Under Pressure for Metric Measures

Readers, I get so many more questions from you than I can answer, that I'm trying something new once in a while. I'll try to address several of your letters that have quick answers. Enjoy.

Dear Car Talk:

You answered a question from the guy with a Toyota who was annoyed that his tires called for 29 psi instead of "a nice, even, easy to remember number" like 30 psi. I'm surprised you didn't point out that the "annoying" 29 psi is a "nice, even, easy to remember" 200 kPa in the metric system that the rest of the civilized world uses now. -- George

Dang. I hate it when we're not the center of the universe!

You're absolutely right, George. Much of the world uses the metric measure for pressure, which is the Pascal (or kPa, the kilopascal).

That's why we now recommend that every American driver always carry a programmable calculator with a 12-digit screen in their glove compartment. Thanks for the note, George.

Dear Car Talk:

My 2020 Kia Soul just had a 15,000-mile service. The dealer mechanic said it should have a "fuel-induction system" service for $150. The car has had no problems at all. It sounds like a scam to me ... is it? Thanks. -- Penny

Yes. It sounds like a "money induction service" for the dealership, Penny. They want to clean your electronic throttle. But unless your car is performing poorly or your owner's manual specifically calls for that service at 15,000 miles (in which case it would have been included in your 15,000-mile service), you shouldn't need anything now except an oil change. And a car wash.

Dear Car Talk:

I have a question for you, but I think I know the answer.

I have a 2002 Toyota Tundra. Overall, it runs great and looks very good considering I've had it for 20 years.

I had planned on keeping it forever, but I'm afraid forever is here. The right front strut broke recently, and while having both struts replaced, they told me it won't pass inspection now. They said the brake lines, fuel lines, steering gear box and frame were badly rusted. Is it time to say goodbye to my old friend? -- Tom

Yes. Condolences.

Need more room in your driveway? Donate your old car to your NPR station, and turn it into the programs you love. It’s easy. Here's how.

Todays Car-o-Scope

What the stars say about your car for 5/16/2022
Potential roadkill looms on the horizon, but the immutable laws of physics will provide a simple solution.
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