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I drive a 2017 Nissan Rogue. It’s a great vehicle, but it already needed rear brakes replaced at 42,000 kilometres. That seems very soon, because I’m not a leadfoot and I drive at least half the time on country roads. What might explain the fact that only the rear brakes were bad? What might explain why the rear ones needed replacing so soon? I drive with the Eco setting on, and I often use cruise control. Should I be using compression braking on long downhills? – Wendy R

I do agree that 42,000 kilometers is early. However, I believe the answer to your question lies in your statement that you drive at least half the time on country roads. Your brakes are going to be saturated and contaminated with road dirt, moisture and grime. This will lead to corrosion, resulting in the brake pads seizing in their caliper brackets, causing them not to return properly. In theory, it’s like you’re always slightly riding your brakes.

Premature wear will occur, usually visible in the rear brakes first. Your vehicle’s front brakes are larger and responsible for the bulk of braking, thus generating more heat. The heat aids in burning off moisture faster than the rears, which in turn keeps corrosion under control. In your case, I’m confident that all your brakes will wear faster than average, unless you adopt an aggressive brake-maintenance plan with your service provider. Use the severe-maintenance guidelines going forward.

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My daughter’s car was damaged from a prank. Someone put Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise on the roof of her car then threw baking flour on top of it. The paint is black, and we washed [the mess] off within an hour. But, the next morning, the paint had eaten through to the metal of the car. We live in Tennessee, and the temperatures at night have been in the mid 80s [Fahrenheit]. This happened at approximately 11:20 p.m. The parents of these high school boys say “There’s no way mayonnaise would do this.” But the bottle of mayo they used was found about six feet away from her car, along with flour, maple syrup and toilet paper. We feel they should pay for the damage. Please advise. – Angie

I don’t think the vinegar in the mayonnaise alone would be sufficient to cause damage to paint where it would eat through to the metal, but perhaps the stated baking flour was actually baking soda? Every kid remembers their first science experiments combining baking soda and vinegar, producing flowing lava. Was the vandalism act random, or were the culprits attempting to combine the items to cause that same sort of chemical reaction? I have no idea how your state laws work or even if you have insurance that would cover such damage, but I can imagine that if baking soda was involved, then you might have a case. I’m sorry I don’t have more to offer, maybe someone in the comments section can help out having some sort of specific experience with this.

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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