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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 had 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 might begin by calling SXM and see if they will ship a refresh sign from their finish. I had a really related challenge (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 cellphone 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 shall be storing the car for about half the 12 months, yearly. It may be linked to a battery tender, nevertheless it is not going to be began or pushed. I’ve carried out this with my gas-powered autos with out points. My query is, would this sort of storage degrade to hybrid battery? Ought to I stick to the gas-powered mannequin?

A. Toyota has a little bit of a imprecise reply to this, stating that the traction battery ought to be left in a 20-80 p.c state of cost, however apart from that does not point out long-term storage. Primarily based on my conversations with hybrid car house owners who do one thing related, I might say that the battery pack ought to be okay. Out of curiosity I additionally checked the suggestions from the all-electric Tesla, and was a bit stunned to learn that If the climate is excessive – whether or not it is extraordinarily chilly or scorching – and you can’t park in an remoted space and are going away for greater than two weeks, you might need to contemplate a distinct mode of transportation. If the automotive battery is drained fully, it may result in battery injury, for the reason that automotive can now not maintain the batteries at a really perfect temperature, and it’ll now not have the ability to shield itself from harsh climate.

Q. I am a snowbird. Is it finest 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 (below a canopy) in each Florida warmth and Massachusetts winter, and I discovered the new climate to be barely much less detrimental to the automotive total.

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

A. I’ve had the perfect outcomes with Techron gasoline additive, which got here with the very first gasoline 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 12 months. After I can I additionally use gasoline with extra cleansing components, which assist maintain injectors and combustion chambers clear ( I’m in my thirty eighth 12 months at AAA, and began a column in our personal publication which expanded to dwell 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 virtually constantly since then (I am now on Sundays at 11 am on 95.9 WATD). I do not suppose I am going wherever quickly.

Q. I’ve a 2016 Subaru Legacy with about 47,500 miles. I’ve all the time stored it in fine condition, and it runs nicely. 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. Recently, I simply flip the important thing to the on place with out beginning the automotive after which attempt once more. Generally I’ve to do that a number of occasions. I took the automotive to a transmission store and so they mentioned there does 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 might 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] Take heed to the Automobile Physician podcast at

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