I own a 2003 Saturn Vue with 53,000 miles. I heard a noise while driving and took it to the shop. My mechanic said it sounded like a transmission bearing, so he took the car to the transmission shop.
QUESTION: I own a 2003 Saturn Vue with 53,000 miles. I heard a noise while driving and took it to the shop. My mechanic said it sounded like a transmission bearing, so he took the car to the transmission shop. The transmission man said the noise was coming from inside the transmission. He said the transmission would have to come out and be overhauled, at the cost of $5,000. The car drives well except for the noise. Have you ever heard of this and how long will the transmission last?
ANSWER: As you know, the Saturn brand is gone. Replacement parts will be very expensive, and there is a long wait for them. As for the transmission noise, I would not spend the $5,000 for repair. I would continue to drive the car until the transmission does fail and then find another vehicle.
QUESTION: I own a 2000 Dodge Viper convertible with only 10,000 miles. The car is driven from May to October. I drove the car 70 miles and the gauge did not move. All the other gauges do work. The gas gauge is stuck on full. Do you have any idea what the fault is?
ANSWER: The most common problem is the gas float level is stuck in the full up position. A factory scan tool can tell you what the fuel level sender is sending to the computer. If the level sender is stuck, I would drive the car 160 miles and see if the float corrects itself. You can also hit the bottom of the fuel tank with a rubber mallet or use a metal hammer with a piece of wood between the gas tank and hammer. There is the possibility that the fuel sender may have to come out.
QUESTION: I own a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The problem is there is a beep and it says “coolant sensor” on the instrument panel. I had it back to the shop three times and still have the same problem. Any ideas would be appreciated.
ANSWER: The first step is to hook up a factory scan tool and actually look at what the sensor value is. I have seen many mechanics replace parts before checking the circuit for power and ground connections. Before any more parts are replaced have the vehicle checked by an ASE certified technician.
QUESTION: I own a Dodge Stealth R/T automatic V/6 that was running good when I parked it. A year later I went to start it and the battery was dead. I had to jump start it and it did start. The problem I have now if the transmission does not start out in first gear. Could I have damaged the computer when I jump-started the engine?
ANSWER: The first thing is to check the transmission for fault codes. The transmission may be stuck in a lip home mode. Clearing the codes can sometimes correct the fault. Whatever the problem, the car will have to go to a shop.
QUESTION: I recently took my 2007 Chevrolet Impala to the selling dealer because my check-engine light was on and I needed the New York state inspection sticker. The dealer repaired the car and flushed both the engine cooling system, transmission and fuel injectors for a sum of $1,400. I did not approve all the work to be done. What can I do?
ANSWER: As a consumer we all have legal rights. The dealer is obligated to inform you of any repair or maintenance work to be done before the service is performed. In reading your letter it does not indicate you were notified and the service repair order was not signed by you. Check with the dealer for a partial refund. If they will not comply, if you paid for the service with a credit card you can follow the instructions to put the bill in contest. If you paid in cash or check you will have to go to the small claims court in your local town. You can also notify the local consumer agencies and write to Chevrolet motor division.
Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360, or e-mail email@example.com.