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My car has 45,000 kilometres on it, and I feel my driver and passenger seats vibrating or shaking every time I bring my car to a complete stop at traffic light or stop sign. As soon as I release my brake the vibrating is gone. Any ideas? – Sharp Q

Normal wear and tear items such as worn spark plugs or engine vacuum leaks will cause vibrations as any vehicle ages. But since you haven’t told me the year and model, I’m going to have to assume that your vehicle is only a couple of years old. A vehicle of this age and mileage should not be experiencing any obvious vibrations.

One of the first things to check are all the engine and transmission mounts. When a mount prematurely fails, it ceases to effectively absorb engine vibrations, transferring them directly into the body. This is witnessed initially as a shaking front passenger seat.

As well, late model direct-injected engines are prone to internal engine carbon buildup. Slowly, the built-up carbon interferes with normal smooth running engine operation, leading to a rough idle that will exceed what the mounts can handle. Vibrations can be difficult to diagnose. For example, an engine mount may have an issue, yet not provide any visual indication that it has failed, forcing the technician to install new mounts on a process-of-elimination basis. Slight misfires and a rough idle can also prove difficult to diagnose if the vehicle’s on-board management system fails to detect a fault.

I own a 2007 Honda Civic sedan. After three to four days of not driving it, I find the battery drained. Since I am a DIY’er, I have installed a cut-out switch on the negative battery post. I have checked for parasitic draw and all I see is the radio/clock circuit, which isn’t significant. I think this suggests a short to ground before the fuse box, as it never blows a fuse. Is there anything I can do other than pay a mechanic to look for something that they may never find? – John

After the engine has been shut off and key has been removed, your vehicle will go into a sleep mode. All contemporary vehicles have a small parasitic draw while in sleep mode, usually in the 50-85 milliamp range. This Keep Alive Memory (KAM) system maintains computer module memory and radio presets, etc., while in sleep mode. When an electrical problem occurs, this draw may exceed these nominal values, subsequently depleting the battery after a few days of sitting unattended. Any vehicle that suffers from a dead battery after a few days as described above, either has a failing battery or has an undetected draw placed upon the battery, that is greater than the above-mentioned range.

The first thing to do is to put a known good battery in it and retest. If you still find the car needs a regular boost with this new battery, then I have to assume that you did not complete the parasitic draw test correctly.

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