Is my SUV’s emission system problem covered by my warranty?

John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader wondering whether a needed repair is covered.

The 2016 Honda Pilot.
The 2016 Honda Pilot. –Honda

Q. I own a 2016 Honda Pilot with roughly 45,000 miles. Yesterday the check engine light came on with a message that read “Emissions Systems Problem.” I went to a parts store to get it scanned and it gave an error code P0430, which noted that “the most likely solution is: Replace Fuel Rail and Fuel Injectors.” My original warranty was three years/36,000 miles (which is expired), but the powertrain warranty is five years/60,000 miles. If that is indeed the fix, do you think I could make a case to have that resolved under the powertrain or emissions warranty??

A. The most common reason for this message is fuel injector contamination caused by what appears to be a manufacturing defect. The fuel injectors, according to Honda, are part of the emissions system and will be covered under the warranty. Doing a bit more research and calling several dealers, the injectors seem to be on a national backorder, so be patient.?

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Q. My wife and I love our Honda CRVs — one is a 2008 and the other is a 2014. We would like to purchase a new 2021, but I’m concerned about all the car reviews and vibration problems with the CVT transmission. Has this problem been resolved?

A. This vibration issue with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) on the Honda CR-V seemed to be more of an issue in the first year of using this style transmission. Over the past year I have driven/evaluated the traditional CR-V and the hybrid model and found both vehicles to perform as they should. My suggestion is if you like the CR-V, buy it.

Q. I learn quite a bit from your column and enjoy reading it. My questions pertain to my 2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL. I purchased the car in January 2018. I get the oil changed every 6,000 miles with full synthetic oil. A quick-lube place has performed all the oil changes. I checked the Nissan manual and could not find the recommended interval for oil changes. I want to know if changing every 6,000 miles is correct or not. Also, how do I know that the shop is adhering to the recommendation pertaining to genuine Nissan CVT Fluid NS-3? Is this a fluid that only a Nissan dealership would have in its maintenance department? Should I be concerned if the shop has not been using that type of fluid?

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A. According to the technical databases that I use (ALLDATA and Mitchell 1) as well as the recommendation from Nissan, the oil change recommendation is every 5,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first. The recommendation does not change with oil type. Regarding transmission fluid it is crucial to use only Nissan fluid. Using conventional fluid will cause transmission issues. If you do have the fluid changed or topped off, I would ask to see that the shop is using only Nissan transmission fluid.?

Q. I have a 2010 Jeep Patriot with 85,000 miles. The Anti-lock Brake Light, Stability Control, and 4WD Lights are illuminated. The local shop found that the right-rear hub, bearing, and ABS sensor failed. Does this mean I do not have four-wheel-drive? Should I not drive this car?

A. These systems — ABS, stability control, traction/all-wheel-drive — are all interconnected systems. The antilock brake system measures wheel spin, and when the ABS sensor fails it will disable all of the related systems. At this point you can drive the vehicle, but to have these systems work, especially as we approach winter, it would be sensible to replace the components and verify that the repair worked.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE-certified master technician. E-mail your car question to [email protected]. Listen to Car Doctor on the radio at 10 a.m. every Saturday on 104.9 FM or online at northshore1049.com.

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