Q: I have a limited edition 2008 Toyota Highlander V6 with 74,000 miles on it and it runs great. I have been using regular oil since the car was new. Can I change to synthetic oil? Is there any benefit to changing the oil at this stage of the car’s age? TRUE?
A: Synthetic oils have the added benefit of improved lubricity, which helps minimize cold wear in the engine. Synthetic oils also help with cold weather starts and are more resistant to oil breakdown in hot weather.
As for switching, you can freely switch between synthetic oil, semi-synthetic oil, and conventional oil without any problems.
I recently had Pennzoil’s Michael Thomas on my radio show to talk about this very issue. The Car Doctor podcast can be found at johnfpaul.podbean.com or most podcast sites.
Q: I have a 2008 Nissan Frontier V6 4X4 with a manual 6 speed transmission that just hit 60,000 miles.
4 years and about 35,000 miles ago the ABS light came on and 4 wheel drive was disabled. After diagnostics at the dealer ($160) I was told the truck needed an ABS actuator. However, I was also told that this part is not available in the US because it is a manual transmission.
After contacting Nissan (Tennessee), it took 6 weeks to find Nissan North America or get the first vendor to build one. After spending $1,600 ($1,000 for him on parts and $600 for labor) the problem was fixed. Fast forward four years and you’ll have the exact same problem, and the same problem with your parts.
Nissan was able to find two ABS actuators. The truck is in great shape and I just replaced 4 tires with another pile of money.
Does this sound normal in a vehicle like this? Any ideas or should I drive the truck for a few years and cross my fingers before buying a new Toyota?
A: I suspect the quality of the replacement part was not as good as the original. As a result, their lifespans were relatively short. The truck he’s had for nearly 15 years but has very low mileage so if it’s structurally sound you’ll want to fix it up and drive it (some Nissans have serious rust problems). had problems).
$1,600 is expensive, but it’s about three monthly car payments when you include the cost of a new car.
Historically, Toyota products have had less problems than Nissan trucks, but Toyota has also had rust and engine problems.
Q: I saw an article about losing air in tires. My wife’s car had the same problem. After the shop checked several times over several months and added new tires and valve cores and caps, I was finally able to figure it out for myself. It took about 15 minutes before it started to bubble. this might help someone else.
A: Thanks for the suggestions. Some shops will rebuild the tire pressure sensor when you change tires. This includes new caps, valve cores and a rubber seal around the metal stem. Pre-tire radio frequency pressure monitor, new valve stems installed on nearly all new tires. A new valve stem solved many of the tire leaks.
Q: My 2013 Nissan Rogue has about 73,000 miles on it. I change oil regularly. The car starts fine, but once I use the car, I have to wait at least 20 minutes or more before using it again. There is a cranking sound, but it doesn’t catch. After about 20 minutes it boots up and works fine. What could be wrong?
A: The one you are referring to is known as a “hot soak”. Engine compression, fuel and spark are needed to run the engine. If any of these items are missing, it will not boot.
At this point, the first thing to do is check the battery, cable connections, and grounds. Poor grounding, not supplying voltage to the ECM, could be the problem.
Other possibilities include a faulty crankshaft position sensor or an ECM (computer) that is being affected by heat.
I recommend leaving it at a shop so you can hook up test equipment and test it after the engine is running.
John Paul is an AAA Northeast Car Doctor. He is an ASE certified Master Technician with over 40 years of experience in the automotive industry. Write to John Paul, Car Doctor, 110 Royal Little Drive, Providence, RI 02904. follow him on twitter @John f Paul or on facebook.