The Truth About Cars » Piston Slap http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 27 Apr 2016 12:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Piston Slap: Why Replace Parts In Pairs? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-replace-parts-pairs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-replace-parts-pairs/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1329785 David writes: Over the last few years, I’ve had work done on my ’99 Ford F-150 at various places near my work. It seems that when a wear item goes (like ball joints), the mechanic wants to replace absolutely everything in the system — tie rods, pitman arm, trailing arm, etc. Or when the left […]

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David writes: Over the last few years, I’ve had work done on my ’99 Ford F-150 at various places near my work. It seems that when a wear item goes (like ball joints), the mechanic wants to replace absolutely everything in the system — tie rods, pitman arm, trailing arm, etc. Or when the left […]

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Piston Slap: CYA Car Care? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-cya-car-care/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-cya-car-care/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 12:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1326090 TTAC commentator Arthur Dailey writes: Sajeev, I take our two out-of-warranty vehicles to a local independent garage for maintenance. The owner is 100-percent honest and that is the most important thing. No unrequired work or surprises. He brings out all the replaced parts, the containers and bills for the replacements. He is not the least expensive, […]

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TTAC commentator Arthur Dailey writes: Sajeev, I take our two out-of-warranty vehicles to a local independent garage for maintenance. The owner is 100-percent honest and that is the most important thing. No unrequired work or surprises. He brings out all the replaced parts, the containers and bills for the replacements. He is not the least expensive, […]

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Piston Slap: A Fusion of Moonroof Drainage Problems? (Part II) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-fusion-moonroof-drainage-problems-part-ii-2/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-fusion-moonroof-drainage-problems-part-ii-2/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2016 12:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1326154 TTAC commentator kericf writes: Sajeev, I know you experienced the deluge of rain in Houston (Last October, and it was pretty bad. —SM). We live on the north side of the city and own a six-month-old 2015 Ford Expedition EL that has been outside its whole life (it doesn’t fit in the garage). It has seen much heavier rain than […]

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TTAC commentator kericf writes: Sajeev, I know you experienced the deluge of rain in Houston (Last October, and it was pretty bad. —SM). We live on the north side of the city and own a six-month-old 2015 Ford Expedition EL that has been outside its whole life (it doesn’t fit in the garage). It has seen much heavier rain than […]

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Piston Slap: The Panther’s 20 MPG Fuel-Economy Barrier? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-panthers-20-mpg-fuel-economy-barrier/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-panthers-20-mpg-fuel-economy-barrier/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 12:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1317898 TTAC commentator VolandoBajo writes: Sajeev, my worthy and esteemed fellow Panther defender, I acquired my ’97 Mercury Grand Marquis LS about six months ago and have enjoyed everything about it. I’m hoping to find a good source for a dual exhaust that doesn’t cost more than the book value of the car, and to convince my […]

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TTAC commentator VolandoBajo writes: Sajeev, my worthy and esteemed fellow Panther defender, I acquired my ’97 Mercury Grand Marquis LS about six months ago and have enjoyed everything about it. I’m hoping to find a good source for a dual exhaust that doesn’t cost more than the book value of the car, and to convince my […]

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Piston Slap: Fuelish Thoughts on Engine Calibration http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-fuelish-thoughts-engine-calibration/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-fuelish-thoughts-engine-calibration/#comments Tue, 12 Apr 2016 12:05:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1319666 TTAC regular PrincipalDan writes: Sajeev, With the price of gas dropping to levels not seen in many moons, a thought occurred to me: Many of us are driving around in an average vehicle that has an engine used by another vehicle advertised as having more horsepower and recommending premium fuel. For example: Toyota’s 3.5-liter V6 powers the Camry and ES350, but the Toyota’s […]

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TTAC regular PrincipalDan writes: Sajeev, With the price of gas dropping to levels not seen in many moons, a thought occurred to me: Many of us are driving around in an average vehicle that has an engine used by another vehicle advertised as having more horsepower and recommending premium fuel. For example: Toyota’s 3.5-liter V6 powers the Camry and ES350, but the Toyota’s […]

