Q & A: Ask the Nanny

Do you have a question for the Nanny?  Want to share car related news with fellow car people?  The key purpose of this website is to increase your comfort level and fuel your passions for all things automotive.   In order to do that, I want to create a place where you can engage with me and other car experts in a safe, non-threatening venue.  

Whether you have repair questions, how to buy or sell a car or just need to direction on where to get more information on car-related topics, drop me a line!

You can reach me three ways:

  1. Leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
  2. Go to the Vehicle Nanny Facebook page and submit your question.  You can either post it for all to see OR send me a private message by clicking the “SEND MESSAGE” button.
  3. Send me an email at wct.billtaylor@gmail.com

Listed below are questions I received with my responses:

QUESTION: Would you recommend oiling your piston return springs on a regular basis?

ANSWER:  No, because there is no such thing as a piston return spring (or blinker fluid or muffler bearings!).  This question was submitted by a former friend (er, I mean co-worker) who was trying to test me!  In reality, there are a number of unscrupulous repair shops that might try something like this to scare you into spending money on an unnecessary repair. This is a great example of where I hope to help all of you – reach out to me with any questions. I am happy to guide you through your automotive journey!

 

QUESTION:  I just encountered a new terminology for car batteries.  What is an “AGM” battery and should I consider getting one when my battery needs replacing?

ANSWER:  This is a great question (thanks Paul!) and I decided to respond by writing an article to fully answer it.  Click HERE for more information on AGM vs. Standard batteries.

 

QUESTION:  Hey Vehicle Nanny!  Where do you buy your parts?

ANSWER:  I have two sources, depending on the timing of my repairs:

If it is a repair that can wait a few days, I really like RockAuto.com.  I trust the parts are correct for my vehicle, the prices are really good and they have three price categories of parts, depending on your budget or need (Economy, Daily Driver and Performance).  The only downside is shipping can be 3-5 days away.

If I am in an urgent need, or the part is too heavy to ship economically (like a car battery), I really like AutoZone.  They are really helpful in the store and they stand behind their products even if it is out of warranty.

 

QUESTION:  I have a 2010 Lexus RX 350. Recently the vehicle has a new issue. When I turn on the rear defroster, my FM radio gets static and unlistenable. AM is fine. Any opinions on what the fix might be? I don’t want to spend much.

ANSWER: I did not have a ready answer, so went to my normal sources.  RepairPal.com did not show any common issues like this one, so I searched through a Lexus forum (ClubLexus.com). It seems some folks have had this issue resulting from a couple of causes: 1) Some aftermarket window tint has a metallic content that can short out some of the electric defroster grid lines on the rear glass; 2) There may be a break in one of the grid lines on the rear glass; or 3) The ground wire for the rear glass may have broken. All instances seem to center around the rear glass. If you can find the wire break, it might be able to be repaired (the process is not hard to do…click HERE for detail). If not, you are looking at the replacement of the rear glass.

 

QUESTION: I have not driven my car much in the last two months due to the coronavirus stay at home orders.  Is that going to create any problems? Should I have done something to prepare it for this non-use?

ANSWER:  Great question, and one that deserves a long explanation.  Please see the new article “Vehicle Storage Tips” for more detail!

 

QUESTION:  Asking about minor surface scratches on my car…is there a product you would recommend to rub them out. Mostly around the door handles and rear bumper top from moving things in and out of trunk. Appreciate any expertise you could lend. I have time on my hands to fix.

ANSWER:  There are two types of products you could use, depending on how severe the scratches are: Rubbing Compound or Polishing Compound. Rubbing Compound is really aggressive, and I doubt your scratches are that bad. Polishing Compound is my recommendation.  Turtle Wax makes a nice compound that you can get locally (AutoZone or Meijer, Walmart, etc.) or on Amazon.  Follow the instructions on the container. You may need to repeat the process a couple of times, depending on the severity of the scratches. The area you polish may have a slightly dull look when you are done. If so, use a wax or milder polish (my favorite is Nu Finish). If you use the wax or polish on the whole car, you will love the result!

 

This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. Bill

      I heard about those stinky interiors, but not the fix. I wonder what the real cause might be? In the late 90s, GM had a similar issue with Mexican built Suburbans. Seems some locals were living in them before they got shipped to the states. The trucks arrived with the trash left in the back. Talk about smells!

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