Q: I have a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited and the GPS/Sirius radio stopped working. It would say I was in a different location.
The dealer replaced the system and did the necessary programming to the radio. It worked for about two days. Now it is telling me my car is in the water, about 10 miles from where I am. What can I do to fix this problem?
A: I would start with returning to the dealer that did the repairs and have them double-check their work. In addition, they need to check for any updates.
Many of these problems are fixed with a software reflash. It may also need a soft reset of the system. This will sometimes cure some issues.
To perform the soft reset, press and hold both the volume and turner knob buttons simultaneously. Hold down the knobs for roughly 10 to 20 seconds. A screen should flash with your vehicle’s brand name, then go dark once more. Next, the brand name will show and return to the main page.
The next step is a “hard” reset. This method will completely clear the system memory, acting as a fresh install. This method will clear all information, including phone connections and radio presets. You might want to have the servicing dealer perform this reset, since they did the initial repairs.
Q: I could use some advice on finding a qualified repair shop to handle repairs and maintenance on my 2009 Cadillac Escalade hybrid.
A: Once you “mentally” separate the electric drive system from the rest of the vehicle, the maintenance is pretty standard. Any shop should be able to perform routine maintenance, such as fluid changes, brake and steering system repair, belts and hose replacement.
At some point, the hybrid battery will be at the end of its usable life, and that will require some specialized tools and safety equipment for servicing.
Over the years, we have seen more shops taking advantage of hybrid training, as well as certification. To find a AAA-approved repair shop near you, go to aaa.com/autorepair.
Q: My 2015 Chevy Equinox, with approximately 32,000 miles, has an extended warranty that will expire soon. I only had to use this once in the six-year warranty period, and that was not an expensive repair. Should I invest $3,652 for another four-year extended warranty? I take care of my car and have all regular maintenance performed when scheduled. I do not intend to purchase another new car, since I am 79 years old and only drive locally. What is your opinion?
A: As the vehicle gets older, the odds are the repairs could get more expensive. Adding another extended warranty will give you a certain amount of peace of mind. That being said, you have very low miles on your vehicle and admittedly take good care of it. You could always take the $3,600 and put it in an emergency fund for major repairs if they do come up.
Also, keep in mind that you can always add an extended warranty later. AAA has several choices that could fit your needs.
Q: With all the computers in the car, will it be like my phone or computer and need an upgrade or monitoring as the years go on? Is it necessary to upgrade the battery once that happens or as the car ages?
A: Cars do, in fact, have software upgrades that do everything from improving safety to lowering emissions and fixing minor glitches. Repair shops — when serving a problem vehicle — will look for software upgrades as well as mechanical issues.
Regarding the battery, if it needs replacement, always use a battery of equal of greater capacity than the original.
Terminology update: A reader recently wrote in about an AGM battery and called it an advanced glass mat battery. The actual name is absorbed/absorbent glass mat battery.
John Paul is the AAA Northeast Car Doctor. He has more than 40 years of experience in the automobile industry and is an ASE-Certified Master Technician. Write to John Paul, The Car Doctor, at 110 Royal Little Drive, Providence, RI 02904. Or email [email protected] and put “Car Doctor” in the subject field. Follow him on Twitter @johnfpaul or on Facebook.