Q: While cleaning the basement, I found some old newspapers, including one from 2013, that had your column in it. A writer complained about people who used their fog lights when the weather was good and made it hard for him to see. You agreed that people should not do this.
I always thought that the fog lights were set and aimed low to avoid the light getting reflected back at you when it was foggy. I can't see why this would be a problem for oncoming drivers.
A: I don't remember that exact column, and I'm not sure what the writer's issue was. As you said, if fog lights are installed and aimed properly, they should not glare into oncoming vehicles. Mounted below the regular headlights, they have a wider beam that is cut off at the top to prevent the light from reflecting off the fog.
Some car owners think the fog lights look cool, so they turn them on, even in daylight. They may not even know that they are lit.
Q: I recently bought a 2009 PT Cruiser with only 60,000 miles to drive while wintering in Arizona. I've seen internet postings that indicate that it is not unusual to get a false error code indicating engine problems associated with surging, hesitating and/or stalling.
As precaution, I bought a new OEM Camshaft Position Sensor. Should I keep it available in case of part failure, or just go ahead and swap it out? The sensor seems to be relatively easy to access and replace for a do-it-yourself mechanic, but the car runs fine.
A: You don't install the spare tire unless it is necessary. So ...
Q: I was trying to find a way to remove tree sap. Any ideas?
A: Because sap quit flowing months ago, the stuff on your car has had time to harden, making removal difficult. You might try using WD40 or lighter fluid. We have heard that some people even use bacon grease or lard.
Whatever you try, allow it to sit on the spots until they soften. For a more aggressive approach, try acetone (found in some nail polish removers) or paint thinner, but be careful that you don't damage the finish. The easiest method is to pay a professional detailer to do the job.
A gas hack
Q: I'm amused by writers who worry about getting a full tank of gas without overfilling the tank. Yes, you can log the mileage between fill-ups, divide by your average miles per gallon and pump that amount of gas. But why do all that math?
I have found an easier way. When I fill my tank, I set the pump to the fastest delivery of gasoline and wait for it to shut off. Then I set it to the slowest delivery and wait for the second shut-off. Then I stop. Works like a charm.
A: Nice hack, and one that I had never heard of.
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.