TTAC Debuts Piston Slap

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
ttac debuts piston slap

TTAC hammers the auto manufacturers for their lack of branding fortitude on a daily basis. But my time earning an MBA mentioned something else: diversify your portfolio, lest you wither and die. Which, ’round these parts of the autoblogosphere, makes even more sense in tough financial times. So with RF’s blessing, The Truth About Cars ventures into the world of self-help auto advice. With a twist, because that’s how we roll.

Right. So here’s the plan. You email me ( with a question about your car. It can range from a technical or cosmetic problem, basic maintainence, performance modifications, or even make-specific used car purchasing advice. Using my 10+ years as a forum moderator and my accidential grease monkey knowledge, I will shine some light on the situation in true TTAC style. And that becomes a blog for the B&B to discuss. After all, the people who read this website have a collectively bottomless knowledge base, why not use it for the Greater Good?

Join the conversation
4 of 45 comments
  • Mikey Mikey on Mar 03, 2009

    @spike-in-irvine Use spray Lithium white grease as soon as you start to hear crack...crack.WD dries too quick.

  • Mud Mud on Mar 03, 2009

    Dynamic88, I bought a couple of those Harbor Freight scanners that Sajeev noted, I think at the time they were like $40 or so. I do have laptop software as well, but for the price I keep them stashed in the glovebox. They work fine for simply determining the trouble code and clearing same. Sometimes a bit more work is needed to determine the actual problem component, but at least you can get an idea of where to start. Example: a code that is reading "Insufficient EGR Flow" or similar language is not necessarily the EGR valve. I have seen more cases where it is caused by a faulty DPFE sensor than the EGR valve. The DPFE sensor controls the EGR valve so bad DPFE = EGR valve does not operate correctly, hence the trouble code that points to the EGR flow problem.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Mar 03, 2009
    Spike_in_Irvine: I'm gonna contradict mikey's advice and recommend you clean all the weatherstrip around the doors (and body) and spray it with a shot of silicone lubricant. And douse the areas you used WD-40 with silicone, because WD-40 is nasty, sticky stuff. romanjetfighter: Is this going to be like “ask the mechanic” section on Like a Dear Amy or Dear Prudence except for cars? Ya know, I spent a month in London and I never read that column. This will be entertaining too, at least I'm gonna try. People laugh at my shit in real life, so why not? Mud: You nailed it. Dynamic can email me the trouble codes and we can discuss. Only problem is, Piston Slap will be much, much slower than searching the Ranger/Explorer forums for the answer.

  • Mikey Mikey on Mar 03, 2009

    sajeev: I'm assuming spikes problem is the door hinge.