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Automotive Q&A with the Beaverton Car Guy

| October 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Larry Fergusen

Q: While driving my vehicle I constantly hear a high pitched squeal coming from the wheel area in the front, when I apply the brakes the noise stops.

A: The noise that you are hearing is what is called a warning squealer that is attached to the brake pad lining. This is an indicator the the brake pad lining is less than 10% remaining. If the brake pads are not replaced in a timely fashion severe brake damage will occur to the brake rotors and then, a simple repair becomes a large repair.

Q: Our older Honda Civic has a great amount of road noise and on long road trips it is very tiring. Is there anything I can do to help reduce the noise?

A: Yes actually there is. There are basically 2 types of rubber used to make tires, one of which is a harder rubber which transfers the road noise up into the cabin of the vehicle more aggressively than what a softer rubber tire would do. This is the easiest way to reduce the cabin noise and cheaper than the next option.

Option #2 is to have a product known as DYNAMAT installed. It is a self-adhesive insulation material that sticks to the interior of the vehicle. All of the interior as well as the carpet (or floor mat) must be removed from the interior cabin as well as the trunk. The second method can be quite costly, as it will be very labor intensive.

Q: I purchased a new Honda in 2013, I have what is called an oil life monitor, it reads in percentages, what does this mean?

A: The oil life monitor basically reads the amount of soil in the engine crank-case, so if you drive mostly in the city, the engine oil soil’s more quickly due to stop & start driving being more strenuous on the vehicle’s engine than freeway driving. The percentage shows the remaining life on the engine oil that is in the engine.

Q: How accurate are car thermometers and where is it located? Does it adjust for a car that sits in the sun on hot pavement?

A: The ambient temperature sensor is located under the hood, near the A/C Condenser. Once the vehicle starts to move it will self adjust. It will read a couple of degrees higher than the actual temperature if the vehicle is just sitting over hot asphalt for example. Also it would read a little lower in the event the vehicle were parked inside of a parking structure. Once the vehicle becomes mobile, and has been driven for a minute or two, the sensor will recalibrate to the actual temperature, to send a proper reading to the meter inside the cabin of the vehicle.

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Category: Community

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