Q: I have a 2018 Genesis G80 with 19,000 miles. On a trip from Indiana to South Carolina, the steering became "sticky" on the trip's many mountainous high-speed curves. I had to tug the steering wheel back to keep in my lane. The sticky steering wheel is not usually a problem on a regular 90-degree turn but does occur on curves. I plan to have my power steering fluid flushed, but I'm not sure it will help. Any ideas to solve this?
A: Although there could be a steering or suspension problem, this behavior usually is caused by a problem with the rack-and-pinion. Flushing fluid sometimes helps, but replacing the rack-and-pinion assembly probably is the solution.
Q: Periodically, my 2014 Buick Regal will not crank when I turn the ignition key. It displays the following message on the instrument panel: "Open and close driver window." When I do that, the message changes to "Open and close the passenger window." After I do that, the engine then cranks and runs. What could be the cause?
A: This is a symptom of a bad body control module (BCM). The BCM needs constant voltage, and if that voltage drops below a given level, it can temporarily lose its settings. Opening and closing the windows resets the BCM. In your case, because this happens only occasionally, there might be another issue. Ask your mechanic to investigate for voltage drops.
Q: I was amused by your answer to the question about idling in a drive-thru window line. If the line is that long, why not park the car and walk into the bank, fast food restaurant or coffee shop?
A: Are you crazy? Walk? Stand in line among the great unwashed masses? Madness! (Yes, that's sarcasm.)
Q: Decades ago, I was taught that when coming to a red light, to shift the car into neutral and let the clutch out while waiting for the light to change. This was to avoid wear on the clutch, or maybe it was the throw-out bearing. Over the years, I've formed the habit of shifting to neutral and holding the clutch in for what I anticipate to be a short stop. Am I hurting anything?
A: You are not hurting anything. But if you keep the clutch pedal depressed for a long time, you might get a cramp in your calf muscle.
Aging air bags
Q: How long does the air bag mechanism and material last? If I own a car with 20-plus years on it, will the air bag still deploy on impact? Is there a test that can determine the health of the air bag system?
A: There is no data that the system would fail to deploy. I know of no procedure to test the airbags other than crashing the car. Do not try this at home.
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.