I have a 2015 Honda Accord with a push-button start. On occasion the car doesn’t start until I push the brake pedal down to the floor and hold it there. This doesn’t happen very often. The dealer checked it out and can’t find anything. Have you heard of this?
Dear Kat: The brake pedal must be depressed to complete the starting circuit. It is a built-in safety feature. There is an adjustment on the brake pedal position switch that can be adjusted so you do not have to press the pedal down so far and hard. When you do push the brake pedal down it should not go to the floor when starting the engine, unless there was a loss in brake fluid or other problems.
Dear Doctor: Last summer I purchased a 2002 Ford Mustang with 69,500 miles. The oil and filter were changed right before the purchase. Since then I’ve driven only 500 miles, and the car is garaged. I’ve noticed a small oil leak when parked in my driveway after being driven, or even just warmed-up each week when not driven. I’d say that the leak equates to about two tablespoons. What can I do to eliminate the leak without spending much money?
Dear Vic: You will first need to have a technician determine where the leak is coming from. It could be something as minor as a poor oil pan drain plug gasket. There are many sealants like a silicone gasket seal that comes in a tube, like toothpaste. Whatever the leak is do not use any oil stop leak in the crankcase.
Dear Doctor: I am a low-mileage driver and have an oil question on my new 2016 Honda CR-V. The dealer wants me to wait to about 5,000 miles before its first oil change. This will be when car would be about 18 months old. Do they use “break-in” oil? I am used to changing the oil on all of my vehicles twice a year, using synthetic oil, with a Fram Ultra filter, no matter the mileage, which is usually less than 3,500 miles. Should I change the oil before the 5,000-mile interval and switch to synthetic?
Dear John: I change my wife’s oil in her 2016 V-6 Camry at 2,500 miles and use full-synthetic oil, even though the manual recommends higher change mile intervals. I have no problem with you changing the oil and filter whenever you want. I suggest the use of a factory Honda oil filter. I also fill the oil filter whenever possible to help eliminate any momentary loss of oil pressure when the engine is started. As for “break-in oil” in new cars, no, I have not heard of such a thing.
Dear Doctor: I have a 2009 BMW 328x sedan with 51,000 miles. The dash light indicated a code that corresponds to a reverse lamp. I checked it and the driver’s side was out. I replaced them both with LEDs, and now the dash says left and right are out during start up but the warning light goes away and comes back on start up. I replaced the LEDs with normal bulbs and the issue went away. Why can’t I use LED bulbs? PG
Dear PG: LED bulbs draw very little current. The electrical system in your car, as well as many others, need to have a pre-set amount of current draw to keep the warning light off. If LED lights are put in place of the standard directional bulb, the flasher will flash very quickly or not flash at all. There are companies that sell adapters that can solve some issues.
Dear Doctor: I read your column every week and like the advice on better headlight replacement bulbs so drivers can see better at night. Many of these drivers actually may have “night blindness,” often times caused by cataracts. I am familiar with this problem, and believe me, you actually cannot see the road. I’m frightened by the number of drivers attempting to drive during darkness with this condition. It would be a public service to remind drivers that in addition to changing the light bulbs they should just stop driving until they can see the road. Gus
Dear Gus: I appreciate your concern. I do hope that any reader with night driving concerns would consult an eye doctor for a full exam.