Why won’t my car start?

Motormouth: Why won’t it start? Dreamstime/TNS

Q: I bought a 2012 Ford Escape. About three years later, it would not start. Went to Auto Zone and bought a new battery. About four week later, same thing. I went back to Auto Zone and they gave me a new battery. Three weeks later, same thing. Took it to a local garage and no faults were stored in the computer. They took down starter and cleaned it. No problem after that.

T.B., Allentown, Pa.

A: What occurred is that they cleaned the connections. Dirty, corroded connections create resistance that won’t allow enough current to pass to run the starter. I have found that checking the ground connections often works wonders, too.

Q: I just read about cleaning out the Nav system when selling your auto. I do not put my home address in my Nav system but instead use the address of our local police station. It is close enough to our house for calculating time and distance. In the event one of our vehicles would get stolen and they tried to use the Nav system it would lead them to the police station.

C.L., Chicago

A: Brilliant!

Q: In a recent column “J.S. of Chicago” was looking for a vehicle that has a CD player. According to Subaru.com, all Forester models have a CD player. The Outback Touring has a CD player standard and the Outback Limited XT offers it as an option. Full disclosure: I don’t work for Subaru but have some friends that drive them.

K.J., Chicago

A: Thanks to you, and several other readers, J.S. might go shopping for a new Subaru, Lexus, GM truck, Lincoln Corsair or ....

Q: I recently had a surprising problem with my 2018 Fusion Hybrid. I got a flat tire where the sidewall of the tire was torn. A neighbor offered to help put on my spare. When I opened the trunk, we discovered I had only a portable compressor. My Ford dealer said that there was no mini spare made for my model. The local tire store gave me the same answer. I could purchase a less expensive rim and tire for my car should I need a spare. If I do that, my limited trunk space would be filled half-way with a spare tire. Is there any solution other than a regular tire?

E.B., Chicago

A: One option is to sign up with a road service provider. But check your insurance policy first. You may already have towing coverage. Buying a full-size tire and rim is not worth the trouble. Most tires are flattened by punctures, not sidewall damage. The likelihood of needing a spare is low.

Q: After reading your recent article regarding the small battery devices only being able to jump start 4-cylinder engines, you need to know that is not true. I have a Halo Bolt device and I have used it several times to jump start my 6-cylinder Nissan Pathfinder. I think these devices work well especially for those who need to be careful on who they trust for assistance in this crazy world.

J.C., Carol Stream, Ill.

A: A few other readers have reported using one of the newer power packs to start larger engines. I have had my unit for a few years, and it would not start a V-6 let alone a V-8. But in its defense, its other functions are excellent. I guess it’s time I shop for a replacement power bank to handle my Hemi.

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