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Vellum Venom Vignette: Turn Down (Exhaust Tips) For What? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/vellum-venom-vignette-turn/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/vellum-venom-vignette-turn/#comments Tue, 05 Apr 2016 12:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1317146 Jeff writes: Sajeev: I have a question that I don’t believe you have answered before in your talking about design features, and that is the weird obsession car makers have with exhaust outlets. I really like driving big iron that can get out of its own way “with haste.” One of my favorite and much […]

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Jeff writes: Sajeev: I have a question that I don’t believe you have answered before in your talking about design features, and that is the weird obsession car makers have with exhaust outlets. I really like driving big iron that can get out of its own way “with haste.” One of my favorite and much […]

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Piston Slap: The Cat’s Meow for OEM or Aftermarket Parts? (Part II) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-cats-meow-oem-aftermarket-parts-part-ii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/piston-slap-cats-meow-oem-aftermarket-parts-part-ii/#comments Fri, 01 Apr 2016 13:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1312890 Sajeev writes: It’s ironic that as the initial Jaguar story neared publication, I ordered an aftermarket part to complete the (somewhat) light restoration of my 1988 Mercury Cougar XR-7. I mentioned getting “a factory part when buying the aftermarket brand” and nobody had a problem with this assessment. But you won’t believe what happens next in this […]

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Sajeev writes: It’s ironic that as the initial Jaguar story neared publication, I ordered an aftermarket part to complete the (somewhat) light restoration of my 1988 Mercury Cougar XR-7. I mentioned getting “a factory part when buying the aftermarket brand” and nobody had a problem with this assessment. But you won’t believe what happens next in this […]

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Piston Slap: Time To Pounce on a Jetta TDI? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-time-pounce-diesel-jetta/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-time-pounce-diesel-jetta/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2016 12:05:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1312378 Stephen writes: Hi Sajeev, I’ve toyed with the idea of turbocharging a 2.sl0w just for giggles and TORQUE, but the quest has to make some sense economically, or else the finance minister will not approve. Then it hit me: just how LOW in price have those older dirty diesels gone, anyway? You know, the ones with that […]

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Stephen writes: Hi Sajeev, I’ve toyed with the idea of turbocharging a 2.sl0w just for giggles and TORQUE, but the quest has to make some sense economically, or else the finance minister will not approve. Then it hit me: just how LOW in price have those older dirty diesels gone, anyway? You know, the ones with that […]

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Piston Slap: A Suspension Rebuild to Save the B5 Passat Wagon? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-19/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-19/#comments Tue, 29 Mar 2016 12:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1312322 Peter writes: Sajeev, My daily driver is a 2004 Volkswagen Passat Wagon 1.8T M/T, purchased new, now with 147,000 miles on the clock. Despite the legends about the poor reliability of this vehicle, it’s been good to me. (By this point, they had worked out both the sludge and coil pack problems.) My concern is its handling: […]

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Peter writes: Sajeev, My daily driver is a 2004 Volkswagen Passat Wagon 1.8T M/T, purchased new, now with 147,000 miles on the clock. Despite the legends about the poor reliability of this vehicle, it’s been good to me. (By this point, they had worked out both the sludge and coil pack problems.) My concern is its handling: […]

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Piston Slap: Helping the Tundra Fight Cold Engine Oil http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-helping-tundra-fight-cold-engine-oil/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-helping-tundra-fight-cold-engine-oil/#comments Thu, 24 Mar 2016 12:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1307529 TTAC Commentator ScarecrowRepair writes: I live on a private road that’s 3/4-mile paved and 1/2-mile dirt. Myself and a couple of others on this road park our cars at a wide spot in the paved section and use a high-stepping 4×4 pickup for the short ride between the parking spot and our homes, primarily because […]

