Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Motoring Q&A: More light on sunroof problem

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Question: The sunroof on my 2005 Suburban will not close. I turned on the ignition switch to lower the windows and open the sunroof to air out the interior a couple of weekends ago. I left the key on after opening the windows and discharged the battery to the point where the windows and sunroof would not close. I charged the battery and the windows closed, but the sunroof moved about an inch and stopped. To reprogram the sunroof, the manual states to push the switch to the vent position to start the programming process. However, the window is open and will not close to start the process. A Chevy dealership and a business that specializes in interiors and sunroofs did not have an answer or a possible solution without bringing it in.

Answer: According to the GM reprogramming instructions in my ALLDATA automotive database, even if the sunroof won't close when you push the switch to the vent position, hold the switch in this position for at least 30 seconds until you hear a slight clicking noise from the front of the sunroof – this should confirm the reprogramming was successful.

If this doesn't work, the sunroof assembly must be removed so that the motor can be removed and the guide pins pushed all the way forward to the stops. Good luck.

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Q: Several months ago my '05 Hyundai XG350 displayed an "airbag" message in my dashboard. I had my dealer perform a diagnostic test that informed me I had a "bad air bag" located in the driver's seat. The cost to repair: $1,500 for the part, plus labor. I declined.

My brother has a mechanic friend who suggested I "turn on your cruise control." Within five minutes the airbag light went out. To this day, several months later, the airbag light has NOT come on. I have called several dealers and shops asking if another diagnostic test can be performed without the light on and they all replied they cannot do another test. I truly believe the "sensor" was the cause of this airbag message and that I do not have a bad airbag. Do you have any other suggestions?

A: Wow! Who ever said that automobiles cannot be "self-healing"? I have absolutely no idea how or why the operation of the cruise control would have any influence on a restraint system fault code, but I can tell you that if the airbag warning light flashes during its initial self-test when you first turn on the ignition, then goes out for the duration of your drive, there is no current fault with the system.

With that said, most "B-series" body codes will stay in memory until cleared by a scan tool. So it would seem the original DTC code for the airbag light should still be in the computer memory. You should have the dealer scan the body control module for any stored restraint system fault codes.

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Q: I have a 2005 Chevy Silverado 1500 with 115,000 miles on it. Just recently my gas gauge needle went from three-fourths to way over full and stayed there for several days and is now working fine. Yesterday my oil pressure gauge needle went from normal to off the gauge on the high end. I checked my oil level and it is in the normal range. What do you suggest?

A: GM issued several bulletins on this type of instrument cluster issue for your year truck and ultimately extended the warranty on these components out to several years/70,000 miles for parts and labor, and an additional 10,000 miles – a total of 80,000 miles – for parts only.

I wouldn't hesitate to ask the dealer to ask GM for some type of "customer goodwill" adjustment to help with the cost of the repair. If no help is available – your vehicle is significantly past the extended warranty – you'll have to choose whether to have it repaired or live with the condition.

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ABOUT THE WRITER

Paul Brand, author of "How to Repair Your Car," is an automotive troubleshooter, driving instructor and former race-car driver. Readers may write to him at: Star Tribune, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minn., 55488 or via email at paulbrand@startribune.com. Please explain the problem in detail and include a daytime phone number. Because of the volume of mail, we cannot provide personal replies.

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Paul Brand Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (MCT)