By on November 6, 2013
William (no longer TTAC’s tiburon_guy) writes:
Hey Buddy, I am no longer tiburon_guy since we sold it (sad face – SM) but I do have a question that a friend asked me about. He has a 2002 Escalade EXT he bought new (demo actually, 300 miles on it) now it’s at 60k and overall no major issues. He’s attached to the truck and rightfully so, as in my opinion it’s the best model Escalade created by GM. (Read More…)
By on April 16, 2013

Mu-een (from Cape Town, South Africa!) writes:

Hi I would like to know what is the difference sound of a tappet noise, or bad rocker, or a piston slap. Thanks regards.

Mu-een (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2012
YouTube Preview Image

TTAC Commentator theduke writes:

I bought a 2003 Subaru Legacy SE sedan a little while back for my girlfriend. It has the “Phase 2″ EJ25 SOHC motor. Living in Michigan the AWD is nice, and it was a one owner car with documented service history and I got a good price. The car has 105,000 miles on it, and the previous owner had the head gaskets and timing belts replaced about 10k miles ago by the Subaru dealer. (Read More…)

By on July 30, 2012

Back in April, Sajeev and Steve found some time to reply to my letter where I posed the impossible question. As gearheads, we all want something fun, fast, efficient, and cheap (well, most of us want cheap). Much like a traction circle, all these needs are in competition and in order to make good on one you need to sacrifice another. The ultimate gearhead car, unfortunately, does not exist and it never will.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t good, affordable vehicles out there which are fun to drive while ticking most of the boxes. And, this time, I actually followed the advice of someone else and couldn’t be happier.

(Read More…)

By on July 18, 2012

“Hey Sajeev, it’s Mark. We’re up in Tomball looking at a ’95 Bronco. We could use some advice.”

Without sarcasm, a laugh, or any explanation, Sajeev replied with one word, “Run.”

(Read More…)

By on October 1, 2011

Perhaps you already know a little about this car from a previous post, but let’s look a little deeper into what makes an engine swap in a Fiero so positively epic.

(Read More…)

By on September 8, 2011

Fabio writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I have been asked by an uncle if I would like to his 91 Mercedes 300E (he has supplied all of his children and is now moving to the extended family). It has 230K km (140K miles) and looks to be in pretty good condition. He’s mentioned that it has been very reliable. The purchase price would be negligible and the insurance is reasonable. One of my concerns is that I would be using the car as my daily driver (it would be replacing my current 99 Grand Am (170K miles) and I wanted to get another take on that – is it reasonable, or is it not a good idea.

I’ve read a bit up on that vehicle and it seems to have a decent reputation for longevity (with the required maintenance). I was hoping if you could provide some insight as to whether this seems like a feasible idea, or would I just be better off sticking with the Grand Am.

(Read More…)

By on September 6, 2011

It actually comes with a little book too!

Patrick writes:

Hi Sajeev,

Avid daily reader of the site but infrequent commenter… Pony Cars and old Volvos sometimes drag me out of my shell but I have a couple questions about my wife’s car and I wanted to see what you and others might think.

We’ve got a 2007 3.5L Impala with 60,000 miles on it and it is due for an oil change and checkup:

(Read More…)

By on August 31, 2011

Hey, it coulda happened!

 

TTAC commentator HeeeeyJake writes:

Hey Sajeev,

I love the column and I’m a daily TTAC reader, though I rarely comment. We have been a Panther household since the mid nineties, and have had great luck with our vehicles thus far. My parents had two ex-Budget rental Town Cars, a white ’93 with blue interior, and a medium willow green ’96 with that greyish-beige. I had a pearlescent silver ’91 in high school with black interior and a black canvas top (I added ’02 Cartier wheels , P71 front springs, and a dual exhaust with turbo mufflers). All were zero-problem vehicles. Which brings us to our current Town Car, an ’07 Signature Limited, fresh out of warranty, which is also an ex-rental, but I do not know which company.

(Read More…)

By on August 29, 2011

(www.arthursclipart.org)

Robin writes:

Sajeev,

Longtime reader, first time writer. I love reading your stuff, well worthwhile.

My query is about fuel additives, after-market specifically. I have used the Lucas Oil products and found them to produce a mile or two better MPG in my 94 D21 four banger. (Note: that’s a Nissan Hardbody – SM)

What is your take on additives? Have you found any others to be of significant value to the user/user’s vehicle?

(Read More…)

By on August 22, 2011

 

Cut from a different cloth?

