Dear Car Fix: I know that tire pressure is important but still I don't even own a tire pressure gauge and rely on my mechanic to do it whenever I remember to stop by. My tire pressure monitoring system is confusing when the light clicks on. Is there a better way to check tire pressure? – Q.L., Newstead
Dear Q.L.: While the government-mandated tire pressure monitoring system on all newer cars is a good idea on paper, it pretty much fails miserably. A single light on the dash leaving you to guess which tire is low on pressure is frustrating at best and Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) erroneously warn drivers of low tire pressure all the time even though the tires are fully inflated.
Sometimes your light may turn on when the temperatures outside change dramatically from morning till night.
Some higher-end cars will actually tell you which tire is low and by how much via a digital readout on the dash. While this is an improvement over the single warning light, too few vehicles actually have such systems.
Inevitably, drivers end up ignoring their TPMS lights, especially when faulty, and drive around with underinflated tires.
I have always been a big proponent of checking your tire pressure on a monthly basis. Not only do properly inflated tires save fuel, they are also safer and will last longer. Unfortunately, the vast majority of drivers rarely check their tire pressure unless their tires look low.
Nissan has invented a foolproof system whereby drivers can never overinflate their tires and will always know which tire needs air and when. The beauty of this system is that you never need a gauge, which most drivers don't have anyway. All you need to do is fill the tire and the car's horn will honk when it's full.
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Dear Car Fix: My car has no frame around the windows and when I drive at speed, the noise is so loud. I had a collision shop fix it, but the noise keeps coming back. I may get rid of the car unless you can help. – J.O., Cheektowaga
Dear J.O.: That wind whistling noise can drive you insane while motoring along the highway or any road you might be traveling. That constant whistling noise can be remedied with little cost.
When a car starts to produce a whistling sound, it can be either very loud or hardly audible. In either case, a whistling noise is never normal. Some whistling noises are quite simple to fix while others are more difficult to remedy. Some whistling noises are associated with engine speed while other whistling noises change with the speed of the car.
If your vehicle has a frameless door, or if you own a convertible, here is a tip that will help keep the noise outside your car (and the rain as well).
Factory door windows are carefully aligned both horizontally and vertically, so the door and glass make a solid weather-tight seal when closed.
When you close a door on a frameless car door, notice that the glass adjusts upward in order to create a better seal and less wind noise. The foam-rubber seal around the edge of your car's doors and windows is a type of weather stripping meant to keep water and air from penetrating the passenger compartment of your vehicle.
Over time, this seal may deteriorate or become damaged. While it is sometimes possible to repair distorted pieces of a car-door seal by using a heat gun and remolding the distorted sections by hand, it is more efficient to replace the door seal with a new one to prevent whistling noises while the vehicle is in motion and water leaks that may damage upholstery.
You can order new weather stripping online or at your local dealer. Install it yourself or have a body shop do it for you in minimal time.
The rubber weather stripping can be moisturized with silicone sprays. This will prevent your door from sticking when the temperatures change and prevent the door from freezing closed.
You can go back to your favorite collision shop and have them adjust the window properly but THEN make 100 percent sure that you close the door properly afterward.
The rule of thumb has always been to never close the door by the window. Ignoring this rule can cause sealing issues between the door glass and rubber, leading in turn to leaking water inside the vehicle. And whistling windows!
Remind yourself and your passengers to close the door by the handle – NEVER the glass. Don't sell the car, just close the door properly.