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Ask a Mechanic: There’s a tear in my tire. Do I have to get it fixed right away?

In today’s column we discuss tire damage and door ajar warning lights.
Nida Zafar
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Every week, we take your questions about what is going on under the hood of your vehicle and pose them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column we discuss tire damage and door ajar warning lights.

Dear Ask a Mechanic, 

I hit a curb while driving a couple days ago and now there’s a small tear in my tire. When I put my hand against the tear, I don’t feel any air coming out. Does it need to be replaced? 

Mohammad Hajiani, owner of Scarborough’s M & M Auto Body Repair & Collision Centre, said this absolutely needs to be replaced. Air within the tire expands and contracts because of pressure, and changes in weather. This will eventually lead the tire to blowout, creating a “very dangerous” situation. Hajiani said repairs shouldn’t be delayed. Weather and driving patterns make a difference, he explained, meaning the potential blowout could happen at any time.

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

I drive a 2012 Ford Focus. The door ajar icon comes on when no door is open. What is causing this and how can I get it fixed?

Hajiani explained the latch likely needs to be replaced. A switch built into the door latch mechanism senses if the door is closed or not. When the door is open a signal is sent to the modules that operate the interior lights and warning indicator. He said if the control system lists the doors as not properly closed, the lights inside the vehicle and dashboard stay on. This can drain the vehicle’s battery if it’s not looked into within a timely manner. “You don’t want to be left stranded, unable to start your car,” Hajiani said. The problem can likely be fixed through the installation of a new latch.

Ask a Mechanic is written by Nida Zafar, a reporter who grew up in a house full of mechanics in Scarborough, and occasionally poses your questions to her dad or brother. You can send your questions to wheels@thestar.ca. These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to your vehicle.

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