 

TTAC commentator mistercopacetic writes:

Dear Mr. Mehta,

Big fan of TTAC and Piston Slap. I have a 2001 Honda CR-V with a cloth interior which I would like to switch out for a leather interior. I am doing this mostly because I am too cheap to buy a new car, but want to feel like I am driving a new car with leather seats. I found a store online selling a Roadwire leather seat kit for $595, on sale until June 15 from $962 list. It looks like this is a replacement interior, not just seat covers, so I will be pulling out the old seats, removing the cloth from the seat frame, and installing the leather. My question: is this something I can do myself, or is it better to get a professional installer? I would like to save some cash, but if it is a job that requires expertise I would rather pay someone who knows what they are doing. I’ve searched some forums online and my impression is that an aftermarket leather interior can either look terrible or meet or exceed a factory leather interior in look and quality, depending on the skill of the installer.

(Read More…)

By on August 17, 2011

(from motoringconbrio.com)

 

Kurt writes:

Sajeev,

Really enjoy Piston Slap and could use some help working through this problem:

I am an expat working in Europe.  I brought one car from the US with me and picked up a 1997 BMW 528i Touring (5 speed) here.  I just found out that I will be transferred back to the US next year and have to make a car decision pretty soon.  I really like 528iT and would like to take it back with us, but it seems that the cost to self-import the Bimmer to the US is about equal to what I paid for it (and its a little long in the tooth).  I really like the combination of the Touring’s performance and carrying space and am trying to decide what to buy next.  The short list is:

  1. Find another E39 Touring in the US (hopefully with a manual and a little newer)
  2. E61 Touring (but am concerned with reliability)
  3. 2003 745i

(Read More…)

By on August 15, 2011

 

Jeffrey writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I had a question regarding one of the vehicles I own and the potential for head gasket issues. Suprisingly, this is not in regards to the Subaru!

We have a 1998 Acura 3.2TL, a great vehicle and perfect sized. I am the second owner and it does have just over 134,000 miles. It was first purchased in Boise, with an easy commute…spent some time in California with a more grueling San Jose commute, and back in Boise for 6 years. I drive it pretty easily on a 20 mile, roundtrip, commute every other day and a couple trips on the weekend. I enjoy this car. It has the classic Honda feel to it; low cowl, buttons and switches with a fluid movement, handles nicely, double-wishbone suspension, longitudinal drivetrain means no torque steer, heated mirrors/seats, excellent climate control (cold A/C). The only item(s) that do need replacing are the shocks. But overall, I’ve put minimal money into a car I purchased for $4500. Only accessory I added was a PIE Hon-Aux auxiliary port. Only dislikes are excessive wind noise in winter, due to frameless windows. Yet, I always liked frameless windows on a four-door…Subaru has them too.

(Read More…)

By on August 11, 2011

Jack writes:

I’ve owned my (987) 2006 Porsche Cayman S for 48,000 of its 52,000 miles.  It’s been a completely enjoyable experience … up until five days ago.

I had brought the car out to the track and was turning a few laps at a moderate level of speed.  The car was completely stock other than a cat back exhaust, and I wasn’t running r-compounds as I was aware of the oiling issues that can happen on certain tracks when running r-compound tires.  The wheels are three-piece OZ Superleggeras, custom built to match the offsets, etc. of the 19″ Turbo wheels which are an option on the Cayman S.  I was even taking it a little easy this afternoon as it was an uncomfortably hot Texas day and I also had my nephew in the car.

This is not a high speed track and g-loads tend to be low and short as most corners are slow, off camber, and relatively short.  Everything was running fine.  Then I exited out of a very slow right hand corner onto the side straight and that’s when everything went wrong.  As the motor transitioned through the cam changeover at 3500 rpm, all hell broke loose and the motor suddenly lost power.  When I pulled the car over, tons of white smoke flooded the cabin.  Obviously something was very wrong.

(Read More…)

By on August 10, 2011

http://forums.themustangsource.com/attachments/f806/80621d1287466900-leaks-fox197.jpg

TTAC’s personal window into the CAW, mikey writes:

Sajeev, as spring approached our frozen north, I couldn’t face another summer sans convertible. As a proud, retired UAW and CAW member, my choice was limited to domestics. What to buy?

The Sebring? No way. New is out of my reach, so rule out a 5th gen Camaro. Having owned a 4th gen F-body…one was enough. Did I really say that? A Solstice or Sky, maybe?  Can a 50 something couple pack up and go for two days? I couldn’t find a place to store a cell phone, never mind two suit cases, and a Beer cooler.

I looked at a used “Pontiac G6″ hardtop convertible. Wow! all that mechanical stuff that runs the retract? Hmmmm, lets put it this way: too many years on the assembly floor, tells me to give that baby a wide berth. Draw your own conclusions.

So today we find ourselves the proud owners of a 2008 Mustang convertible. In my way of thinking, knowedge rules, and I have zero experience with Fords, except a 1969 Marquis that was a POS when I bought it, 35 years ago. So I need to update. So I’m asking the B&B to help me out.

(Read More…)

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