I use plain old air which is 78 percent nitrogen and it’s free.

My 1970 Chevrolet Impala has chrome mag wheels and recently while washing the car I noticed the wheels were turning green. I tried cleaning them with wheel cleaner but it didn’t help. What should I do?

Chrome wheels will turn green when they are cleaned with wheel cleaner that contains acid. When cleaning wheels, use soap and water or wheel cleaner that is safe for all wheels including those wheels that have a painted surfaces. To restore the wheels on your car try a wheel cleaner and polish. I have had people tell me that Mothers brand metal polish and their Powerball work well.


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