The Truth About Cars » spray http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:00:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » spray http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: Chronic Xterra Maintenance? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/piston-slap-the-wussy-xterra/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/piston-slap-the-wussy-xterra/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:26:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=871778   m koonce writes: Sajeev – you wanted questions, I have questions! First – I love your column. Great advice, and well written. Now my question(s). I have a 2009 Nissan Xterra 4wd, X model, 52k miles, and no problems except door squeaks and rubber molding which wont stay attached but that’s trivial. My question […]

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No correlation. (photo courtesy: http://images.gtcarlot.com)

m koonce writes:

Sajeev – you wanted questions, I have questions! First – I love your column. Great advice, and well written. Now my question(s).

  1. I have a 2009 Nissan Xterra 4wd, X model, 52k miles, and no problems except door squeaks and rubber molding which wont stay attached but that’s trivial. My question is, when should I have a “tuneup” done – i.e., change the spark plugs. Should I wait until Nissan’s recommended mileage (105k miles I think), or do it sooner? And should I replace all the coils at the same time (I presume the truck has a coil-on-plug ignition setup)? What else should I have done at the same time?
  2. Re: same vehicle: at 36k miles (May 2013) I did a transmission fluid dump and refill at local dealership, and did the same again at 49k miles in May 2014, again at dealership. My plan is to continue this dump and refill procedure every year for as long as I own the truck. Am I on the right track here? I’ve also had all other fluids replaced, except brake fluid which will be replaced when I have a brake job done.

Thanks for your advice, and keep up the good work.

Sajeev answers:

Actually you have three questions, come on son!  Now you know I’ll Google up some half-cocked give an enlightening answer for just about any question. And my goodness, do you need questions answered, for the sake of your poor, poor wallet!

Question 1: Squeaky rubber seals: spray them with a silicone based lubricant (safe on rubber, less sticky than WD-40) or do it right with this tube of magic.

Question 2: Direct injection systems aside…rarely, if ever, does a non-modified vehicle driven by a law-abiding motorist need new spark plugs before the recommended interval. Even DI motors won’t necessarily need aggressive plug replacements, and the supercharged versions of your Nissan are fine if you follow the owner’s manual. Spark plugs, be it iridium or platinum, have come a long way, baby!

Question 2.5:  Replace coil pack(s) when the engine computer says so. That is, when you get a stumble/misfire, you scan for codes, etc. and determine the misbehaving coil. Do not change them during the mandated tune up interval, only change normal wear items as per owner’s manual recommendations.

Question 3: ZOMG UR ON THE WRONG TRACK!  Unless this is a work truck towing a loaded trailer every day in city traffic, there’s zero reason for annual ATF changes. You’d be more than safe swapping it out every 50,000-100,000 miles.

Put more succinctly: stop treating this rig like it’s a delicate flower!

Vehicles in the last 25+ years successfully embraced electronic engine control technology, and “long life” fluids are held in high regard across the board…well, Dex-Cool aside. The sooner you embrace the robust beauty of modern vehicles (and fluids) the sooner you can stop punishing your wallet.

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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Piston Slap: The Sentra’s Salt Assault http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/piston-slap-the-sentras-salt-assault/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/piston-slap-the-sentras-salt-assault/#comments Mon, 18 Feb 2013 14:13:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=478002 TTAC commentator greaseyknight writes: Sajeev, I have a question that I would like to throw at you and the Best and Brightest. Time is of the essence! In about a month I will be moving from the PNW to Wisconsin. My car is a rust free ’92 Nissan Sentra, and I would like to keep […]

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TTAC commentator greaseyknight writes:

Sajeev,

I have a question that I would like to throw at you and the Best and Brightest. Time is of the essence! In about a month I will be moving from the PNW to Wisconsin. My car is a rust free ’92 Nissan Sentra, and I would like to keep it that way during my stay in that state, which is be at least a couple years.

I really have no idea what precautions I should take being from the PNW, where under car rust is a totally foreign concept. I have heard of various under body treatments like Fluid Film and others, but what should I use? I really enjoy the piston slap articles, keep up the good work!

Sajeev answers:

First, let’s be clear on one thing: rustproofing is pointless for folks who keep their car for 10-ish years. Second, the B13 Sentra is a sweet little machine, totally worth keeping around for the rest of your life. For special cases like you, consider a rust proofing, undercoating spray from a shop that does such things.

If done correctly (i.e. not blocking up drain holes in the body) these sprays are a great idea for an older car with cherry metal.  They probably will not save every nut and bolt from the Rust Devil, but major components will be far better off.  Let’s say that you move to Wisconsin for more than two years: don’t worry, if all else fails you can replace any bolt-on component using the magic power of the Internets and loyal followers of the Sentra (and its Mexican twin, Señor Tsuru) while the spray-on undercoating protects the rest.

Other things I recommend?

  • Mud Flaps installed using the factory holes in the wheel arches…if possible, as that makes future removal far cleaner. If not, drill the holes and PAINT the exposed metal before installing. The Mad Tite stance and golden wheels below are optional, naturally.
  • Slathering the underside with used motor oil, letting it get all thick and coagulated and nasty ‘n shit…stank enough to scare away road salt. Not exactly earth friendly, but it won’t go anywhere once it gets sticky and coated with road grime. So there’s that.
  • Don’t use local car washes with recycled water…as that water already has the salt of previous cars.
  • Pour water over every seam, gap, upstream drain hole (i.e. not the ones at the bottom of the doors) etc. and let Mother Nature freeze these access points shut.  Never park the car in a heated garage (or any place that goes above 32 degrees) and salty water can’t get in!
  • Stop listening to the H-town boy and listen to people who actually deal with road salt for better advice.

Off to you, Best and Brightest.

 

 

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