(MCT) -- Q: I have a 2009 Saturn Aura with 94,500 miles on it. A few weeks ago, the check engine came on, and has stayed on. I replaced the spark plugs and battery, both of which had never been replaced. The code said it was an emissions issue. The repair shop said I needed a new fuel tank evaporative vent solenoid, and they replaced it last week. However, the check engine light has stayed on. The repair shop says that the computer needs to get used to the new solenoid, and that the check engine light will turn off after a few hundred miles of driving. I have driven almost 400 miles since the solenoid was replaced, and the check engine light is still on. Do you have any suggestions?
A: This a bit odd because a competent diagnostic/repair technician would typically clear the trouble code and the check engine light would be extinguished prior to vehicle delivery to the owner. Additionally, the vehicle should be driven by the tech as possible to allow the applicable diagnostic monitor to run- with no pending codes set, validating repair success. Without the diagnostic trouble code it's difficult to assess the nature of the original fault. The EVAP vent solenoid may have been replaced due to an internal electrical fault, a leaking or inoperative valve mechanism (somewhat common), or circuit faults or system leakage occurred elsewhere and the vent solenoid was replaced in error. It's also possible the check engine light is illuminated because of a new/differing fault. Take it back and insist they take another look at it!
Q: I recently took in my 2000 Honda Civic for a timing belt and a bunch of other things. I am the original owner of this well-maintained car (purchased new) and it has about 65,000 miles on it. This was my first timing belt. The dealer said the clutch master cylinder was leaking and they based this on the fact that the reservoir was almost empty (it was last checked three years ago). So they topped it off and quoted me about $600 parts and labor to replace it. I'm going to monitor it over the next few months and see if the reservoir actually goes down or did it just evaporate over the last three years? Am I tempting fate by delaying this repair? They also said my rear trailing arm bushings were broken and quoted $800 parts and labor for that job. They said it wasn't a safety issue and that the downside of not fixing this would be increased tire wear. The car drives like it is brand new. Again, am I tempting fate by delaying this repair?