AUTO: Motor Medics Answer Your Vehicle Questions

Chris, Shannon, and Russ answer your automotive questions every Saturday morning 10AM until Noon on WTYM AM 1380 and FM 103.7.

Dear Motor Medics,
We have a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and when it was just a year old, we got a new puppy. The first time we left it alone while we went inside a restaurant to eat, she decided to eat the Tahoe. She chewed the back of the rear seat and the corner off of the plastic trim too. The vehicle is in great shape with 70,000 miles and we want to sell it, but with a large hole in the seat and the damage to the plastic side trim it’s making the sale very difficult. We checked with the dealer and they are telling us they can repair it at a cost of over $3500.00 parts and labor and our insurance will not cover repairs. Can you suggest anything that we can do in the way of a repair to save some money?
Thanks, David in Watertown, SD.
Dear David,
New interior parts can be very expensive so many people leave their vehicles unrepaired. What’s wrong with a seat and trim from another Tahoe of the same year that has no damage? Look into certified used parts. Ask your dealer if they can find these parts so you can get a repair that makes more financial sense. With the hundreds of reliable used parts sources in the country they should be able to find a match for a late model vehicle like yours and make the repair affordable. There is always a way.
Take care, the Motor Medics.


Dear Motor Medics,
We have a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe that has been having the check brake light come on periodically. The fluid tank slowly drains so we fill the brake fluid and it works fine for a while then comes on again. We had a mechanic look at it and tell us we would have to replace the HCU in the brake system and that the part alone is about $1600.00. Is this a common problem and does this sound reasonable? Is there anything else we can do? I’m a little hesitant to spend so much on a repair on a 10-year-old vehicle, when the value is maybe a little more than twice the cost to repair the problem.
Kay in Nebraska.

Dear Kay,
The HCU is the Hydraulic Control Unit and it’s the main component of the antilock brake system. The units don’t tend to leak fluid but rather fail electrically so I would take a very close look at the lines going to the unit which are more common to fail. Shop around for brakes. A second opinion never hurts if you have any question and by asking us, we assume that you do. When you have an older vehicle or any vehicle for that matter it is important to keep repairs economical but it’s also important to be safe. Brakes are not an area to cut corners on but there are always ways to save money when repairing them.
Take care, the Motor Medics.