June 29, 2018

Today - as with every Friday - is CAR DAY! We talk everything cars … sales … service … maintenance ...repairs … new … used … performance … safety … reliability … and anything else people care about! Of course, we never have a single-topic show. So we take other calls as well. We simply put an emphasis on cars every Friday.

Our car experts today were Al Oramas, with Pro Auto Care; Jeff Vik, with Kimmer Transmission and Bola with Honest Accurate Auto.

Soila bought 2016 Dodge Durango and can’t get the title! The dealer keeps issuing temp tags but they still haven’t sent the proper documentation to the Motor Vehicle Department, so they won’t process her titlework and issue plates. This is the first of two calls we got today about trouble getting titles.

The second problem comes from Joyce, who bought a car from a dealership that went out of business. When she went back to the place to get documentation, she found the premises vacant!  The name of the dealer was H & I Auto Sales in Englewood.

Colorado laws that govern dealers require them to supply a clear title to auto buyers in a reasonable amount of time. If they can’t, the deal can be unwound and buyers get their money back. In the case of the dealer that went out of business, there are insurance bonds designed to cover those types of situations. Every licensed dealers is required to carry a bond.

Usually when titles are missing, it’s because the previous owner had a loan on it, and the payoff has not yet been recorded or the car was stolen or acquired by some other unsavory way. We are investigating both cases of the missing titles.

Bob said he he replaced his engine with a used engine from Japan, that came with a 6-month warranty. He’s upset because it uses too much oil.  He wants a new head gasket and a set of pistons and rings. When we contacted the company, they said they will be happy send those parts but they first they want him to do a leak-down test. They suspect the oil consumption is due to a “cross-lubrication” tube that’s either clogged or broken. But they say, Bob refuses to cooperate. They’re correct! Bob does refuse to cooperate. We washed our hands in this case and we think Bob is being unreasonable.

Michael is renting a place and want the landlord to take care of the lawn. We told him that maintenance and repair responsibilities are usually spelled out in the lease. Michael says his lease doesn’t address landscaping. What do you think? Should he mow the lawn and trim? We think it will come down to what is “reasonable”. In our opinion it is not unreasonable to expect tenants to maintain landscaping as long as they are not replacing sod, bushes, trees and irrigation systems. Those more permanent solutions seem to be more on the side of property owner responsibility. But all of this depends on the standards of the neighborhood, tradition and how local people feel about it. The law does not always address each and every aspect of life!

Ned has a quad-steering vehicle. A 2002 GMC Sierra has a special system that steers the rear wheels along with the front wheels. It makes turning faster and easier. Now a problem has developed. He says the rear seems to steer left or right - even when he is not turning! A quick check of the rear wheel on a lift showed that one of the back wheels is not connected to the front steering linkage. Our experts suspect a tie-rod is broken or disconnected.

Braylen bought a used high-performance Subaru and is upset because his engine failed after only a few months of ownership. Even though the car has more than 119,000 miles on it, he thinks the dealer should pay for the repairs. Instead the dealer offered to trade him into a new car, and keep his payments the same. In this case, we think trading for a new car is his best option since the dealer is not responsible for the failure of his engine. They are actually giving him a pretty good trade allowance. Basically, instead of paying $10,000 to keep the old car running, he is financing an extra $10,000 on top of a new car, which will keep his payments the same. While he is paying more money in the long run, he is actually better off, in our opinion.

Steve wants to know how quickly he must report hail damage. Our insurance expert at Compass Insurance Group said you are supposed to report it as soon as you notice it. But that it is difficult to prove “when you noticed it” unless it is major damage. After you report it, you have one-year to get it fixed and closed the claim. Some people, with minor damage, have been purposely waiting to report it in case they get hit with another storm. Then they plan on reporting all of it - in one claim - instead of being assessed multiple deductibles. I’m told by insurance experts that adjusters will not be able to tell if one, two or three storms caused the damage.

Nick is being told three different things about his roof. One roofer says he has wind damage. The insurance adjuster says he has hail damage and another expert says his roof that is basically wearing out. We recommended that he call Excel Roofing to get to the bottom of it.