Posts By: Sajeev Mehta

By on November 24, 2015

1997 Honda Prelude

Nick writes:

Hello Sajeev,

(I really wanted to put the “n” in there.)

I have a ’97 Prelude that will sometimes cycle on and off its air conditioning when it’s unbearable hot outside (June-September here in Phoenix). Air will come out nice and cold, then it will get real warm suddenly for about 30 seconds before getting cold again. It only happens when it’s extremely hot outside and I’ve been driving for awhile. It works fine the majority of the time. What do you think? (Read More…)

By on November 20, 2015


Adios Amigo…

Farewell to our Ford Sierra’s reasonably adequate, high compression and emissions free 2-liter Pinto motor because it’s time to visit Lima, Ohio — not Peru — with a bonus question for the truly tech-savvy among the B&B.

(Read More…)

By on November 18, 2015

Steve writes:


My wife drives a first-generation R50 Mini base model with the dreaded CVT. This is a transmission widely reported (read: complained about on message boards) to not last well beyond 75,000 city miles. Hers is just now clearing 80,000 and it shows no signs of early struggles, even under the hellish torment of stop-and-go traffic in Houston temperatures.

Perhaps coincidentally, my wife has never put premium fuel in this car, despite it being a requirement. Premium fuel would supposedly generate 114 horsepower; without premium fuel, I would guess 7-9% lower, at, say, 105 horsepower. It is a slow car no matter what, but at least it makes up for it in urban maneuverability.

(Read More…)

By on November 17, 2015


Arley writes:

Dear Sanjeev, [Oh, come on!!! —SM]

I have a ’03 Jetta 1.9-liter TDI. Do you know if the emission controls were tampered with on these models? If they are not part of the recall, am I to assume everything is as it should be? Resale value has dropped noticeably.

(Read More…)

By on November 12, 2015


Kai writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I could use a good, concise opinion regarding all-season tires. Researching this on the internet is more confusing than researching “chest pain” on WebMD, so you get to be the doctor on this. We’ve got a 2007 Honda CR-V, which my wife drives in 4-season weather about 1,000 miles/month. There are no major snow months here but there is a bit of rain and a couple good snowstorms a year. The CR-V is a great little car, light on the back end despite being 4WD and has 18-inch rims versus the OEM-fitted 17-inchers.

(Read More…)

By on November 10, 2015

Mike writes:


I have a 2009 Nissan Xterra 4WD with 69,000 miles on the clock. It has been very well maintained and caused me no problems whatsoever. Hell, I’m still running on the original brakes and my service people tell me there’s no need for a brake job yet! I’ve been very happy with this truck. But, Nissan discontinued the Xterra in August 2015 and I’m wondering if I should sell mine now (because factory-only parts will become harder and harder to get) or keep it.

(Read More…)

By on November 5, 2015


Seth writes:


I’ve admired your columns from afar for years, as a non-commenting TTAC reader. I especially appreciate your tenacious appreciation, possession and maintenance of cars you love. My automotive life is not nearly as exciting or robust.

While I love my cars, with two small children, a wife and a full-time job, I only have time and money for two at a time (his and hers). I aim to keep them for at least 10 years each. So, I obsess over the scratches and dents knowing I’ll be stuck with them for that long. Ridiculously, I even worry about scratches from washing them.

Which brings me to my question: What’s the best automatic car wash to use to minimize paint damage?

(Read More…)

By on November 3, 2015


Duncan writes:


OK, I’ll bite on your request for more queries. Here’s a couple:

  1. I recently purchased a 2015 Genesis Coupe. I’ve swapped out the stock air intake for the R2C if, for no other reason, than to get rid of the sound tube pumping noise into the car. (At least there wasn’t an accompanying audio soundtrack. Looking at you, BMW.) The car rips at the top end (yeah, I know, for a V6… I know my place on the food chain), but I was wondering what you would recommend to boost low-end torque. I’m not looking for a supercharger-grade improvement; just a bit more off the line.
  2. My parents have offered to give me their 2002 Buick Regal GS Joseph Abboud Edition (low miles, driven to church on Sunday). It’s tempting to take it on as a project car. Assuming I acquire their sleeper and have $3,000 to spend on performance improvements, what should I do first… and second? Do you even try to address the handling, or do you just shrug it off and go for moar powah?

Keep up the good work!

(Read More…)

By on October 29, 2015


Peter writes:

Hi Sajeev,

My mother-in-law in New England drives a fifteen-year-old Mazda Tribute with a manual transmission that is way overdue for replacement. She won’t settle for anything that doesn’t have 1) the ability to power all four wheels equally at the same time (I think her Mazda has a button or lever to engage the 4WD, so it doesn’t have to be a full-time 4WD system), and 2) a manual transmission. She is suspicious of the modern “all-wheel-drive” systems found on Subaru, etc., and swears that nothing works in the snow like 4WD.

(Read More…)

By on October 28, 2015


Joel writes:

Hello Sajeev,

I am having an issue with my 2008 Honda Accord EX 5MT. I bought it with about 90,000 km (less than 60,000 miles) from a Honda dealer nine months ago. It was in good shape but was not babied. On the upshifts, there is a momentary … what could I call it … overrun? overspeed? Clutch in, accelerator off, the revs don’t drop right away; they almost seem to increase, but only for a moment.

On the downshifts, blipping requires more than a stab; I would call it a prod, a sustained stab of the accelerator.

(Read More…)

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