I am interested in the new Dodge Charger AWD with the V-6 engine. My question to you, is the 2012 a much improved version over the 2009? I know you will tell it like it is. A friend has a 2009 and it seem like the front suspension has always been noisy.

QUESTION: I am interested in the new Dodge Charger AWD with the V-6 engine. My question to you, is the 2012 a much improved version over the 2009? I know you will tell it like it is. A friend has a 2009 and it seem like the front suspension has always been noisy.


ANSWER: I had a 2012 Charger SXT Plus AWD a few weeks ago. My wife and I left Cape Cod and drove up to Laconia, N.H. We drove six-plus hours in one day with this car. The car was perfect in every way. Let’s start with the absence of front end suspension and road noise. Chrysler did a great job on the all new suspension; the new smaller V/6 engine has more power and better gas mileage and is coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Our trip back and forth from the Cape to New Hampshire averaged 27 miles per gallon. The one area you need to pay attention is your speed. I often found myself going over the speed limit without knowing it. At 2,000 engine RPM the speed is around 80 miles per hour. (Thank you, cruise control.) Let’s start with the rich optional Napa black leather seating with white stitching on both heated and ventilated front seating, just heated outboard rear seats. Heated and, yes, cooled front cup holders do work, do not forget the heated steering wheel and remote starter. LED lighting throughout the interior is a great touch for nighttime driving. A super large 8.4 inch multi-function touch screen with NAV that gives the current speed limit and displays your actual speed and turns red when you are over the speed limit. Fit and finish was also a pleasant surprise. There is no question that this car is a great four-door with a whole lot of technology. The list of other optional equipment put this car at $35,820. Try comparing this or its big brother, the 300 AWD at $39,000, and spend $10,000-plus to try and come close to what Chrysler has done with these two vehicles. Welcome back to the real world with a good American car.


 


QUESTION: I own a couple of older cars with over 100,000 miles and both burn oil. Neither leaks oil. My question is, would you recommend the use of high mileage oil in my two cars?


ANSWER: Yes, I would recommend the use of high mileage oil in your cars and others that fall into this category. High mileage oil has a different additive package than conventional oil blends. High mileage oil will not leak as much and as fast as regular oil and will not burn as fast either. What are the down sides of high mileage oil? Nothing that I have seen over the last four years.


 


QUESTION: I own a 2005 Cadillac CTS V-6 that has a lack of power and check engine light code for the throttle position sensor. I do my own work, so I purchased a new expensive throttle pedal and throttle body. Well, the problem was still there. Do you have any ideas?


ANSWER: I see a lot of vehicles from owners that like to do their own repairs and often just replace parts and then bring the car to me. Before replacing any parts you need to understand how the circuit, sensor and/or part works. In your case the throttle position sensors, both of them located on the gas pedal assembly, need to have a 5-volt reference signal. Without the understanding of how a system works, it is impossible to make an intelligent repair. The 5-volt reference signal also goes to other sensors, and if there is a shorted sensor or the wire is grounded anywhere in the circuit, the throttle position sensor will not operate. You must have a wire diagram and knowledge of the system. We technicians have additional help from Identifix when needed. We use Identifix and their website daily and for this column when needed as well.


Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360.