Are LED Lights The Culprit?

Have you been having issues with your garage door opener? Has your door not been opening properly? Do you happen to have LED lights installed in your garage? Although not all LED lights are a problem, they can become a problem when not properly shielded. It is important to stick to popular brands so ensure quality performance.

Q: I would like to thank your reader who told you about the garage door opener that did not work properly. I was facing the same problem. I did everything he did to get the door to work, new remotes, change the batteries, etc. Your reader said that he had installed LED lightbulbs in the garage as I had done and wondered if they were interfering with the remotes trying to open the doors. Well I replaced all my LED lightbulbs with regular bulbs and for two weeks now no problems with opening or closing my garage door, thanks to your column.

— R.L., Chicago

A: It warms our cold little heart to hear that our advice has helped more than only one reader. Just to clarify, not all LED lights are the problem. Only those that are not properly shielded. Stick to popular name brands and your garage door should behave normally when you press the remote.

Q: My Honda CR-V runs fine except for a nervous idle at stops when the A/C is on. If I just press the accelerator slightly, increasing the rpm by maybe 100, the idle is smooth. Two mechanics have diagnosed it as bad motor mounts, but they don’t guarantee this is the problem. If the idle speed could be increased, I would be happy. Can I tweak the cable at the idle air valve to make this happen?

— E.K., Dolton, Ill.

A: Nope. The idle is controlled by the engine control module, which activates the idle air control valve. No amount of mechanical tinkering can adjust the idle speed.

Q: I am a retired senior and I own a 2004 Subaru Outback Sport. Since retirement, I only put about 800 miles per year on my vehicle. The car is garage kept. How often should there be an oil change?

— M.K., Chicago

A: Subaru suggests changing the oil and filter every 7,500 miles or 7.5 months. But since your annual mileage is so low, we would recommend you change the oil yearly. For turbocharged engines, cut that schedule in half.

Q: I recently brought my 2016 Prius V into the dealership for its 30,000-mile maintenance. The service rep said it should have its fuel injectors cleaned, among other things. I agreed as I’m trying to be better than I have been at meeting the scheduled requirements. While trying to make sense of my owner’s manual/maintenance guide I haven’t really been able to see this service on the list of required maintenance and wonder if I’ve wasted money.

— R.H., Westchester, Ill.

A: We would not say that you wasted your money. Fuel injectors can become clogged, or at least somewhat restricted, over time. Regular cleaning can prevent this. But we think that cleaning them at such low mileage may be unnecessary, especially if you use good gasoline. If you are in doubt which brands are good, look for a sign that they are Top Tier fuels. You can also find a list at

Send questions along with name and town to Motormouth, Rides, Chicago Tribune; 160 N. Stetson Ave., Third Floor; Chicago, IL 60601 or


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