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Hi, James. I trust you're doing well. I'm glad to see you're still in the newspaper -- a lot of us can't say that anymore. I'm glad we were able to get you in print while I was at the News Herald. I have a car question. My wife's 2003 Mercury Mountaineer makes a clunking noise and the wheels grab the pavement when you make a sharp turn at slow speeds (for example, when you turn out of a driveway or in to a parking spot). A mechanic told us there's a technical service bulletin about this, and it calls for replacement of a rear clutch pack. Does any of this sound familiar? The work would be about $1,000, and we're not sure we want to put that kind of money into a car with 150,000 miles -- especially if it doesn't solve the problem. Thanks, Bubba V.

Bubba, What they are talking about is changing the “clutch pack” in the rear differential. This is rather costly expense that I think we can avoid. What I am going to suggest is to replace the fluid in the differential and add the special “additive” that is needed for “Posi-Trac” differentials. Do this procedure first. Now drive your vehicle in circles to the left and to the right in a parking lot at low speeds. Hopefully this will solve your problem…

 

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