Dear Car Talk: I am a loyal reader and am grateful for your respect for female readers and their questions!
I have a 2005 Honda CR-V 125,425 miles. It is in good condition. The worst feature of the car at the moment is the rusty wheels. I have fairly new tires and am wondering if it is worth replacing the wheels before I need new tires again.
My mechanic says the wheels are not rusted, but they look bad. I don’t want any safety issues with the wheels rusting all the way. Is It Important to Get Original Honda Parts?
It’s been a great car, and I don’t want to get rid of it. But is it worth investing in a 16 year old car? – Rita
Dear reader: This is probably just a cosmetic issue, not a security issue. Like my four chin. Based on your mechanic’s comments, my guess is that you have a bunch of surface rust on your wheels, and it looks ugly. You want it to look better.
Since they are rusting, I’m assuming you have steel wheels instead of the optional alloy wheels. So, you have several options.
The cheapest solution would be to have your mechanic sand down your existing wheels and spray paint them silver. If you really want to go cheap, he can do it without even removing the tires. But then you may have to use a Sharpie to cover up the extra silver splashes on your tires. and front fender.
Therefore, to do this properly, he must remove the tyres, sand-blast and paint the wheels, and then reapply the tires once the paint is dry. And those wheels will look 95% better than they do now. They can also look perfect when viewed from a distance.
But for not much more, you can buy a brand new set of after-market wheels. If you Google “original steel wheels for a 2005 Honda CR-V,” you’ll find perfect replicas of your original wheels for prices ranging from around $75 to $100 per wheel.
We’ve found a great selection at CAriD.com, and all you have to do is choose the one that matches your current wheel size and style. I’m sure your mechanic will help you choose the right one if you ask him. When you factor in shipping and tire mounting, you’re probably talking about $500, give or take.
There is no reason to buy them from Honda, if Honda sells these wheels now. As you know, the wheel was invented a while back, so other companies have plenty of time to perfect it.
And, if you love the car, and rusty wheels bother you, you should totally invest. It’ll cheer you up every time you walk up to the car, and it costs $500, right?
Dear Car Talk: Toyota recently recalled the Toyota Camry for melting the dashboard. I did not respond to the recall, as my car did not have this problem. However, now that the recall is over, this has started to happen in my 2019 Camry.
I don’t want to go at the cost of treating the dashboard. My main concern is that the melting dash reflects on the windshield and obstructs my vision.
Is it possible to paint the windshield and reduce this problem? – Olivia
Dear reader: I’m not sure your dashboard is melting, Olivia.
Toyota and Lexus dashboards had a problem that could crack, melt, seep and smell in extreme hot weather. But the cars we know of were made between 2003 and 2011. After a group of people sued, Toyota started a “customer support program” and agreed to replace these Salvador Dali dashes.
So, if your 2019 Camry’s dashboard is really melting, Toyota is going to be very upset, because they’re pretty sure they fixed it years ago.
If your main complaint is the dashboard reflection on the windshield, that’s a different story. This is a problem that plagues a lot of cars whose dashboards aren’t melting. This is worse than before, because most windshields are now installed at a steeper angle, for better aerodynamics. This makes for more reflection from the dashboard.
The biggest culprits are dashboards that aren’t black. The worst we ever experienced was a Chevy Bolt from a few years ago with a black and white dashboard. It was like trying to see the road through a game of chess.
So what can you do?
Number one, keep the windshield clean. You want to clean the outside and inside of your windshield. Grime and flimsy vinyl builds up inside your windshield a little at a time, and you don’t notice it until the reflections nearly blind you. So clean both the sides regularly.
Second, try polarized sunglasses to cut down on glare. Glare is often worse at certain times of the day, when the sun is setting at a certain angle. Try keeping polarized sunglasses in the car and see if they help.
Third, don’t clean your dashboard. One thing that makes windshield glare a lot worse is cleaning the top of the dash with a product like Armor All, which is designed to brighten surfaces. Shiny surfaces are your mortal enemy, Olivia.
So, if you recently cleaned the interior, this could be the problem. Try removing the shiny residue with soap and warm water and see if you can get it back to a matte finish.
Finally, there are some people who recommend dashboard covers, sometimes called “dash mats.” It’s basically a non-shiny fabric that covers the top of your dashboard. We’ve never tried one, and I’m not sure it will make much difference, but you can experiment with a darker fabric piece. If that helps, you can buy a suitable one. Just make sure you leave room for your dashboard defroster vents. And don’t go for the shag carpet dash mat. That’s very 2019.
Ray Magliozzi gives car advice every Saturday at Car Talk. go to email him cartalk.com