Q: I recently purchased a 2012 Nissan Frontier. The manual suggests using only Nissan oil filters because they have a built-in check valve. I have always used Fram oil filters in my vehicles. Can Fram filters be used on my Nissan or must I use only Nissan filters?
A: You can use any brand you want as long as the product says “meets or exceeds manufacturers specifications.” You don’t have to use parts from Nissan. However, you should be aware that if the engine has a failure while under warranty by Nissan, they may claim the failure happened due to lack of proper maintenance and the use of non-factory-recommended parts. Even though you have used parts that exceed the manufacturer specs, you may have a bit of a fight on your hands. I am not saying this will happen, I am merely saying this could happen.
Q: I have a 2001 Acura MDX. It has about 130,000 miles. My husband thinks we should replace the water pump and the timing belt as a precautionary measure at this time. Do you agree? By the way, I emailed you once before regarding the SRS light that was always on. The dealership fixed it for nothing and said it was covered under warranty ... not bad for a 10-year-old car. I just wish I had known this before I took it elsewhere for this problem and spent a needless several hundred dollars that did not resolve the problem.
A: I agree with your husband. A timing belt with 130,000 miles and over 10 years old is suspect for breakage. Your engine is an interference engine, and valve damage could result if and when the timing belt breaks. I would suggest having a BG coolant flush at the same time you replace your drive belts and your water pump.