Q: I recently purchased a 2020 Chevy Colorado pickup truck. This is the first vehicle I have owned that came with no gas filler cap. As I live on the east coast of Florida where we have hurricanes and rainy seasons, I am concerned about getting moisture in the fuel tank. The owner’s manual does not cover this concern. Do I need to worry about this?
J.R., Pembroke Pines, Fla.
A: No. It makes a positive seal. It must in order to prevent fuel vapors from escaping and causing air pollution. We frankly see more check engine lights triggered by bad gas caps than the capless system.
Q: While you correctly told D.C. in Chicago that the IRS standard mileage rate is 57.5 cents per mile reflecting the fully allocated costs of using a vehicle, the IRS only allows a 14 cents per mile deduction when volunteering to drive for a charity. This more closely represents the marginal expense of the vehicle and D.C.’s senior friend might be more willing to pay that.
D.C., Pompano Beach, Fla.
A: That’s right. However, D.C. did not want to know what to charge her, but the average cost of operation. When we perform charity work, part of the charity is the costs we absorb.
Q: I’ve been in the auto repair business for 45 years now. I currently own a shop in Margate, Fla. I saw your answer to traffic paint on wheel wells and fenders. A good tip for your readers would be to use oven cleaner. I also enjoy reading your Q&A every time.
D.U., Margate, Fla.
A: Good idea. I once draped my rain gear over my motorcycle. It contacted the hot exhaust pipes and melted. A buddy suggested warming the bike and applying over cleaner. Nothing I had tried prior had worked.
Q: During the winter months I see a lot of cars parked all day long with the windshield wipers locked in a position up off the windshields. Does this stretch the very springs we rely on to hold the wipers against the windshield, or doesn’t it have any real effect on those springs?
M.A., Eden Prairie, Minn.
A: It has no real effect. The springs return to rest. They only stretch between the two points.
Q: We have a 2016 Mercedes S Class 550. On a long driving trip and my partner is driving, a pair of red hands appear on the dash. When I am driving it does not happen. It’s a warning of some sort and nothing is mentioned in the manual. Even the dealer struggles to explain. Can you help me out?
C.B., Pompano Beach, Fla.
A: Someone other than the owner has be caught red-handed behind the wheel?
Q: I have always rotated tires every 7,000 miles or so. My 2016 Cadillac ATS has directional, run-flat tires. The owner’s manual specifically states that “directional tires should not be rotated.” I never heard of this. When I asked the service manager at the dealership about it, he looked at me as if I had two heads! Can you shed some light on this please?
G.A., Ellington, Conn.
A: Directional tires must remain on the side of the car on which they were originally installed. These tires may not be switched from one side to the other. There are arrows on the sidewalls indicating the direction of wheel rotation. Don’t be offended by the service writer’s quizzical look. After all, aren’t two heads better than one?
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