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Did a battery swap smash my car’s leisure system?


John Paul, AAA Northeast’s Automobile Physician, solutions a query from a reader who misplaced connection to a van’s satellite tv for pc radio after having the battery changed.

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Q. My 2012 Toyota Sienna minivan sat unused for 3 weeks whereas we have been away. Upon returning, the van wouldn’t begin. AAA changed the battery, however I later found that SiriusXM would not load on the van’s radio – it learn out “no sign.” Is it doable the radio was broken from exchanging the battery?

A. Radios can lose reminiscence when the battery totally discharges. I’d begin by calling SXM and see if they will ship a refresh sign from their finish. I had a really related problem (no sign) with a used car I bought. After confirming the antenna was okay, I known as SXM and after about 45 minutes on the telephone and a number of makes an attempt, the radio got here to life.

Q. I am planning to purchase a brand new 2023 Toyota RAV4 hybrid quickly, however I am unable to get a straight reply to a query from any of the sellers I’ve talked to. I might be storing the car for about half the yr, yearly. It may be linked to a battery tender, however it is not going to be began or pushed. I’ve finished this with my gas-powered autos with out points. My query is, would this type of storage degrade to hybrid battery? Ought to I follow the gas-powered mannequin?

A. Toyota has a little bit of a imprecise reply to this, stating that the traction battery must be left in a 20-80 % state of cost, however apart from that does not point out long-term storage. Based mostly on my conversations with hybrid car house owners who do one thing related, I’d say that the battery pack must be okay. Out of curiosity I additionally checked the suggestions from the all-electric Tesla, and was a bit shocked to learn that If the climate is excessive – whether or not it is extraordinarily chilly or sizzling – and you can’t park in an remoted space and are going away for greater than two weeks, you might wish to contemplate a distinct mode of transportation. If the automotive battery is drained fully, it might result in battery harm, for the reason that automotive can not preserve the batteries at a great temperature, and it’ll not be capable to defend itself from harsh climate.

Q. I am a snowbird. Is it greatest to maintain a car in summer time warmth in Florida or northeast winter chilly? Is there any distinction between storing a hybrid or any automotive in warmth or chilly?

A. There are challenges with each. The summer time Florida warmth, humidity, heavy rain, and hurricanes versus winter chilly, snow, slush, and blizzards. The summer time warmth and humidity can mildew the inside and age the tires and paint in addition to shorten the battery life. The bitter winter chilly could cause physique seals to harden and crack. I’ve left a automotive outdoors (underneath a canopy) in each Florida warmth and Massachusetts winter, and I discovered the new climate to be barely much less detrimental to the automotive general.

Q. What model qualifies as a “high quality” gas additive? I’ve seen you point out this however have by no means named any manufacturers. Additionally, how typically ought to or not it’s added? My different query is how lengthy have you ever been serving to folks together with your column and radio program? Hopefully you aren’t retiring anytime quickly.

A. I’ve had one of the best outcomes with Techron gas additive, which got here with the very first gas injected Corvette. The opposite product which I like is from Lucas. Each of those are easy pour-in merchandise and work. I take advantage of these merchandise extra sparingly than the instructions, about twice per yr. Once I can I additionally use gasoline with extra cleansing components, which assist preserve injectors and combustion chambers clear ( I’m in my thirty eighth yr at AAA, and began a column in our personal publication which expanded to stay chats and placement in a number of newspapers and web sites. I hosted my first radio program about 30 years in the past and have been on the air nearly repeatedly since then (I am now on Sundays at 11 am on 95.9 WATD). I do not assume I am going wherever quickly.

Q. I’ve a 2016 Subaru Legacy with about 47,500 miles. I’ve at all times saved it in fine condition, and it runs effectively. For the previous couple of months, I’ve sporadically been having issues getting the important thing out of the ignition swap after I shut the automotive off. At first, I began the automotive once more, moved it, after which tried once more. This labored generally. These days, I simply flip the important thing to the on place with out beginning the automotive after which strive once more. Typically I’ve to do that a number of instances. I took the automotive to a transmission store they usually stated there would not appear to be any issues with the linkage or impartial swap (no matter that’s).

A. Subaru has had some points with the shifter. I’d go to the vendor and have them reference technical service bulletin 16-112-18R.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Automobile Physician. He has over 40 years of expertise within the automotive enterprise and is an ASE-certified grasp technician. E-mail your automotive query to [email protected] Hearken to the Automobile Physician podcast at

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