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I have a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica. My speedometer is not accurate to the speed I am going. I compared it with my GPS, and when I’m going 90, my GPS is saying I’m going 55. What could the problem be? I live in the U.S., and I don’t need the police giving me any speeding tickets. Can you help?

Cab T.

I had to re-read this one several times, but after digesting it for a bit, I think the answer is actually pretty simple.

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I seriously doubt your vehicle’s speedometer is that far out of calibration. The more likely answer is that you have somehow inadvertently switched the gauge cluster speedometer to now read in kilometers. If that is not the case, then unfortunately I have no words of wisdom, other than to get it in to a professional before they write you up, because you can’t drive 55.


Lou,

I have a 2015 Silverado pickup truck. The image provided by the rear-view camera provides a very poor image, as compared to our Acura TL. I have had it replaced twice under warranty, with no improvement. Are there after-market cameras that could be used as a replacement?

Regards

Al H

A quick internet query shows many owners complaining of poor-quality images. Enough complaints confirms for me that the factory cameras are indeed subpar. There are kits for vehicles that don’t already have a factory-installed system that would provide a large screen and high-resolution camera, which are readily available at any aftermarket audio-video retailer. You can try visiting one of those local shops to see if they have access to just an updated/upgraded camera for your existing system.

Additionally, I did find one company that sells a direct-fit upgrade solution online. Camera-source.com lists a retrofit HD replacement camera for your truck. Should you order it online, any auto-repair shop or audio-video retailer should be able to install it without too much fuss. The only potential problem that might occur is when the old camera is being removed from the tailgate handle. Sometimes the trim piece, also known as a bezel, breaks during camera removal. However, given that it has been replaced twice before under warranty, gives me hope that it will come out easily enough.

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What’s on my radar

Growing up, mom drove a late-70s Ford Granada that served her well throughout the years she single-parented my sister and I. As I neared the age that would legally enable me to get behind the wheel of this racy machine, I assumed that I would be welcomed with open arms into the driving world by mom. When the day arrived however, mom encouraged me to get my licence, my own car and also declared that her car was off limits to me. This obviously infuriated my 16-year-old self for years to come, but as an adult I recognize it was the right decision. Sorry for the anger, mom.

What I didn’t see at the time was that the mechanical curiosity that serves me well as an adult was just being formed at this age. I destroyed everything I touched, and what I didn’t immediately destroy, I took apart, trying to figure out how it worked, never to be usable again.

The Granada was nearing the end of its life by this point and barely hanging on. Mom made the only decision she could. Either limit her son from driving her car or resign herself to taking the bus in the near future.

In my professional life many years later, I regularly talk customers through a sudden escalation in repair costs by looking through their years of invoice history and calculating their yearly average expenses. A sudden escalation in repair costs can be tied to many things, but often it coincides with the addition of a new driver. It’s not my intent to generalize young male drivers (and young women can also be in this same category). But let’s face it – most of the cars speeding and swerving in and out of traffic on the highway are driven by younger men. When mom and dad are sitting in the passenger seat, son does his best to drive civilly. But give him the keys and an outing with a group of friends, and all bets are off. As a parent with a young driver in the house, I can sympathize. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Why didn’t the last set of brakes and/or tires seem to last as long?” or “Why is the family minivan suddenly having transmission problems?” you might want to look closer to home.

Quite often when mom or dad are thinking of buying a new car for themselves, they contemplate keeping their old car and giving it to junior. My advice is to be very cautious with this move, because unless the vehicle is in really good shape or you are sure the new driver will be gentle with it, you may have just created a money pit. Passing down your older European performance sedan? All I can say is that you’re incredibly brave!

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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