3593 points
Recent Activity

Question Answered: tune-up
March 03, 2009, 04:17 PM
Check out the RepairPal article on tune-ups: The cost will depend on what you have done, and you should check your owner's manual to see what Mercury recommends for a car with your mileage. Expect $40 or less for an oil and filter change.
Question Answered: Code Reader
February 27, 2009, 01:58 PM
I'm not sure where the plug is. You can probably find that information on the Autozone website. You do need to make sure you get an OBD 1 reader, and not an OBD 2 reader. Cars made after 1996 are OBD 2, and it's a different plug.
Question Answered: coolant light came on
February 27, 2009, 01:54 PM
Probably not a reason to panic. Fill it up with coolant right away, and see if the light goes off--which it should. The problem you want to watch out for is if the coolant level is low because of a leak. Check under your car and make sure there is never any greenish fluid. If the coolant level drops again soon after you fill it, take your car in and have it checked out, because there is something wrong you'll want to get fixed.
Question Answered: service engine soon light
February 24, 2009, 11:58 AM
The Check Engine Light ( indicates that there's a problem somewhere in the emissions control system. It's common for a thermostat failure to cause this problem with you car, though the light should not be coming on and going off if the thermostat is dead. Make sure your fuel cap is on correctly, and if the light does not go off for good, take the car in for a diagnosis.
Question Answered: Check engine light "ON"
February 18, 2009, 02:54 PM
It will run, but you run some risks. There's some more information here: There is some potential to do some damage to your truck if you continue to drive, and that can lead to more repair work, but I can't say for certain. One thing to try immediately--go to an independent shop for a cheaper solution than the dealer. It would be best to fix this if you can find a way to afford it.
Question Answered: Service Engine Soon Light
February 18, 2009, 12:10 PM
While I don't think that it's uncommon for these Nissan's to have emissions problems as they age, you shouldn't be having all of these recurring problems. Have you been taking it back to the same shop over and over again? Sometimes, if something is wrong that is damaging components in the emissions control system, a shop will not diagnose the root cause, and will just change the failed emission control component. The root cause continues, and then kills another parts of the emission control system. My first recommendation would be to find a better shop and see if there is a missing diagnosis.
Question Answered: Emission warning light is on
February 13, 2009, 01:26 PM
The emission warning light, or Check Engine Light, can come on for a number of reasons. If there is a problem with the measurements made by any of the many sensors that monitor the emissions of your vehicle, the light will come on. There is at least one trouble code that your engine computer has recorded that is causing that light to come on, and you now should track down a good diagnostic technician who can figure out what the root cause of the problem is. There's more information here:
Question Answered: SERVICE ENGINE SOON Light.
February 11, 2009, 05:02 PM
I have an '01 Pathfinder, too. It's been a great car. The Service Engine Soon light is a Check Engine Light ( There's something amiss in the emission control system, and I recommend taking it to a good diagnostic tech. I've had this problem--it was an evap system issue. Sometimes you can have problems with the ignition coils, too. Not sure about the radiator fan. I'd bet you need to change either the assembly or the motor.
Question Answered: Buying Lincoln VIII with problems for $2500
February 10, 2009, 11:34 AM
I'd be a little concerned that it has been "chipped". That may mean that it's been driven really hard. Sounds like there's been quite a bit of good maintenance work done, but if you're serious, I'd have a technician inspect it and give you his opinion. Have an expert put his hands on the car and tell you what needs to be done. Buying a car with problems is a little risky, especially one that is this old. If you're looking reliability for this price, you may want to look at late nineties Honda Accords.
Question Answered: key cost?
February 10, 2009, 11:24 AM
I looked into a replacement key for my 2001 325Ci a few years ago, and it was $250 at the dealership. That was for the integrated key and remote--note sure if they had those in 1998, too.
No activities found
Car Review: 2002 Acura RSX
January 19, 2009, 08:47 AM
This is a terrific car--they should just call it an Integra. The RSX is fast when you want it to be, and fun to drive. Practically no maintenance issues, and great gas mileage.
Car Review: 1996 Lincoln Continental
January 02, 2009, 11:20 AM
Have owned this car since almost new--more than a decade, and it's still treating me well. The interior has worn okay, and I've had to replace an alternator. Otherwise, it's comfortable, safe, and powerful. One of the best Lincoln's I've owned.
Car Review: 1994 Ford Aerostar
January 02, 2009, 11:16 AM
This was a horrible vehicle. Rode like the truck chassis on which it was based, had persistent "check engine light" trouble, and one time, the front tire almost sheared off, according to our mechanic.
Car Review: 2001 Nissan Altima
December 14, 2008, 03:25 PM
Indomitable! The Nissan Altima just would not die. The engine has been no problems, the interior and radio are still working just great. No problems. Really reliable and low maintenance prices.
Car Review: 1990 Oldsmobile 88
December 14, 2008, 03:22 PM
Okay--I had an '87 88, but I have to review the car anyway, as it was my first. Strong engine, and absolutely a Detroit tank of a car, but it was comfortable as hell and low-maintenance. Problems: the headliner will sag on you as only GM headliners can. You will develop timing chain and valve problems over time.
Car Review: 1995 Isuzu Trooper
October 28, 2008, 05:01 PM
We put this car through hell. It was very reliable, but the engine finally gave out at about 150K. Otherwise, brakes, transmission, the body and the interior--pretty reliable.
Car Review: 2007 Chrysler 300
October 28, 2008, 04:59 PM
Rented one of these lately, and while it seemed reliable, the interior is cheap in look and feel. The engine was anemic, the steering soft. Not a car I'd recommend buying.
Car Review: 2006 BMW X3
October 28, 2008, 04:56 PM
Parents have a BMW X3 that I drive. It's been fun, has a lot of room, and is easy to maintain. BMW pays regular maintenance under warranty, and we've never had repairs. Not great gas mileage though.
Car Review: 2005 BMW 325i
October 28, 2008, 04:55 PM
My dad has a BMW 325i, and I want to steal it. Fun to drive, it's been very reliable, and he hasn't spent much on maintenance and nothing on repair. The brakes are expensive, but they were under warranty. The oil changes are expensive, but you only have to do them once a year or less.
Car Review: 2001 Nissan Pathfinder
October 28, 2008, 04:53 PM
Our Nissan Pathfinder has been exemplary. No major problems, minimal repair and maintenance costs for a car with 105,000 miles. We have only done spark plugs and oil changes, and drive belts on schedule. Brake pads are expensive because of the 4 wheel drive.
Comment: Do-It-Yourself Auto Repair: Sometimes Not A Fix
February 27, 2010, 06:22 PM
Sorry that the link is no longer working. Couldn't find a replacement.
Comment: Are Cars Getting Scary Again?
February 27, 2010, 06:21 PM
Great contribution, M.Fulton! Thank you. For those of us who watch these things closely, the media coverage just hasn't made sense. Toyota's record, even with this recall, is extraordinary.
Comment: Chinese Automaker Offers a Hybrid
December 31, 2008, 12:03 PM
Is that not a Hyundai?
Answer Ranks