I own a Toyota Venza that in my opinion has a rough and harsh ride. The tire size is P245/55R19 Bridgestone Dueler. Will changing the tire size make the ride any better?
QUESTION: I own a Toyota Venza that in my opinion has a rough and harsh ride. The tire size is P245/55R19 Bridgestone Dueler. Will changing the tire size make the ride any better?
ANSWER: There is no question, when the tire size is changed to a larger aspect ratio 55 series to 60 series there is more flexibility between the tire and rim, which equals a smoother ride. There are many readers that will not suggest changing the tire profile. Let me tell you that I do this every day to save my customers from buying a replacement vehicle. You can change the tire size keeping in mind that no more than one-fourth inch in overall diameter is recommended. I have downsized from a 19-inch to 18-inch tire size while keeping the same outside diameter. As for the tire brand you choose, make sure the tire is not aggressive and has a summer-type tread pattern.
QUESTION: I am interested in two new cars, the new Dodge Dart and the 2013 V/6 Honda Accord. I know you get new vehicles to test drive and would like your opinion if you have driven either.
ANSWER: Well, you’re in luck; I have driven both and both were enjoyable and smooth.
Let’s talk about my week in the Dodge Dart. This is not the old 225 slant six made in Detroit. This is a front-wheel drive car that seats four and comes in a few different models. Our test car was the SXT 2.0 liter, four cylinders, 160 HP six-speed manual transmission. The fit and finish were perfect. The interior was well laid out, and it had the large multifunction navigation screen. The car drove very smooth, and the manual transmission gear ratio kept the engine at the proper RPM range. The clutch pedal was very easy to depress. If the 2.0 liter had more power the car would be the perfect small sedan. There is a 1.4-liter turbo option available. You need to drive both four-cylinder engines and make your choice.
The 2013 Honda is a really all new car and a big improvement over its predecessor – and the 2012 was also a good car. The new 2013 Accord has a redesigned engine and fuel injection system. The four-cylinder has a CVT transmission, while our test car was V/6 powered through a six-speed quick firm and great gear ratio automatic. There is ample room for four and a large trunk. The 2013 is lighter and shorter than the 2012 yet has more interior room. Parked outside my shop, 75 percent of my clients took time and got into the car and were amazed at all the features of the car. Honda made a big decision and took a big chance to go all the way with a new car, and after a week of being in the car, I’d say they hit a home run. A year from now the sales numbers will tell if the buying pubic agrees with me.
QUESTION: I own a 2002 Buick Century with only 80,000 miles. The shift indicator and odometer stopped illuminating. I went to the dealer and they said I need to replace the dash cluster at a cost of $500. Is there any other solution?
ANSWER: We work on a lot of dash cluster failures, and we remove and send out the dash clusters to a company in Taunton called BBA Remanufacturing. They rebuild the dash cluster for a third of what GM charges. There may be a local company in your area that also can rebuild the dash.
Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360.