Before a costly repair, ask for this

Honda steering column. Dreamstime/TNS

Q: I have a 2013 Honda Accord Sport sedan. During my last car service it was recommended that I get a CV half shaft replacement. The repair cost $1,173.60. I am having no problems with my car. I am concerned that the dealer is trying to get me to do a repair that is not needed.

M.A, Chicago

A: Before laying out any money, I would ask for proof of the need. Most often the issue is a torn rubber boot covering the CV joint and a replacement boot may be all you need. Constant velocity (CV) joints are a type of universal joint that allow the shaft to move in two (sometimes three) planes.

Q: I have a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria with 300,000 miles. It consumes oil at about one quart per 800 miles. My practice has been to add oil as needed. Since the oil never turns dark would it be OK just to change the filter and not the oil at regular intervals?

T.T., Lockhart, Texas

A: Are you the kind of guy who changes only half the bath water?

Q: What can I use to deter squirrels from chewing my engine’s hoses and wiring? I have two Toyotas and they are destroying them. I have already had one to the dealership for service.

T.R., Palmerton, Pa.

A: The only solution that I suggest is Honda Rodent Tape to wrap the wires. You need not visit a Honda dealer as it is available online. Other brands are becoming available, but we have not tried them. Another alternative I have not tried is sleeves or conduit that slips over the wire. A third alternative is to remove the kids’ bikes and other stuff from the garage so you can park inside.

Q: I opened my hood this morning to put my trickle charger on and there was a face looking at me. Do possum’s eat wires like mice do? I searched the Internet but couldn’t find much information. Seeing a face scared the (heck) out of me.

D. M., Calumet City, Ill.

A: Possums live in Australia; Opossums in North America. Both are marsupials. (Yeah, I am just being a smarty pants.) Opossums are not rodents like mice and squirrels and I have not heard of them damaging stuff under the hood. If I am wrong, I am sure the teeming masses will let me know.

Q: We own a 2014 Honda Accord with 50,000 miles. Problem is starting it, which is by push button. Every now and then it will not start. We have to pump the brake several times then push the start button to start it. We have taken it the Honda dealer several times and they were unable to correct this problem. They offered to replace the starter for $700 but would not be responsible if that would not correct the problem.

D.J., Oakdale, Conn.

A: The big clue lies in pumping the brake pedal. There is a switch in the brake system that completes the circuit to start the engine when you depress the pedal. The switch may be sticking or failing. Another issue could be a weak battery in the fob. Try touching the fob to the start/stop button and then try starting the engine.

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Tribune Wire

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