Q: I found six cans of STP in my garage that are so old the cans are rusted. Can I use them? If not, how do I dispose of them?
A: I wouldn't use it. You can safely dispose of it at a hazardous waste collection site. If there are none in your area, go to earth911.com and click on the "Where to Recycle" tab. Then again, the stuff might be worth something to the right person. Odd as this sounds, I searched the internet and found people selling vintage STP stuff. One eBay seller was offering an empty, rusty can for $10.
Q: Here's my theory on tire punctures. Objects get kicked up by other vehicles (and your own) and land in just the right way to be run over and cause the puncture. I base this on my observations as a repair shop owner that most flats are on the rear tires, and especially the right rear, which is more exposed to road debris. We have seen umbrella ribs, scissors and even vape pens as instruments of destruction.
A: I've heard other people propose the same theory. As for your list of puncture causes, I can add another crazy object. Several years ago, a reader found what looked like a flat metal straw in his tire. With some deep digging, I discovered that it came from the brush of a street sweeper. The street was littered with them. Now, that's road debris.
Q: I have had a motor home in my barn since last October. When I put it away, I changed oil (synthetic), lubed it and added fuel stabilizer in the gas. Under normal conditions, I take it out of the barn in the spring and use it all summer. But this year, because of the pandemic, it did not come out. Now it will be there another six months. Is there anything else I should do to prepare it for the extended layover?
A: As long as you keep the battery charged, there is not much to worry about. You have done all the right stuff.
Q: How does cold weather (say zero degrees) affect gas mileage in our Minnesota winters?
A: Cold weather robs you of gas, especially during the warm-up period. Add in the power needed by various accessories such as the heater, rear window defogger, lights, wipers, heated steering wheel, heated seats and so on, and you have the right idea.
Q: My daughter has a 2006 Mini Cooper that won't hold a charge. The mechanic says this is normal and this model needs to be driven daily or the battery will go dead. What do you say?
A: I say the car probably needs a new battery, especially if it started fine for the past 14 years. Unless your daughter has replaced the battery at least once, it is a miracle that it lasted so long.
Bob Weber is a writer, mechanic and ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician. 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.