PAT GOSS: If you know anything at all about automobiles you know that over the last few years they have changed dramatically. And that means that the parts that they’re made up of have changed as well. And joining us now remotely is Mr. Tom Taylor, our parts expert. Tom, welcome to Goss’s Garage.

TOM TAYLOR: Thanks for having me, Pat.

PAT GOSS: Now what are some of the things that you’re seeing a lot of problems with as far as replacement parts go?

TOM TAYLOR: Well, one part that people may not know their vehicle even has is called a grille shutter. And it’s like a venetian blind that fits behind the grille in the vehicle. And it shuts off when the vehicle gets up to speed so the vehicle becomes more aerodynamic, fuel efficiency increases, and the computer can better control the engine temperature. Even in real cold weather it can stay closed longer so you don’t need to put cardboard over your grille if it's forty below outside or something. The slats will be closed in that venetian blind and maintain the right temperature. Ford introduced these grille shutters, maybe 2012, other manufacturers have added over the years so most vehicles have them now; Ram trucks, Subarus, Nissans. And after a lot of years and miles, that venetian blind will start to jam up, the motor will fail, and you’ll have a check engine light come on or the vehicle will run hot and start to overheat because those little slats aren’t opening. So, yeah they are starting to need to be replaced as the miles and years add up. 

PAT GOSS: Alright, yeah, we are seeing some of them come into the shops now just clanging and worn out. But something else that we see a lot of problems with is steering angle sensors. 

TOM TAYLOR: Right, that’s another one that people may not know they have. The sensors inside the string we all have tells the computer where the steering wheel is and you may see trouble codes that are brake trouble codes, cruise control, even the turn signal switch reset might not work properly if that angle sensor is not right. So yeah, it’s important that you don’t just look at the symptom, trace it back to- okay this is the route cause; the angle sensor inside the steering wheel.

PAT GOSS: Yeah, so you need a technician that knows what they’re doing in order to diagnose these things.

TOM TAYLOR: Right. And the steering wheel angle position sensors have been around for quite a long time now, since the 90’s at least. 

PAT GOSS: Okay Tom, thank you so very much. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.