Q: What is the proper method for storing a newer car for the winter, about six months? I have a 2019 Lincoln Nautilus. I’ve heard disconnecting the battery isn’t necessarily a good technique with newer cars because of the numerous car computers. Is it better to keep them on a trickle charger?
—J.D., Colorado Springs, Colo.
A: You’re right about disconnecting the battery. On many vehicles, doing so will erase the entertainment system memory (as an antitheft feature), requiring it be reset. You may need a special code to do the reset. Without removing any battery cables, attach smart charger (often called a maintenance charger) without overcharging. Before putting a cover over your car, change the oil, fill the gas tank (add some fuel stabilizer) and crack the windows a tiny bit.
Q: I had an I-PASS on my windshield that never seemed to stay on, so I removed it. However, the glue from the I-PASS is stuck on my windshield. I have tried Goo Gone and it does not seem to be removing the glue. Any other suggestions?
—B. K., Chicago
A: Those toll transponders’ Velcro fasteners are designed to stay put. I suggest a razor blade scraper with a fresh blade to remove the adhesive. If you chill it, all the better. Try holding an ice cube on the outside of the windshield for a few moments. If the glue begins to smear upon scraping, apply more chill. Afterwards, chill out with a cold one.
Q: I was unpacking some things that I had ordered online, and the newspaper page containing your column of May 11 was wrapped around something I had ordered. As an avid car person all my life, your column caught my eye, and I read it.
I also own a Mercedes 380 S and was particularly interested in this question the gentleman asked you about brake dust. I had the same problem and it was driving me crazy until I found the ultimate solution and have never looked back! Eckler’s Automotive Parts (ecklers.com) has a wonderful Mercedes catalogue where you can even buy items for your vintage Mercedes. Eckler’s sells plastic shields that fit behind the wheels and disperse the brake dust before it even touches the wheels.
—K.N., North Hollywood, Calif.
A: Dust shields are an excellent idea. Several companies make them and most are also available at traditional auto parts stores. Eckler’s specializes in restoration and performance parts.
A: We recently took our Audi A4 to the service department of a national used car auto retailer to have 55,000-mile service done. They returned it to us running. When we got home and switched the ignition off, a message came up stating “Please drain oil.” I called the dealer and they told me not to worry about it. I told them I wanted it fixed. My rudimentary knowledge from 1970s high school auto mechanics made me aware of the dangers of a crankshaft dipping down into an overfilled oil pan. I assume this still holds true to this day. Please warn your readers they should always check their oil level after an oil change.
—M.M., Wheaton, Ill.
A: When the crankshaft dips into the oil, it whips it into a froth. Frothy oil can’t be pumped and will not lubricate the engine. Damage is likely. If you are a fan on froth, order a cappuccino at Starbucks. If your crankcase is over filled, have the excess drained.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Bob Weber is a writer and mechanic who became an ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician in 1976. He maintains this status by seeking certification every five years. Weber’s work appears in professional trade magazines and other consumer publications. His writing also appears in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest.
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