Q: The windshield wipers will periodically just stop working on our 2009 Chevy Equinox. We never know when it will happen. So far, they have begun working again after several seconds, but then quit again. This poses a safety problem now that winter is approaching. We've taken the car to two dealers, left it for extended periods so they could try to re-create the problem, but they say they can't duplicate it. Any suggestions on what this could be?
— M.T., Glenview, Ill.
A: It is probably a faulty wiper motor. The motor is protected by an internal circuit breaker that opens whenever it gets hot and draws too much power. After it cools, the circuit breaker restores the power and the wipers work again. The harder the wipers have to work, the sooner they will quit, and with heavy wet snow, that could, indeed, be a problem.
Q: M.P., of Chicago, was complaining about a vibration in the gas pedal while driving over 40 mph. We had a 2010 Acura TL and received notification in September 2012 that read: "Warranty Extension: Torque Converter. Product Update: PCM update for Lock-Up Clutch Function." It had to do with a transmission judder (vibration) that occurred between 20 to 45 mph. At the bottom of the page was this: "REFERENCE SVC BULLETIN #12-029."
— J.J., Chicago
A: I was not aware of this service bulletin but looked it up and found that it also applies to other vehicles from Honda. Thanks.
Q: Regarding the person with the Acura TL that has a vibration in the gas pedal, let them know not to give up. I had a Sebring that had a noise, but every time I brought it to the dealer, they said they did not hear it. I knew that the owner of the dealership worked one night a week, so I went in and spoke to him. We went for a test drive. He stated: 'Boy that noise must be pretty annoying.' He said not to worry, that they would do what it takes to fix the problem, even if I went over the warranty. Bottom line? Be persistent. It is a pain and takes time but can pay off.
— L.P., Newington, Conn.
A: Yep, that is what we have been preaching for years. If you don't get satisfaction, go up the ladder. But mind your manners and go through the proper channels before beefing to the big guy.
Q: I never go to 10-minute oil change places because I believe they do not have the correct filters for every car. So what do they do, just put on something that fits? Aren't the filters designed for specific engines?
— J.N., Darien, Ill.
A: The truth is, they probably do have the proper filter for your car. Carmakers tend to use the same part across most of their vehicle lines. It makes economic sense not to source too many different parts. Just take a look at the filters on the shelves of any parts store, and you will see that it is not difficult to have coverage for most popular vehicles.