I have a 2000 GMC 5LT with a small V8 vortex engine. It starts great when it is cold. But after it warms up it’s hard to start. I churn and churn and then it starts, but the engine shakes and sometimes stalls. Have to speed up engine. Had it tuned up, fuel filter, new wires and plugs, cleaned throttle body and injectors, but it did not help. It has about 113,035 miles. If I let it idle for a long time the “service engine soon” light comes on. Can you help?

QUESTION: We are buying a new car. Checking the final price, my wife found an additional charge called a “doc fee.” I asked what the fee was for and the dealer said it was for administration service for writing up and processing the paperwork. My wife said, “If we buy a new car from you, we have to pay you an additional charge for writing up the paperwork?” The salesman said that is correct. I checked with other dealers and they also charge a doc fee, however, the prices all vary. Is the doc fee a normal charge? And do I have to pay for the charge? Is there any way to get around the charge?


ANSWER: Doc fees have been around for many years. I do not know who came up with the additional fee for a customer to pay for the writing up of documents to buy a car or truck or any other vehicle purchase. It is a great way for the dealer to generate additional profit without actually doing any additional work or service. Check with your local laws on doc fees, because they all vary. I will tell you and my readers, if you do not want to pay the doc fee, do not. The salesman will say everyone has to pay it and he or she cannot take it off the billing invoice. What they can do is just deduct the doc fee amount from the sale price and leave the doc fee on the sales form. I see this practice all the time, and it is legal, and you should insist on it. Or go elsewhere to buy the car.


 


QUESTION: I have a 2000 GMC 5LT with a small V8 vortex engine. It starts great when it is cold. But after it warms up it’s hard to start. I churn and churn and then it starts, but the engine shakes and sometimes stalls. Have to speed up engine. Had it tuned up, fuel filter, new wires and plugs, cleaned throttle body and injectors, but it did not help. It has about 113,035 miles. If I let it idle for a long time the “service engine soon” light comes on. Can you help?


ANSWER: The problem sounds fuel related, not spark. The good thing is the check-engine light does come on and sets a fault code. A simple fuel-pressure test and professional scan tool will help us greatly. While trying to start the engine, monitoring all related sensors will point us in the right direction. I have even seen a small air leak at the fuel filter cause starting problems with out leaking gas.


 


QUESTION: I own a 2008 BMW 5 series and try to do most of the maintenance. The maintenance light came on the dash and I called the local shop to find out how to reset the light. They said to check with the dealer. I called the dealer and they said it would be $75 to reset the light. Where can I get the procedure and tune-up specs for my car?


ANSWER: The best and easiest way to locate any and all information for any vehicle is by subscribing to Alldata. The cost of a one-year subscription is $25 for your vehicle. With this you get any information you want and can print it as well. I use Alldata daily and for this column and have since the beginning of the column.


 


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