Dear Doctor: I’ve been told that all-wheel-drive cars cannot use tire chains or cables. I have a Subaru and Ford Freestyle with AWD and live in an area where there is a lot of ice and snow. I’d still like to use tire chains. Is this advisable? Donna
Dear Donna: There are light-duty straps that can be attached, but they must be put on all four wheels. I do not recommend the use of the old style heavy-duty chains on AWD vehicles. I suggest you buy a separate set of black steel wheels with an aggressive snow tire. I prefer the non-very-soft ice compound for the winter driving season. The very-soft ice design snow tire has a rapid wear factor when driven on dry asphalt roads.
Dear Doctor: I own a 1997 Dodge Stratus with 225,000 miles. I have a bucking problem with the car. When driving say 65 mph, and lightly letting off the gas pedal, and then lightly applying gas again to maintain speed, the car starts to buck. It shows no codes. I have replaced the throttle positioner, cam sensor, wires, plugs, PVC, fuel filter, a hose to the PVC valve, and had the throttle body cleaned. Can you help? Bob
Dear Bob: Very likely the EGR valve is not closing 100 percent when decelerating on the highway. If the EGR valve does not close 100 percent, then as you lightly step on the gas pedal the engine runs lean, which causes the bucking. Another possibility is the engine timing is too far advanced, either by the computer, timing chain or timing belt slack. Have the technician bypass the EGR valve for testing purposes to start with. This problem usually only happens in high gear with manual transmission vehicles. Unlike automatic transmission vehicles, there is no transmission slippage with manual transmission vehicles.
Dear Doctor: I own a 1996 Mazda 626 with the automatic transmission. I removed the right axle to replace it and now cannot get it back in the transmission. I even tried to re-install the old axle and could not get it back in. What do your suggest? Bill
Dear Bill: The problem most likely is the inner clip fell down and now the axle will not slide back over the locking clip.