motormouth bob weber
Q: I have a question about auto power windows. Is there a way to roll up the window if it won't work? What if you're on the road and the weather turns bad and it happens to be Sunday and there are no shops open? Not everyone carries plastic film or tape with them.
R.B., La Grange Park, Ill.
A: Carmakers do not provide a manual override for power windows. Usually, you must remove the inside door panel, and then move the window up by hand. But if there is enough glass showing above the rubber, you may be able to squeeze it between the heels of both hands and raise it. That still leaves you with the problem of keeping it up. No tape? Find something to wedge between the glass and the door such as a rubber door stop.
Q: I had the same problem of being unable to eject the CDs in my 2003 Lexus (as mentioned in a recent column). I did some research online and found this tip: Disconnect the battery for a couple minutes. I did and when it was reconnected the CDs popped out.
S.N., Grayslake, Ill.
A: We do not suggest disconnecting the battery as settings for various components may be lost. This may require reprogramming the body control module. Read on.
Q: We had this same problem with a jammed CD player on our 2005 Lexus RX330 earlier this year. The CD player wouldn't work, the CDs wouldn't play and we couldn't eject them. Instead, we got an Error 04 code on the CD display. I googled the Error 04 code and found that pulling a certain fuse would correct it. I asked my husband to remove and replace the fuse and then wait for about 10 minutes before replacing. When we turned on the engine several hours later, the CD player worked and we were able to eject all the CDs. We threw out the CD that seemed to be the offender. The player has been working just fine ever since.
A: By removing that single fuse, you may have reinitialized the infotainment system control module without affecting the whole vehicle.
Q: In a recent column, B.M. from Palatine, Ill., wrote regarding downshifting using the "M" setting on the shifter. I'm retired from law enforcement and I think you should have pointed out that downshifting does cause the vehicle to slow without using the brakes, but therefore the brake lights do not activate. This creates a dangerous situation and may cause the car to be rear-ended. If the newer adaptive cruise-control systems slow the vehicle, they apply the brakes and therefore the brake lights come on.
D.B., Ruther Glen, Va.
A: Good point, but for eons, drivers with manual transmissions have been downshifting without an epidemic of rear-end collisions. Heck, just lifting off the gas allows the vehicle to decelerate.
Bob Weber is a writer and mechanic who became an ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician in 1976. He maintains this status by seeking certification every five years. Weber's work appears in professional trade magazines and other consumer publications. His writing has appeared in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest. Send automotive questions along with name and town to firstname.lastname@example.org.