Q: Instead of resting my foot on the brake, I like to shift my automatic transmission into neutral when I am stopped at traffic lights. Is this a good practice? What are pros and cons?
A: The practice neither helps nor hurts mechanically. But there could be issues if you need to accelerate away from a vehicle about to rear-end you. If you do get hit, leaving your foot off the brakes could also cause your car to crash into the one in front of you. Your insurance company might consider this a collision when you file a claim and cite you as being at fault.
Q: I have a 2008 Chrysler Town and Country that I purchased new. I also purchased the Chrysler Lifetime Maximum warranty. The ABS, brake, ESP/BAS, anti-skid warning lights came on. The dealership blamed the sensor and tried to order a new one. They said that one was not available, either new or aftermarket. Not being left like this was why I purchased the lifetime warranty. Ugh! My service writer said I could drive the car, but the ABS will not work and that Chrysler probably would have to "total" the vehicle and offer me market value to satisfy the warranty. The vehicle runs fine. I'm still driving it and would like to for some time to come.
A: Perhaps the original part is unavailable from the dealership, but the service writer must not be aware that ABS wheel speed sensors are readily available in the aftermarket from multiple manufacturers and a variety of auto parts stores.
Q: I have a 2020 Toyota RAV4, and my daughter has a 2018 hybrid version. We both have noticed that the windows do not defog well in the winter, especially in the back seat, a problem in Minnesota for several months a year. When I took mine to the dealership during my first winter with it, they told me it was because the carpet was wet. This year on a cool morning in early October, I noticed it again, and we'd had no rain or snow. Do you have any tips for me? The only way I've found to help is to have the fan on full blast and the back seat windows cracked open. Neither of which is ideal.
A: Many people think the quickest way to warm the car cabin is to set the controls to recirculate. Nope. Recirculated air picks up moisture not only from wet carpet, but from breathing. With every exhale, we add moisture. Select the fresh air setting on your HVAC controls, and I have a hunch you will see good results. You already have proven that you get better results with fresh air from the rear window.
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.