My daughter bought a 2006 Ford Escape one year ago with 20,000 miles. It now has 30,000 miles. The oil is changed every 3,000 miles. The engine seized while on Route 95. The Ford Company says the warranty is gone, and will not help with the $6,000 price tag to put a factory-rebuilt engine in the car.

QUESTION: My daughter bought a 2006 Ford Escape one year ago with 20,000 miles. It now has 30,000 miles. The oil is changed every 3,000 miles. The engine seized while driving. The Ford Company says the warranty is gone, and will not help with the $6,000 price tag to put a factory-rebuilt engine in the car. We called and wrote to Ford headquarters with no response. Can you suggest anything else we can do? We have been loyal Ford owners for 50 years. Why would an engine stop working at 30,000 miles? Crazy! Who can we write or call?


ANSWER: For any engine to seize up something went wrong. A teardown would be needed to find out the cause, with careful inspection of all internal parts including oil level, condition, and contaminants. As for what and who will pay for the repairs, you did buy a used car and Ford does not have any obligation to pay for it. You should check with a local shop for a used replacement engine. The average cost installed will be less than $3,000.


QUESTION: I own a 2002 Chevy Impala. The problem is the electrical system fails and the radio stops working, then it will fix itself. The local garage cannot seem to find the problem. Do you have any suggestions?


ANSWER: I suggest you go back to the garage and ask the technician if he is familiar with this car and if he is ASE certified in electronics. Also ask if he uses any outside service help such as Alldata or Identifix. If he does not use either one, it is time to find another shop or go to the local Chevrolet dealer. We all need some assistance when it comes to diagnosing difficult electronic problems.


QUESTION: I own a 2007 Honda Odyssey with 30,000 miles. I would like to switch over to synthetic oil. Everyone says it’s worth the extra expense. Do you agree?


ANSWER: I also agree and use full synthetic in all my vehicles, boats and outdoor gas-powered equipment.


QUESTION: I own a 1985 Ford Crown Victoria with 190,000 miles. I do not use the air conditioner and would like to remove the fan belt from it. Would removing the belt have any effect on the engines operation?


ANSWER: Removing the belt from the a/c compressor would not have any engine side effects. However if the a/c system does work, every time you turn on the windshield defroster the a/c compressor does come on to help dehumidify the interior. A company called Dorman makes a lot of idler pulley assemblies for a/c compressor removal. In some cases the a/c compressor or pulley has to be in place for proper serpentine belt routing.


Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360, or e-mail ocm@cnc.com.