Q: My Infinity G35 has a trunk lid that won’t open with the key fob or the interior release switch. It does not have a key open option, of course. Any thoughts on this problem?
A: It may be a simple solution. So simple that it’s just a turn of the switch inside of the glove box. Many people are unaware of the trunk lock-out switch that’s located in the glove box. This switch is not unique to the Infinity. Mercedes, among other upper-end cars, has this option. If the switch is not the problem, fuses should be checked. If that is all well, then you may have to remove the back seat and climb into the trunk, open it manually and then test the circuit all the way to the electric lock.
Q: I just replaced the struts on my 2007 Saturn Outlook because I had a hard time opening it, and then, once it was opened, it would not stay open. Now it stays open, but it won’t electrically close. What’s next?
A: The electrical circuit needs to be checked out in its entirety. Check for any or all trunk cut-out switches that may be listed in your owner’s manual. Check over all the work you performed and see if you inadvertently unplugged an electrical harness.
Q: I purchased a 2008, four-door, six-cylinder Honda Accord sedan with 47,000 miles in a private sale in September 2012. The vehicle needed an alignment as the car drifted to the right. Also, the brake pedal seemed to move too far in order to stop the car. Before I purchased the vehicle, I paid for an inspection at a Honda dealership, which recommended replacement of rear pads and rotors and replacement of the left rear brake caliper. I had the pads and rotors replaced by an independent garage, because it was cheaper, but did not replace the caliper, because the garage said it only needed lubricant, not replacement. The dealership did the front-end alignment.
The alignment never completely stopped the drift to the right, which is now very noticeable. I have mentioned the problem to the dealership, whose only recommendation is another alignment at my cost. The independent garage did the brake work a year ago, but the brakes elicit a high-pitched metallic-sounding shriek upon application. The metallic sound has been evident for several months (it probably began in early 2013). Neither the garage nor the dealership has any explanation for the sound, other than to recommend another brake job, not only for the rear tires, but for the front, as well, since the sound cannot be confidently traced to any one wheel. Such work is prohibitively expensive, and I wonder if there is an alternative to brake work on all four wheels.
A: Sounds to me like you need to replace both rear calipers and examine the brake pads for glazing. Perform the needed brake repairs on both rear brakes without shortcuts. Most likely that will resolve both the noise and the drifting issues.
Car Care Tip: Even though your antifreeze is used longer than ever, the potency and the acidity of it should be checked every year.
Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.