I would like your input on the new Porsche Boxster Spider. Have you spent any time behind the wheel?

QUESTION: I would like your input on the new Porsche Boxster Spider. Have you spent any time behind the wheel?


ANSWER: I recently spent a week in a Roadster S. It was white with black top and interior. Driving the car is what you do. When driving you are part of the experience. Some sports car you ride in – this one you drive. The extra-power 310 hp with the six-speed manual transmission is a great match. The clutch pedal pressure is light, and the transmission gear ratios are perfect. The design of the car drew a lot of attention every place I parked it. Fit, finish and quality is what you would expect from Porsche. This Boxster is a great improvement of the earlier years. What I suggest if you buy one is the power seat package. Our test model seats were manual and only went fore and aft. The manual convertible top is just that; you actually remove the top and place it in the rear compartment under the rear hatch. At a base price of $58,000 for the S model it is a lot of car for the money.


QUESTION: I own a 1998 Honda Accord that occasionally blows a 20-amp fuse that controls the automatic shift interlock, brake lights and horn.


ANSWER: The 20 amp fuse you mention does control the shift interlock, horn and brake lights. You have to check to see where the short circuit is. I have seen rear brake light bulbs and the brake light wire harness that is in the trunk cause shorts. I have yet to see a faulty shift interlock. If the problem was horn related it would blow the fuse when the horn pad is depressed.


QUESTION: I own a 1996 Mercury Sable. I replaced the spark plugs and plug wires. While driving after the plug and wire replacement, I noticed an occasional jerking feeling while driving. What would cause this?


ANSWER: If the problem was not there until after the plug and wire replacement it could very well be related. If you do not have a lab scope, then you should remove all six spark plugs and check the gap first. Look at the spark plug white ceramic body check for any cracks that could have happened when you installed them. I do not recommend the use of platinum or double platinum tip spark plugs on older vehicles such as yours. I know that some technicians will disagree. The platinum tip spark plugs tend to foul out easier and do not recover from fouling. The coil pack in this vehicle, as in other vehicles, do wear out in time. Make sure all the wires are pressed in all the way. Transmission fluid is also a very important factor. Fresh clean transmission fluid can eliminate jerking when up-shifting if this is a problem and should be changed as a maintenance item.


QUESTION: I own a 2005 Honda Pilot with 86,000 miles. There is an occasional noise while driving the vehicle on the highway. While the noise is present two to three minutes the tachometer reading is erratic. I have had a mechanic and family members go for a ride with me but it does not happen with them in the vehicle. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


ANSWER: Without getting more information and or actually driving the vehicle, it’s impossible to point you in any direction. The one item that does lead me to a transmission area concern is the engine speed is not consistent if the tachometer is reading correctly. Let a service technician take the SUV home for a weekend and drive it around and see if it acts up on him.


Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360, or e-mail ocm@cnc.com.