Q: A friend owns a 2008 Dodge Aspen, and he has a question with regard to a recall that focuses on the rear axle. He brought the vehicle to a Dodge dealer and was told that the 2008 model was not covered under the recall, but that the vehicle may indeed have the issue. My friend did not know who to turn to for help, and I suggested you might be a good resource to determine if the 2008 model has a potential problem with the rear axle. The issue apparently revolves around a fastener that loosens over time and can cause a failure of the axle.
A: This recall does not apply to your car unless it was built between January 2007 and October 2011. If the dealer refuses to perform the recall, it’s actually quite simple for most repair shops to make the same remedy. It concerns putting a lock on the pinion nut so it can’t back off and cause the drive shaft to lock up. You would feel the vibration before this happens, and you would most likely be able to stop driving before the component locks up. A garage would buy the parts from Chrysler and install it. The labor should be an hour or less, and the parts are under $20. Your co-worker, however, may be entitled to a recall service on the radio. Check with the dealer to determine if the radio qualifies for updated software.
Q: During the last nor’easter this year, a lot of snow blew into the engine compartment. It started but ran awful; then, I found all the snow in there and cleared it out. The engine light came on and finally went out after the engine warmed up.
A week later, after some rain, the engine ran fine, then awful, then all the gauges went out. I barely got the vehicle home; and after I shut the engine off, it would not restart. The alternator was replaced, and everything was fine until last weekend’s heavy rain; I started the engine and got about a block away when the engine stalled out. Without turning the key completely off, I just turned the key to start the engine. The engine was running like there was water in the fuel. I finally pulled over and shut off the engine for a few minutes. When I restarted the engine, everything was great, and I drove out of town without a problem.