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TTAC Commentator ScarecrowRepair writes: I live on a private road that’s 3/4-mile paved and 1/2-mile dirt. Myself and a couple of others on this road park our cars at a wide spot in the paved section and use a high-stepping 4×4 pickup for the short ride between the parking spot and our homes, primarily because […]

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Piston Slap: The Cat’s Meow for OEM or Aftermarket Parts? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-cats-meow-oem-aftermarket-parts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-cats-meow-oem-aftermarket-parts/#comments Tue, 22 Mar 2016 12:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1307481 John writes: I recently had a local shop confirm the need for O2 sensors in my Jaguar S-Type. With 97,000 miles on them, it seems very likely they need replacement, and the mechanic wants to install factory sensors at the cost of some $650 for the parts. I can purchase Denso or Bosch from the local parts […]

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John writes: I recently had a local shop confirm the need for O2 sensors in my Jaguar S-Type. With 97,000 miles on them, it seems very likely they need replacement, and the mechanic wants to install factory sensors at the cost of some $650 for the parts. I can purchase Denso or Bosch from the local parts […]

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Piston Slap: A Rust-free Mazda for the Current Millenia? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-rust-free-mazda-current-millenia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-rust-free-mazda-current-millenia/#comments Thu, 17 Mar 2016 12:10:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1305609 H.E. writes: Sajeev, I recently bought a 2016 Mazda6 Touring. The salesman gave me a crazed look when I told him it absolutely had to have a six-speed manual transmission. But the dealer managed to find two manual Mazda6s within about 300 miles, one of which was 45 minutes away and painted in Deep Crystal Blue paint with […]

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H.E. writes: Sajeev, I recently bought a 2016 Mazda6 Touring. The salesman gave me a crazed look when I told him it absolutely had to have a six-speed manual transmission. But the dealer managed to find two manual Mazda6s within about 300 miles, one of which was 45 minutes away and painted in Deep Crystal Blue paint with […]

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Piston Slap: The Unfixable Automobile’s Catch-All Solution http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-unfixable-automobiles-catch-solution/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-unfixable-automobiles-catch-solution/#comments Tue, 15 Mar 2016 12:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1299473 Anonymous writes: Hi Sajeev, As a long-time reader of Piston Slap and TTAC, I never thought I’d be writing for advice. You see, I usually buy new or manufacturer-certified cars with warranties and loaners and all the benefits that the extra money affords. Surely, any problems would be handled lovingly and without hassle by the […]

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Anonymous writes: Hi Sajeev, As a long-time reader of Piston Slap and TTAC, I never thought I’d be writing for advice. You see, I usually buy new or manufacturer-certified cars with warranties and loaners and all the benefits that the extra money affords. Surely, any problems would be handled lovingly and without hassle by the […]

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Piston Slap: Traversing the Echo of The Epic Windfall? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-traversing-echo-epic-windfall/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-traversing-echo-epic-windfall/#comments Thu, 10 Mar 2016 13:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1301057 Long-time TTAC Commentator psarhjinian writes: I need some communal wisdom. I have two vehicles: a 2005 Pontiac Montana and a 2005 Toyota Echo. The Montana in decent shape for its 93,000 miles — some rust, some dings, lots of child abuse (as in gum, stains, melted crayons, etc). It will need winter tires this year and […]

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Long-time TTAC Commentator psarhjinian writes: I need some communal wisdom. I have two vehicles: a 2005 Pontiac Montana and a 2005 Toyota Echo. The Montana in decent shape for its 93,000 miles — some rust, some dings, lots of child abuse (as in gum, stains, melted crayons, etc). It will need winter tires this year and […]

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Piston Slap: And the Ideal Aftermarket Mufflers Are … Factory? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-ideal-aftermarket-muffler-factory/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-ideal-aftermarket-muffler-factory/#comments Tue, 08 Mar 2016 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1299345 Mike writes: Sajeev, Is there some solid information out there about how various mufflers perform and sound? Mine are rusted out and need to be replaced (’96 Chevrolet Suburban 5.7-liter, true dual exhaust with crossover). I’m finding lots of baseless opinions, but little fact. Many forum posts keep referencing someone’s test with a Mustang and […]

