Q. I’m a devoted reader of your column and have a query I hope you possibly can reply for me. Earlier than contemplating a completely electrical automobile, I’m questioning concerning the technique of charging them. I reside in a condominium with no storage. Is it attainable to securely and securely join an EV to a charger that’s exterior and uncovered in inclement climate?

A. A lot of the electrical automobile chargers I see are exterior, together with the one at our AAA headquarters constructing in Windfall, R.I. I monitor that charging station and it has labored with out points for 5 years — by every kind of climate. At dwelling after I’m highway testing an electrical automobile, I plug into 117-volts to cost the battery, and solely as soon as in all the years I’ve been testing electrical automobiles did the bottom fault outlet (GFCI) journey. Primarily based on my expertise, and in case your condominium permits it, you must be capable to arrange a charging station. 

Q. I’ve a 2014 Subaru Crosstrek, with nearly 28,000 miles. I used to be advised a number of years in the past by the service supervisor that the automobile has 15 completely different computer systems that may drain the battery. He stated that to maintain the battery charged, I’ve to start out and drive the automobile each two or three days, in any other case the battery might be lifeless. I’m on no less than the third or fourth extra battery previously seven years. I used to be involved that if I take a airplane journey this summer time and are available again, the battery might be lifeless. I spoke with one other service supervisor and he stated to only have a brand new battery put in. I park in a big, locked lot which may be very public, so is that good recommendation, or ought to I get one of many new small chargers I might depart connected and below the hood? And if I do this, might I exploit it usually as a substitute of continually taking place and driving it two miles?

A. Subaru fashions have had their share of battery issues. The alternator that expenses the battery is laptop managed and limits charging to enhance gas economic system. Relying in your driving fashion, you might be taking extra electrical energy out of the battery than you might be placing again in. It’s my understanding that Subaru has up to date the charging system profile and is now utilizing a battery with extra reserve capability to fight the parasitic drain. When every little thing is functioning usually there isn’t any purpose you shouldn’t be in a position to depart your automobile unused for a month and have it begin up. A float-style battery charger would maintain the battery charged, however it could have to be plugged into {an electrical} outlet. There are additionally solar-style battery maintainers which might work.

Q. I’ve a 2013 Honda CR-V with 79,000 miles on it. I do common upkeep as wanted. My final receipt from the seller included a suggestion for a transmission fluid service for $199.95. Is that one thing I ought to do, or is checking all fluids at my subsequent oil change enough? 

A. Honda makes use of indicator-based upkeep somewhat than typical miles and time. With the Honda system you’re going to get a message on the sprint that tells you when sure gadgets want consideration. If the fluid is checked usually and it seems to be good, wait till you see the quantity 3 come up within the instrument panel submenu that can point out the transmission fluid wants altering. 

Q. I’ve a 2017 Chevy Cruze with 125,000 miles. Wouldn’t it be lined for the Normal Motors guarantee on the accelerator?

A. The Chevrolet emissions guarantee will cowl some parts for eight years or 80,000 miles, whichever comes first. Though it is a frequent downside — you in all probability get a “lowered energy” message — trying on the database that I exploit, right now there was no guarantee extension.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Automotive Physician. He has over 40 years of expertise within the automotive enterprise and is an ASE-certified grasp technician. E-mail your automobile query to [email protected] Take heed to Automotive Physician on the radio at 10 a.m. each Saturday on 104.9 FM or on-line at northshore1049.com.