Q: I had a slow leak in one tire. I took it into a tire store, and they reset the tire to stop the leak. They told me that the bead was not tight. I have never heard of anything like this. The tires are several years old but in good condition with low tread wear. Is there something on the rim that wears out?
A: Locales in the snow belt such as Minnesota use lots of salt and other chemicals on roads in the winter. Alloy wheel corrosion is quite common. New rims might be the solution, but I would suggest trying bead sealer first to see if it seals the leak. I prefer putting winter tires on steel wheels and swapping them in the summer. If you still want alloy wheels, shop around for reconditioned wheels that cost a lot less.
Stop-start is worth it
Q: I recently purchased a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica. It's my first vehicle with the automatic stop-start feature that's supposed to save on fuel. Initially I noticed it didn't always engage when stopped, and the owner's manual helped me understand that it only does it when the brake is fully depressed. But I'm wondering: Is this really worth it? When the engine stops for only a couple seconds, like in stop-and-go-traffic, doesn't the fuel used in the restart offset any fuel saved during the brief stop? And won't the starter (or other components?) need to be replaced sooner than if I turn off this feature?
A: Although marginal, the stop-start feature does save fuel and reduce emissions. An improved starter and deep cycle battery handle the job. Additionally, the engine starts in less than one revolution. But if this really bothers you, you can turn off the feature by pressing the "A" button, which on your car is near the radio controls.
This problem stinks
Q: I own a 2018 Honda CR-V that I love, except for an issue that started over the past year or so. There is a really strong musty odor at the rear side of the hatchback trunk. I have nothing in my trunk. There is no sign of any kind of water leaking that would cause this kind of odor. I do not smell anything coming from the vents.
It has gotten to where I hate having to put grocery bags in my trunk area. I asked the Honda dealer and was told they would need to keep my CR-V overnight to inspect. It will cost me money that I do not have. Do you have any suggestions?
A: The only product with which I am familiar that might remove the odor is Biocide Auto Shocker. Unlike odor cover-ups, it seems to eliminate the source of stink.
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.