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Remember your father still knows best

Car Talk

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 2005 Hyundai Sonata. It has just reached 60,000 miles. Should I have the timing belt changed, even though there are no problems? My dad was a car mechanic, and now he is fixing cars in heaven, but every once in a while I will dream about something (he really taught me a lot, and would call me when he knew stuff had to be done and say, “Get the oil changed this week,” or “Check your brakes this week”). I keep having a recurring dream about the timing belt. What do you think? Thanks. — Kate

RAY: I don’t know if Freud ever wrote anything about timing-belt dreams. I’ll have to look that up.

TOM: Your dad sounds like he was a great guy, Kate. And he’s still serving you well, even in your dreams.

RAY: The timing-beltchange interval for this car happens to be 60,000 miles. So this is exactly the right time to change it.

TOM: This is not a car you want to just take your chances with. Both the fourand six-cylinder engines for this car (you don’t say which one you have) are what we call “interference” engines.

RAY: That means that when the timing belt breaks, the valves and pistons “interfere” with each other … the way, say, Floyd Mayweather “interferes” with his opponent’s nose in the boxing ring. The result is serious (and costly) engine damage.

TOM: And even though you probably have a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty on this car, Hyundai probably will not honor it if you neglect key scheduled maintenance like this.

RAY: So listen to Dad, Kate, and get the timing belt changed.

TOM: By the way, I keep having a recurring dream in which MY late father tells me to stop working with my brother — what do you make of that?

RAY: That’s not Dad, and it’s not a dream. That’s me yelling at you when you fall asleep under a car you’re supposed to be working on.

• • •

Which is cheaper, buying or leasing? Should you keep a car forever or dump it after three years, before trouble starts? Find out in Tom and Ray’s pamphlet “Should I Buy, Lease, or Steal My Next Car?” Send $4.75 (check or money order) to Next Car, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

(c) 2013 by Tom and Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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