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Mike writes: Sajeev, Is there some solid information out there about how various mufflers perform and sound? Mine are rusted out and need to be replaced (’96 Chevrolet Suburban 5.7-liter, true dual exhaust with crossover). I’m finding lots of baseless opinions, but little fact. Many forum posts keep referencing someone’s test with a Mustang and […]

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Piston Slap: Save Bacon or Save Face? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-save-bacon-save-face/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-save-bacon-save-face/#comments Thu, 03 Mar 2016 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1295402 Isaac writes: Recently my family was sitting around the table discussing how my youngest sister will obtain her driving permit in a month to begin the wonderful process of becoming a licensed driver. The interesting part of this conversation, and the part I hope you can offer some advice, is when we talked about safety. Are […]

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Isaac writes: Recently my family was sitting around the table discussing how my youngest sister will obtain her driving permit in a month to begin the wonderful process of becoming a licensed driver. The interesting part of this conversation, and the part I hope you can offer some advice, is when we talked about safety. Are […]

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Piston Slap: To Love A Sienna Like No Other? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-love-sienna-like-no/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/03/piston-slap-love-sienna-like-no/#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2016 13:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1292810 TTAC Commentator MatadorX writes: Sajeev, I am hoping you and your readership can give me some guidance as to how far to take a vehicle overhaul: mild insanity or full on broke? The vehicle in question is a 1998 Toyota Sienna XLE. It has been in the family since grandpa (who else) bought it brand new, […]

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TTAC Commentator MatadorX writes: Sajeev, I am hoping you and your readership can give me some guidance as to how far to take a vehicle overhaul: mild insanity or full on broke? The vehicle in question is a 1998 Toyota Sienna XLE. It has been in the family since grandpa (who else) bought it brand new, […]

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Piston Slap: Truncated Thoughts on Trunk Vents http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-truncated-thoughts-trunk-vents/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-truncated-thoughts-trunk-vents/#comments Thu, 25 Feb 2016 13:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1288018 Sebastian writes: Every time I see a car on the street without its rear bumper, I see these vents under where the bumper is supposed to go. I have an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 1993 that also has these vents inside the rear doors. What is the function of those vents? Sajeev answers: I was shocked at the […]

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Sebastian writes: Every time I see a car on the street without its rear bumper, I see these vents under where the bumper is supposed to go. I have an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 1993 that also has these vents inside the rear doors. What is the function of those vents? Sajeev answers: I was shocked at the […]

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Piston Slap: Fusing the Perfect Ecoboost Ford Milan? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-fusing-perfect-ford-milan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-fusing-perfect-ford-milan/#comments Tue, 23 Feb 2016 13:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1287930 TTAC commentator MWebbRambler writes: Sajeev, I wrote to you earlier about adding aftermarket LED lights on my wife’s Chevy Traverse. Now I’m back with a question about adding aftermarket tint to my 2013 Ford Fusion (photo above). The reason I’m considering the tint is because the car sits out in the hot Kansas sun all […]

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TTAC commentator MWebbRambler writes: Sajeev, I wrote to you earlier about adding aftermarket LED lights on my wife’s Chevy Traverse. Now I’m back with a question about adding aftermarket tint to my 2013 Ford Fusion (photo above). The reason I’m considering the tint is because the car sits out in the hot Kansas sun all […]

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Piston Slap: Condensing Honda’s Hot Air? (Part II) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-condensing-hondas-hot-air-part-ii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-condensing-hondas-hot-air-part-ii/#comments Thu, 18 Feb 2016 13:06:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1286146 TTAC Regular David Holzman writes: Sajeev, My here-to-fore bombproof 2008 Honda Civic (stick) with 84,000 miles just suffered an air conditioning failure. I’d planned to drive it until spring before getting the AC repaired — I drove my ’99 Accord for almost four years after the AC quit — but a clattering noise led me to […]

