Piston Slap: Saturn Squeaks for a New Serpentine Belt?

Josh writes:

I’ve asked you a few questions over the years, and the answers have always been excellent. Well now… I’ve yet another: about a month ago I picked up a rather humble ’99 Fleet Car White Saturn SL1. Despite an intermittent “Service Engine Soon” idiot light (which I suspected to be the typical rather crusty EGR valve, and was right), rear power windows I was warned by the owner “to not put them down,” it was clean overall, had traveled only 110k miles in its lifetime, and was a one-owner car. I paid the sum of $1,100 cash money and became the proud new owner.

It has four new tires (that match!), doesn’t piss any of its fluids or smoke, and has cold air conditioning. And three cheers for damned near 40 mpg. On to my question: when the engine idles, it sounds “squeaky.” Not squeally, like belt squeal… but squeaky. And it’s more than just a squeak when it idles, it’s present while driving. I can hear the squeak while I drive down the highway even!

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Piston Slap: 4Runner to A New Life?

TTAC Commentator Ralph Schpoilschport writes:

Hi Sajeev,

Got a quick one for you and only asking because you begged! But. I am preparing to make a 3000 mile one-way trip from beautiful Vermontto, well, not so beautiful southern CA. My rig is a 1997 Toyota 4Runner (V6, 5 speed manual). Known problems: leaking rear diff (rust cracks) and a muffler on its last leg. Spark plugs, starter, timing belt and water pump are recent repairs/maintenance. As I type, an attempt is being made to seal the rear diff. If that is successful I am having the mechanic give the chassis a once-over.

If the inspection is clear or things are easily fixed I am planning on making the trip with this car. I figure the car is worth approx $2500 – 3000 as it sits. Am I nuts?

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  • EBFlex "I'd add to that right now, demand is higher than supply, so basic business rules say to raise the price."Demand is very low. Supply is even lower. Saying that demand is outstripping supply without providing context is dishonest at best.
  • IBx1 Took them long enough to make the dashboard look halfway decent in one of their small trucks.
  • Mcs You're right. I'd add to that right now, demand is higher than supply, so basic business rules say to raise the price. The battery tech is rapidly changing too. A battery tech in production today probably won't be what you're using in 2 years. In 4 years, something different. Lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Now cobalt and in some cases nickel isn't needed. New materials like prussian blue might need to be sourced. New sources might mean investing in mines. LMFP batteries from CATL are entering production this year and are a 15% to 20% improvement in density over current LFP closing the density gap with NCA and NCM batteries. So, more cars should be able to use LMFP than were able to use LFP. That will lower costs to automakers, but I doubt they'll pass it on. I think when the order backlogs are gone we'll stop seeing the increases. Especially once Tesla's backlog goes away. They have room to cut prices on the Model Y and once they start accumulating unsold vehicles at the factory lot, that price will come tumbling down.
  • Acd Fifteen hundred bucks for OnStar makes some of the crap Southeast Toyota Distributors and Gulf States Toyota forces their customers to buy seem like a deal.
  • EBFlex Remember when Ford was all self pleasuring about the fake lightning starting under $40k? We all knew it was BS then and that Ford was taking a massive loss just to make that happen. This solidifies that.