Category: Piston Slap

By on December 31, 2015

2003_dodge_durango_rt_001

Shandor writes:

I used to have an ’84 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. When it died, I replaced it with a new ’99 Dodge Durango. It seemed to be a fairly solid, updated replacement for the Wagoneer. My mechanic, who was a master Jeep mechanic, said that Chrysler came up with the Durango to fill the gap in the market created after the Grand Wagoneer stopped production in 1991.

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By on December 29, 2015

00-2001_Nissan_Maxima

TTAC Commentator Eliyahu writes:

Sajeev,

My 2001 Maxima, bought new, just rolled past 100,000 miles. It’s still a good car, but the mechanic says it has a very slight oil leak from the main seal. While not strictly necessary, the pitted original windshield could be replaced, the radio only gets Click and Clack, and the driver’s window motor sounds tired. The engine control module was replaced six months ago. Apart from that, repairs have been limited to motor mounts, suspension components with bushings, shocks, steering rack, and the usual tires and batteries. Oh, and new front brake pads.

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By on December 22, 2015

2011 Chevrolet Camaro LT with an RS Appearance Package

Casey writes:

Hello Sajeev,

I have another question for you. My wife has wanted a Camaro and lately I have been thinking about surprising her with one for her birthday or maybe Christmas, so I have been searching the listings for a nice used example.

First thing I noticed is these cars sure seem to hold their value!

I found a Craigslist ad for a very nice looking, well optioned, 2011 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT with the RS package. “ALL scheduled service and maintenance has been performed by Chevrolet certified technicians,” the ad says and the price seems reasonable.

Then I see the kicker: the mileage is high for the year at 117,800. I know that a documented maintenance history is more important than mileage, so I wonder what impact higher mileage would have on a car like this? What problems could I run into sooner by buying a well maintained, high-mileage car?

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By on December 21, 2015

the winner and the loser

“V” writes:

Hello Sajeev,

Conventional wisdom says wait until the second model year of a new vehicle since that’s when the automaker will have fixed the glaring flaws decried by the “beta testers” who bought the first model year. Is this always true?

Do automakers fix problems “on the sly” so that, say, a 2016 model year car manufactured in August 2015 could already incorporate some/all fixes slated for 2017 model year?

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By on December 17, 2015

James writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I’ve got a 2003 Impreza WRX (blob-eye) that’s covered 96,000 km now. I bought it two years ago from the original owner, who seemed to take very good care of the car (every receipt since new). The car has been almost faultless.

About 4,000 km ago, at 92,000 km, the original clutch was clearly on its last legs. Under wide open throttle in 3rd gear, the clutch would slip and struggle to get power down. So off it went to a local WRX specialist to have the clutch replaced with a new kit: new pressure plate, machined flywheel and new Exedy OEM (standard, not heavy duty) replacement clutch.

However, when I got the car back, it felt completely wrong.

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By on December 15, 2015

Cheryl writes:

I have a 1982 Chevrolet Chevette Scooter and I’m trying to determine its value. It has manual transmission and no A/C. Is there a source you recommend I contact?

Thank you for your help!

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By on December 10, 2015

1996_nissan_pathfinder_4dr-suv_se_rq_oem_1_500

Bob writes:

Dear Sajeev,

I have a 1996 Nissan Pathfinder that I bought new and has since accumulated 90,000 miles . I plan on driving it until it dies because I still enjoy it and it gets me to all the great fishing spots, plus I have a “fun” car in the garage (’74 TR6) for when the weather is nice. My issue is about the starter (I think) on the Pathfinder.

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By on December 8, 2015

1998 Chevrolet Cavalier

David writes:

Sajeev,

I have never written into an advice column, but have always wanted to. I hope you respond!

I think it’s important to separate your “wants” from your “needs”. Living this way and growing up in an urban area (Chicago), I never owned a car. Instead, I borrowed cars from friends or rode my bicycle. I have since moved to New Orleans, another urban center, but one with worse public transportation and access to grocery stores. Other things have changed in my life: I went from scraping by somewhere below the poverty line to making money somewhat above the poverty line.

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By on December 3, 2015

Good-News-Garage-2012-1976Triumph-Spitfire-550x308

TTAC commentator krhodes1 writes:

Hi Sajeev,

Here is one for you and the B&B: ’74 (more or less) Triumph Spitfire with a clutch issue. The clutch feels “sticky”, doesn’t release smoothly, and makes starting off in first a little challenging. Otherwise, the clutch works fine once you are moving.

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By on December 1, 2015

faafa1370a0d02b701571dff226457f9

TTAC Commentator halftruth writes:

My 2012 Tacoma has a temperamental clutch. Sometimes it catches high, sometimes low. This is most annoying on a grade when the pedal comes up and very little happens, then — boom! — it grabs all at once or it catches a little at a time and eventually works as it should. The ambient temperature does not seem to matter nor if the truck is hot or cold.

I noticed the pedal linkage is all plastic and has lots of play in it. I have also noticed this in other Tacomas of the same generation. I did adjust the actuator gap as it was way out of spec at about 8 mm, but it did not make a difference.

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