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When we got into an accident, the airbags in our 2009 Chevy Uplander did not deploy, but the airbag readiness light came on. Mechanical work was done in Ontario to make the car road worthy to drive home. Our Manitoba insurance company will not cover any repairs to the airbag because they say it was not caused by the accident. The light was not on before the accident. My question is what, other than the accident, could have caused this to happen at the same time as the accident and are we safe driving a vehicle with the airbag readiness light on? – Judy C

Given that the light was not on before the accident, chances are it’s related.

Firstly, have all fuses checked to make sure nothing shorted out electrically during the collision. Next, have the vehicle’s supplemental restraint system (SRS) checked for faults. It is possible that the front passenger seat’s occupant detection system was jarred during the impact and simply needs to be recalibrated.

Finally, the front driver and passenger seat belt buckles have devices called pretensioners that are designed to inflate and tighten the seatbelts upon impact. If a code is present within the SRS system showing that the pretensioners have been deployed, then they will have to be replaced.

That incidentally should also prove to your insurance company that they are related. Driving with the SRS airbag light on is not advisable as no airbags will deploy should you find yourself in another significant collision.

I have a 2018 Honda CR-V equipped with the 1.5-litre turbo engine suffering from the engine-oil-dilution problem. I have had the recall completed already for this problem, but I still experience an increase in the oil level on the dipstick. I have been told that this is normal. Could you please shed some light on this problem? Is this something to be concerned about? Should the oil be changed more frequently? Would taking long drives help to burn the fuel off? – John

2017 and 2018 CR-Vs are experiencing a problem where, owing to injector design and cold climate conditions, fuel is not vaporizing as efficiently as it should, resulting in raw fuel being deposited into the oil pan.

The product update that Honda has been performing is a software modification, effectively shortening engine warm up time. Polling my own customers, I have been advised that since their vehicle’s update, their oil level still rises, but not nearly at the alarming rate that it did before.

Honda seems satisfied that their solution has brought the issue to within an acceptable tolerance. Honda has not shortened their oil change intervals because of this issue.

If I owned one of the affected models and my oil level was still rising noticeably, I would consider changing the oil more often. Is this overcautious or a sensible protection of my investment? Time will tell if their software fix was enough of a fix. Limiting frequent, unnecessary cold starts would also offer a bit of help.

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

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