Did a battery swap ruin my vehicle’s entertainment system?


John Paul, AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader who lost connection with the van’s satellite radio after the battery was replaced.

Associated Press/File

Q. My 2012 Toyota Sienna minivan sat unused for three weeks while we were away. On the way back, the van would not start. AAA replaced the battery, but then I noticed SiriusXM wouldn’t load on the van’s radio – it said “no signal.” Is it possible that the radio was damaged from replacing the battery?

A. Radios can lose memory when the battery is full. I would start by calling SXM and see if they can send a refresh signal from their end. I had the same issue (no sign) with a used car I bought. After confirming the antenna was fine, I called SXM and after 45 minutes on the phone and several attempts, the radio came on.

Q. I’m planning to buy a 2023 Toyota RAV4 hybrid in the near future, but I can’t get a straight answer to the question from any of the dealers I’ve talked to. I will be keeping the car for about half a year, every year. It can be connected to a wet battery, but it will not be started or driven. I have done this with my gas cars with no issues. My question is, would this type of storage pollute the hybrid battery? Should I stick with the gas model?

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A. Toyota has a vague answer to this, stating that the traction battery should be left in a 20-80 percent state of charge, but other than that it does not say long-term storage. Based on my conversations with hybrid car owners who do something similar, I’d say the battery pack should be fine. Out of curiosity I also looked at the recommendation from the all-electric Tesla, and I was surprised to read that If the weather is extreme – either very cold or hot – and you can’t park in the private area and you are going to other. more than two weeks, you may want to consider a different shipping method. If the car battery is completely melted, it can cause battery damage, since the car can no longer keep the batteries in good condition, and it will no longer be able to protect itself from severe weather.

Q. I am a winter bird. Is it best to store a car in the hot summer in Florida or the cold northeast winter? Is there a difference between keeping a hybrid or any car in hot or cold?

A. There are two problems. Summer Florida is hot, humid, rainy, and stormy as opposed to freezing cold, snow, slush, and blizzards. Summer heat and humidity can damage the interior and age tires and paint as well as shorten battery life. The bitter cold of winter can cause the seals of the body to harden and crack. I left the car outside (under the hood) in the Florida heat and Massachusetts in the winter, and found the hot weather to have little effect on the overall car.

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Q. What type qualifies as a “type” of fat supplement? I saw you say this but I never gave the brand names. Also, how often should it be added? My other question is how long have you been helping people with your program and radio? I hope you are not retiring anytime soon.

A. I had the best results with the Techron fuel additive, which came with the original fuel injection Corvette. Another product I love is from Lucas. All this is easy to pour-in products and work. I use these products less than recommended, at least twice a year. When I can also use gasoline with some cleaning agents added, it helps to keep the injectors and combustion chambers clean (www.toptiergas.com). I’m in my 38th year at AAA, and I started a column in our magazine that has grown into a lively discussion and been featured in several newspapers and websites. I did my first radio show 30 years ago and have been on the air regularly ever since (I’m on Sundays at 11 am on 95.9 WATD). I don’t think I’m going anywhere anytime soon.

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Q. I have a 2016 Subaru Legacy with about 47,500 miles. I have always kept it in good condition, and it runs well. For the past few months, I have been having trouble getting the key out of the ignition when I lock the car. I first started the car, drove it, and tried again. This worked sometimes. Lately, I just turn the key to the position without starting the car and try again. Sometimes I have to do this several times. I took the car to the dealership and they said there didn’t seem to be any problems with the wiring or the neutral switch (whatever that is).

A. Subaru has had issues with shifting. I would go to the dealer and have them check technical service bulletin 16-112-18R.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE-certified technician. E-mail your vehicle question to [email protected] Listen to the Car Doctor podcast at johnfpaul.podbean.com.


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