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you & your car

I am the proud owner of a new Hyundai Veloster Turbo and have purchased a set of winter tires and wheels. Any advice on the best way to store the summer rubber? – Ernie

Whether storing summer or winter tires, the trick is to minimize the aging process. The chief contributors to aging are exposure to the elements and heat.

With that in mind, locate a place that is cool, dry and dark. Now give both wheels and tires a good cleaning with lots of soap, water and a brush. Make sure to dry them off completely before storage.

This is a great time to preserve those nice wheels as well, taking care to scrub them inside and out thoroughly to get rid of corrosive brake dust. I use a product called Wheel Wax to provide a layer of protection once they are clean and dry.

To help avoid exposure to the elements, especially the nasty rays of the sun, wrap the tires in dark plastic bags taking care to remove as much moisture as possible. I use a vacuum cleaner to suck the air out before sealing the bag.

Now to that cool, dry spot – probably in a basement or area that is at least somewhat climate-controlled or heated rather than an unheated garage or storage shed where there may be wide fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

Avoid putting them anywhere near a furnace, water heater or anything with an electric motor as the ozone it creates is very harmful to the tires.

Ignition issues

I have trouble removing the ignition key of my Integra after turning off engine. I have to try several times on and off before succeeding. Are the ignition tumblers the problem? Also, there is a leak in the rear trunk; could it be from the rubber gasket around the trunk lid or do you think it could leak around the rear window and into the trunk (the car has always been parked outside). – Norm

I am not sure how old your car is, but it has to be at least six years old since they have not made an Integra since 2006. Both problems are likely age-related.

The ignition key issue might be the tumblers or the parking pawl that locks the wheel when the key is removed, a regulatory issue designed to discourage theft. Depending on the age and condition of the car and your budget, there are two choices – replace it with new parts from your Acura store or swap it for one from a reputable auto junkyard.

In either case, be very careful when working with the steering wheel and shaft as there is an airbag in there along with the attendant sensors etc. If you are not sure how to do this, get the job done by a technician who is familiar with the safe way to do so.

As for the leak, it could be coming from either source. To determine which, wait until the trunk and surrounding area is dry – or dry it with rags and use an air hose or reverse (blower) part of a vacuum cleaner. Then pour water in the crack surrounding the trunk. Take a break, allowing it time to work. Open the trunk and see if it is wet. If not, then try the same thing by pouring water over the bottom of the rear window.

Once you have determined which is the culprit, you can narrow it down by repeating the procedure in smaller areas.

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