Niagara Gazette — •••
JOE FROM DALLAS: I own a 2005 Hyundai Tucson with 35,000 miles. I plan on changing the front pads. Do you have to use the shims they include with the brake pads? I am not experiencing any noise or other braking problems.
TOM: Yes, use the shims and any clips they provide. These are for noise suppression. The shims insulate the pads from the calipers, thus reducing brake noise; and the clips are designed to reduce pad rattle and movement. Leave them out and you are asking for noisy brakes. I would also use a silicone brake pad insulator to “glue” the pads to the caliper pistons. Also make sure you send the rotors out to be resurfaced with a non-directional cut so the pads wear in properly and no pedal pulsation ensues. Finally, make sure you clean and lubricate the caliper slides so they apply and release without the calipers sticking after application. Good luck!
PATRICK FROM NICEVILLE, FLA.: I own a 1990 Honda Prelude SI with a 2056cc 4-cyl engine. About a month ago, the engine light came on. I took the car to a repair shop and the owner said that he did a “scan” and that the cause of the engine light was not the engine but was the ethanol in the gas. He said that the older cars were not designed to run on gas containing ethanol and to not worry about the light. Although the light still comes on, after the engine temperature reaches normal, the car seems to run fine. Because I have been using gas containing ethanol for quite a long time before the lights first coming on, I am skeptical of this analysis and would like a second opinion. Thank you.
TOM: I too would be skeptical of this “analysis.” There are millions of cars across the country in your year/make/model range running on 10 percent ethanol gas with no ill effects or lit check engine lights. I would go to a qualified diagnostician that can get to the bottom of your check engine light. It could be a bad O2 sensor, airflow sensor, or a broken or bad connection. IT is hard to tell without tracking the problem down with the proper diagnostic equipment. A good shop will have access to repair info that will help the tech track down the cause of the lit check engine light. Best to you.