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If an AWD car tire is shot, do I need a new set of four?

I just bought a great new Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit. However, I am surprised Chrysler's Uconnect Access is not available in Canada. – Michael

As easy as it is to blame Chrysler for this faux pas, the problem lies with cell providers – Rogers, Bell, Telus or whatever. Uconnect relies on your individual cellphone and service. Canadian companies do not make available the necessary underlying embedded synchronizing technology. They argue it is because of CRTC regulations. Other UConnect features that do not rely on this technology, like phone, navigation and voice command features, do work in Canada.

Low-profile tires

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What do you think about cars with less than 150 hp running low-profile 45, 40, or even 35 aspect tires. Hardly a performance car, but a rock-hard ride and sidewall blowouts on Toronto's pot holes make me not want to buy a Civic, Elantra or most small four-cylinder vehicles.Jeff

That's an easy one. Designers (and many consumers) want the look of those big wheels. Michelin is closing a plant in Nova Scotia that produced 15-inch tires – there was no demand.

Nail in tire

I have a nail embedded in the left rear tire of my 1997 Eagle Talon Turbo AWD. I'm told the tire is finished and that I must replace all four tires in deference to the AWD system, not just the damaged one. Is this correct?David in West Vancouver

Regardless of AWD, RWD or FWD, tires should be in matching sets. If possible, and the others are not more than 50 per cent worn, an exact duplicate would suffice – placed on the rear.

Third-party warranties

Why is a franchised dealer in Victoria allowed to sell a $5,000 warranty to customers that allows used parts to be used. I bought a global TITANIUM 7 star warranty off Land Rover Victoria only to find that, when I made a claim, the warranty company allowed the use of used parts. Why does Land Rover allow used part warranties to be sold to its customers? It was never pointed out to me that warranties it endorses would allow used parts to be used.Mike

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These warranties (and such offers as rust proofing, paint sealant, upholstery protection) are pure profit generators. Dealers often make more from them than they do from the sale of the vehicle. However, you bought the warranty from the dealer, not Land Rover. The dealer makes an arrangement with an outside provider and it has nothing to do with the manufacturer. Jaguar Land Rover Canada says: "JLR offers the factory warranty for the standard length to cover any manufacturer defect-related issues. Dealers offer third-party warranties as business office products to customers for further insurance on their investment. These products are voluntary for purchase and since they are not a JLR product we have no control over the used-parts issue."

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

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