Niagara Gazette — TOM: It sounds like the heater core is partially plugged and needs flushing or possibly replacing. Faulty water pumps (impeller goes bad) can also cause this condition. In this case, the pump cannot circulate and generate enough water pressure/ volume to move it through the system that includes the heater core. Finally, if the core and water pump are working well, then check the duct system for a broken/jammed blend door. This is the device that directs the air within the system in whatever mode is selected. Have these three items checked; you will find the source of the poor heating condition in one of these areas.
MATT FROM BIRMINGHAM, Ala.: I own a 2004 Grand Cherokee with 204,000 miles. It has a problem starting once the engine is warm. It has a new starter, coil, plugs, wires, distributor, and rotor but still has the same problem. Could a bad ERG Valve be a problem?
TOM: Boy, the parts man must love to see you come into his place of business. First order of business: STOP CHANGING PARTS! Define to me exactly what you mean by hard startin. Does it crank slowly? Does it crank but not fire? If it cranks okay, you have one of three reasons for the no start condition:
• No air (intake leak)
• Incorrect or no fuel feed
• No spark
And not necessarily in that order.
Scan the system to see if the ignition system is failing. Make sure you have fuel pressure and volume. Finally, check for vacuum leaks or blocked airways (which include the possibility of internal engine problems). Once you get answers to these questions, you can proceed with the repair in an informed and financially responsible fashion. Best to you.
GREG FROM LANCASTER: I have a question regarding my 2006 Nissan Maxima with 36,000 miles. I am the original owner and plan on keeping this car for 200, 000 + miles. When servicing the automatic transmission what would you do? Would you drop the pan and replace the filter, flush the transmission only, or both? Thanks for the advice.