Q: We often notice the trunk on my husband's 2014 Accord is open. At first we thought he was bumping the fob, but now we doubt that. Is this a Honda issue? How can this be resolved?
A: I have had other Honda owners complain of the same thing, but I have not found a pattern failure with any components. I'm sticking with the "bumping the fob" explanation. It doesn't have to involve his hand. It could be anything in his pocket — spare change, a comb, lucky rabbit's foot — that might rub against the button on the key fob.
Seeing the light
Q: The "Check engine" light in my 2011 Chevy Suburban has been on for three years. The code identifies it as an "oil pressure sensor" fault. I can clear the code, but the light soon comes back on. I live in a state where we need to pass an emissions test every two years. The last time, it cost me a small fortune and five trips to the mechanic to get the check engine light off long enough to pass the test. My test is due again. Any suggestions on how to get through it?
A: You will continue to have this issue until you replace the oil pressure (OP) switch. Because of its location, it is not a simple job, probably costing several hundred bucks. But once it's done, it will solve this problem for good.
An expensive snack
Q: The Hyundai dealership told me that mice had chewed the engine wire harness on my Sonata and it has to be replaced. The cost is over $6,000. They said that soy is used on the wires, and mice love soy. I asked if it could be replaced with a product that does not use soy, and they said no. Is there anything I can do about this?
A: One thing you can do is check your insurance. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, in most cases you have to pay only the deductible amount.
A mileage mystery
Q: We drive a 2014 Subaru Forester with about 75,000 miles on it. We live in Illinois and typically buy 87 octane gas. The MPG calculator hovers around 26-27. We've started taking occasional weekend car trips around the Midwest, and I have noticed that every time we buy gas in Michigan or Wisconsin, the MPG read-out jumps into the 30s. Would different gas sold in other states account for the difference?
A: While traveling, you might be buying gasoline that does not contain ethanol. I checked the pure-gas.org website and found many towns in Wisconsin that have alcohol-free gasoline. Ethanol typically reduces fuel economy 3-5%. Highway driving also might be increasing the mileage.
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 email@example.com.