Rogue's light show, Odyssey's brakes have readers worried

Q: We bought a 2010 Nissan Rogue new in March 2010. The check engine light came on at 2,800 miles with code P0456 (fuel system small evaporator leak) at the end of July. I took it back to the dealer who claimed the gas cap was loose, tightened it, and reset the system. It has now happened a total of four times with the same code, basically every two to three weeks since July, each time claiming the pressure leak was due to a loose gas cap. The gas cap allegedly has been replaced during one of these trips. The dealership (a large one) is basically treating us like we are idiots not knowing how to put a cap back on, even though we had the car for almost five months before the problem started. I called the regional office for Nissan, and they are looking into it. Any suggestions? We love the car, but having to go back to the dealer every few weeks is getting real old. Does the Massachusetts Lemon Law cover this?

A: In this case, if you wanted to keep the car, I would suggest you seek another dealer of this Nissan to do the service necessary. You have a case for the Lemon Law in consideration that you have had the vehicle back three times for the same repair and the dealership has been unsuccessful. I would also ask that Nissan declare a trouble ticket number for this problem so that you may document it. Keep in mind if all the Nissans are doing this the Environmental Protection Agency would be getting involved.

Q: At 82,000 miles, my 2007 Honda Odyssey started to develop a sound upon application of my brakes that led me to believe my rotors were warped or uneven. Since they were the original brakes (I do a lot of highway driving), I wasn’t too surprised to learn that I needed new rotors. After new front rotors and pads were installed, everything was OK for three or four weeks. After that, the “warped” sound returned again; shortly thereafter, pulsation of my steering wheel upon braking started. The garage said that sometimes new rotors have to be turned (I had never heard of such a thing), and once again the problem was gone for a few weeks. When the problem returned again, I insisted on new rotors, which they put on the vehicle, still under warranty. I just arrived at the in-laws after an 800-mile drive and now the pulsation of my steering wheel (not brake pedal) is incredible. The rear brakes are still original. Is it possible that something else is going on? Could they be incorrectly installing brakes? Is there something else that could be causing the pulsation?

A: I am unsure of what brand and brake quality parts are being used on your car. I can tell you with all certainty that the parts from NAPA that we use in our shop each and every day never give us the problems that you speak of. Other brands that we have tried have given us all the same problems that you describe. Before replacing brake parts, however, you want to check for sticking calipers, frozen slides or collapsed brake hoses.

Car Care Tip: If you are warming up your car before winter driving, take care that the car is in an open-air environment. The exhaust emissions, under the wrong circumstances, will kill you.

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Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send e-mail to scan auto@aol.com.