5 Questions with George Damato

Dear Doctor: I have a 2014 Kia Sorento V-6. My alternator went out at 150,000 miles and I had to have a rebuilt one put on by the dealership. Six weeks after replacing the main fuse, battery and new cable ends, the car died. Got it to my local repair shop, checked the alternator out and it held a steady 12.6 volts, but the battery was shot. Since getting a new battery the car dying has become routine. I believe the ACM/alternator are bad. While driving the larger the amount of draw the quicker the car acts up. Using the driving/fog lights are the kiss of death. They are factory halogens and seem commonly to be known as juice hogs. What is your opinion? Tom
A) First your car is 6 years old and has 150,000 miles. Alternators batteries even fuses yes fuses do wear  and need replacement. Halogen lights do draw some current but not as much as older regular lights. Replacement LED lights that plug directly into the light  wire harness draw 50 plus percent less current than the halogen lights. Any time we replace a battery it is always with a battery that exceeds the factory battery. Battery life will range 3-4 years some even less. You can replace both head lights and fog lights with LED lights. When replacing  directional light bulbs with LED bulbs ,a LED directional flasher may be required to get the directional’s  to flash at the correct speed. 

Dear Doctor: I have been considering trading in my 2006 Silverado with the Duramax diesel for a new one. But with all the horror stories on the Internet forum pages about the DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) system causing problems I am reluctant.  Are the DEF system problems as prevalent as I’ve been reading? I tow a Fifth Wheel RV when traveling and don’t want the truck dropping into limp mode because the sprayers clog up. Tom
A) Since the emissions required the addition of the DEF system to diesel engines the first 2 years there was problems with all manufactures including off road construction equipment. Limp mode was a big problem in the early days. Today’s DEF systems are much improved and failure of this systems would not be my concern. I personally own a Dodge ramp truck with the Cummings 6 cylinder diesel. Current mileage 106,000 trouble free miles. The Cummings diesel is a simple inline 6 cylinder engine  with ample power to tow 2 vehicles at a time.   

Dear Doctor: I have 2006 Hyundai Azera. The FM stations work but the AM stations come in very static. Is it fixable? Pauline
A) The main cause for static and poor A/M reception is the antenna and or ground in the antenna assembly. If the antenna is hard to access there are many universal antennas that you can buy at any auto radio store or online. They sell a simple to install and can attach to the inside of the windshield. Some even require a 12 volt power supply to  clearer reception.   

Dear Doctor: I have a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica 2004. I replaced my engine heads and I put my timing belt by the marks. When I try to rotate my camshaft one full cycle manually a turn, my piston hits the valve. When the timing mark is off on the crankshaft 2-3 tooth with timing belt on it’s OK. What can be wrong? If all 3 mark are correct on the camshaft and crankshaft engine is hit the valve. Krasimir
A) For what ever reason the camshaft timing is off. The camshaft timing could be off 180 degrees, the timing sprocket maybe off  the crank shaft timing may be off, I would like you to subscribe to Alldata and print out the pictures and procedures for timing belt installation.


Dear Doctor: I feel a wobble in the accelerator pedal of my 2012 Nissan Rogue when I press down on it and go between 15 to about 30 mph and then it goes away. The tires, the lower control arms, both front axles and the front hub bearings are all brand new, and the pads and rotors were replaced about a year ago. The vehicle has 80,000 miles on it and I have heard about people having tons of issues with the Rogue CVT transmission. Do you have any idea what this could be? John
A) The CVT transmission has been a big problem is Nissan vehicles the mileage failure usually starts around 60,000 miles. BEFORE you spend any more money find a qualified ASE technician or call the local AAA office for a AAA approved shop in your area. Nissan has extended the warranty on the CVT transmission on most vehicles. When a wobble can be effected via the amount of pressure put on the gas pedal drive axles and transmissions come to mind, not tires or control arms.

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