Q: I have a 2008 Volvo S80 in which the AM radio died. The FM and disc changer work just fine. Is this fixable, and, if so, what part should I order? Or is it just a loose connection somewhere?
A: Most likely there is a bad connection, probably a ground connection, at the antenna.
Q: Have you heard of a "digital security fee" itemized on routine Toyota maintenance? Our local Toyota service dealership is doing this now under new management. Never saw this before.
A: I don't think this has anything to do with your car. Businesses pay for antivirus protection for their computer systems. It sounds like the dealer is passing this charge onto the customers.
Q: I purchased a new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited a year ago. The oil cap on the engine states 0W-16 weight oil. I noticed that the Hyundai dealer had put in semi-synthetic 5W-30 oil. The dealer said they had no 0W-16 oil and that the 5W-30 oil was an acceptable substitute. They also said that they had a full-synthetic 0W-20 oil, but there would a $30 surcharge for it.
I questioned that. In the end, they put in the full-synthetic 0W-20 oil without charging me. I am not returning to this dealer. Could you enlighten me about 0W-16 oil, and if only it should be used in my vehicle?
A: 0W-xx oils can be made only synthetically. The 0W-20 is OK to use, but you should stick with the owner's manual recommendations, if possible. Full synthetics are more expensive than semi-synthetics, so the upcharge is understandable. Kudos to the dealer for not charging you for the oil or the labor to change it. You might consider returning.
Q: I have a 2020 Hyundai Palisade that allows for periodic software upgrades. This software install usually takes almost 90 minutes to complete with the car running. Is it possible to hook up a battery charger and do the install so the battery does not discharge without causing damage?
A: Updates via telemetry save time for both you and the dealer. It has been my experience that the engine need not be running, only that the ignition is in the run position. This puts very little drain on the battery. But you can connect a battery charger if the engine isn't running.
Rely on luck?
Q: I have a 2015 Honda Odyssey with 110,000 miles. The Honda dealer says that I need to replace the timing belt because it can fail, and if it does, it will destroy the engine. The cost is approximately $1,500, and I am skeptical because my previous 2002 Honda Odyssey went for 225,000 miles. Was I just lucky?
A: Yeah, I think you were lucky.
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.