s: There is a 3-year-old battery in my husband’s Volvo S40. After the dealer did the oil change, they mentioned that the battery could use a recharge (2 hours, $15). Did they just want to add another $15 to our bill? Can you clarify and tell us what you think?
a: We see many batteries that, when tested, show “charging” and “retesting”. The alternator (alternator) does a very good job of maintaining batteries, but in some cases that is not enough.
Could it be a way to add $15 to the bill? Perhaps, but as the coronavirus continues to keep more people working at home and driving less, battery voltage could drop below normal.
12V battery fully charged by about 12.5V; A person with a 50% charge state has 12.2 volts; The other one with 10.5 volts is at zero charge. A fully charged battery is critical to the proper operation of any new vehicle.
s: I need a bed sheet for my new truck. Which is better? Who do you think will be there to fulfill their guarantee? Any thoughts on the Ameraguard liner? Also, I’m pretty sure they would ask about adding an extra undercoat.
a: Common spray liners that I know of are Rhino Liner and Line-X. I haven’t heard of Ameraguard, but after reviewing their website it also seems to be a good product.
Like all of these spray products, preparation is what makes the product last, and proper training is essential.
Regarding the undercoat, the product that impresses me the most is Waxoyl. Waxoyl has been used in Europe and on high-end restorations for 50 years.
s: Recently, it seems that there is only one windshield repair company if you need to have your windshield repaired or replaced.
Does the repair or replacement last a long time? Is it as strong, safe and colorful as the original glass?
a: In most cases, an aftermarket replacement windshield will be as good as the factory windshield. Occasionally, there may be some slight differences in the tint strip on the top of the windshield.
Another problem that can arise is the windshield optics. I’ve seen some cases where replacement windshields have a negative effect on cameras and automatic windshield wiper systems. In this case, the installer should use factory glass rather than an aftermarket replacement.
s: I bought a car for my daughter a few years ago. The engine died on top of it last December. There was a recall of a part in the engine. However, we never noticed the recall. Is there anything we can do?
a: If there is an NHTSA subpoena, it doesn’t matter if you receive the summons notice. I would call the manufacturer’s customer service number and ask how they would handle the issue.
Readers: You can easily check for recalls on your vehicle at nhtsa.gov/recalls. Once on the website, enter your 17-digit vehicle identification number to see if there are any open recalls for your vehicle.
s: I want to go on a long trip abroad and leave my SUV at home in a garage. I’ve read about meager chargers, but it seems dangerous to leave a battery charger plugged in unattended in the garage. What do you recommend? Or do we just call AAA when we get home to charge both cars? I am looking for the best and safest option.
a: Not only will you use any battery charger, you will be using a float=pattern battery maintenance tool. The most I know is the tender battery.
These battery chargers are designed to be connected to the battery for extended periods. They will charge the battery (very slowly) and then service it. I’ve seen garages full of assembled cars, each with a battery tender attached without worry.
John Paul is the AAA Northeast Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive industry and is an ASE Certified Master Technician. Write to John Paul, The Car Doctor, at 110 Royal Little Drive, Providence, RI 02904. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org putting “Car Doctor” in the subject field. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed or on Facebook.