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TTAC Regular David Holzman writes: Sajeev, My here-to-fore bombproof 2008 Honda Civic (stick) with 84,000 miles just suffered an air conditioning failure. I’d planned to drive it until spring before getting the AC repaired — I drove my ’99 Accord for almost four years after the AC quit — but a clattering noise led me to […]

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Piston Slap: Vapor Lock and the Hot R32? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-vapor-lock-hot-r32/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-vapor-lock-hot-r32/#comments Tue, 16 Feb 2016 15:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1284922 Nick writes: I bought a used 2008 Volkswagen Golf R32 with 48,000 miles in January 2010 (5,000 only in the U.S., 3.2-liter NA V6). Every summer since then I’ve had issues as the weather warms up. Basically, it starts to act up when driving at around 85+ miles-per-hour or so, and it gets even worse if I’m […]

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Nick writes: I bought a used 2008 Volkswagen Golf R32 with 48,000 miles in January 2010 (5,000 only in the U.S., 3.2-liter NA V6). Every summer since then I’ve had issues as the weather warms up. Basically, it starts to act up when driving at around 85+ miles-per-hour or so, and it gets even worse if I’m […]

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Piston Slap: You (Axle) Tramp! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-gm-wiggle/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-gm-wiggle/#comments Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1281890 Timothy writes: This isn’t a question about any car that I current own, or even a car that was ever mine. While watching one of my all time favorite shows, “The Rockford Files,” our hero Jim was stuffed into the back of a mid-’70s Cadillac Fleetwood. As the driver dropped it into drive and the […]

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Timothy writes: This isn’t a question about any car that I current own, or even a car that was ever mine. While watching one of my all time favorite shows, “The Rockford Files,” our hero Jim was stuffed into the back of a mid-’70s Cadillac Fleetwood. As the driver dropped it into drive and the […]

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Piston Slap: Of Cost and Axle Differentials? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-cost-axle-differentials/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-cost-axle-differentials/#comments Tue, 09 Feb 2016 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1281858 Sajeev, We have three cars in our household that see regularly use, but we are considering going down to two vehicles in an attempt to save some money. However, instead of just getting rid of one of those three cars, we are trading in two of them toward a newer vehicle that we plan to keep long […]

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Sajeev, We have three cars in our household that see regularly use, but we are considering going down to two vehicles in an attempt to save some money. However, instead of just getting rid of one of those three cars, we are trading in two of them toward a newer vehicle that we plan to keep long […]

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Piston Slap: The Truth About Throwaway Motors (Part III) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-truth-throwaway-motors-part-iii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-truth-throwaway-motors-part-iii/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2016 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1160794 Kenneth writes: Which cars and trucks that have throwaway motors? I was one payment from finishing my debt on a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser and my timing belt came off. Immediately, my valves were destroyed. I would not want to buy another engine like that. I am now $20,000 in debt buying another car. (Toyota Corolla) Thanks […]

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Kenneth writes: Which cars and trucks that have throwaway motors? I was one payment from finishing my debt on a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser and my timing belt came off. Immediately, my valves were destroyed. I would not want to buy another engine like that. I am now $20,000 in debt buying another car. (Toyota Corolla) Thanks […]

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Piston Slap: Deep Six the 626? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-deep-six-626/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/02/piston-slap-deep-six-626/#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2016 13:05:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1275713 Joey writes: Hello Sajeev, I’ve been a reader of yours for years and greatly enjoy your style. (Woot! —SM) My question is about my ’97 Mazda 626, with a hair over 215,000 miles on it, that’s been in my family for its entire life. It’s reliable, economical, and generally in good condition. However, I am up for […]

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Joey writes: Hello Sajeev, I’ve been a reader of yours for years and greatly enjoy your style. (Woot! —SM) My question is about my ’97 Mazda 626, with a hair over 215,000 miles on it, that’s been in my family for its entire life. It’s reliable, economical, and generally in good condition. However, I am up for […]

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