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: Of Ford's Locking Seatbelts, Differentials

This week, let’s answer two short questions with equally short answers! – SM

William writes:

I have a Ranger-based question for you: my 2010 XLT four-cylinder regular cab’s passenger side seatbelt will not “pull out” at random times when the wife is getting in the car. Is there a relay or something that controls that?

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  • J. Stephen Tevis Hello Everyone! My name is Stephen Tevis and I am the General Manager at the dealership in question! The information that was sent via text was incorrect, the info got trickled down to our internet manager thru a couple of different people thus the info being wrong. Nevertheless, we are NOT marking 'our' Z up $50K!! It was a discussion that I personally had with a few other Nissan dealers and the $50K number came up in that conversation. We have never marked a car up that much and just wouldn't. We have been in business for almost 50 years and gouging our customers is not how we achieved longevity. The Z is an incredible car and we are looking for to seeing it as I'm sure you all are, there are only 11 coming to our region which includes over 230 dealers. We are proud of the heritage of the Z but not so proud that we will bend our morals to sell it. I hope that this clears up any confusion, I am always available to give accurate and timely information, james.tevis@jeffwyler.com. Thank you for your time.Respectfully,J. Stephen TevisGeneral Manager
  • SCE to AUX The markups are only absurd if somebody pays them. Before that, they're just ink.
  • Statikboy Skipped over the Stinger?
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  • Conundrum All that verbiage for a brake fluid reservoir cap that sorta kinda fails over time? That's all it is, right? The vent hole gets plugged up or something. Quelle horreur, it's the end of civilization as we know it. What happens when Micky D's doesn't put enough extra ketchup in your order at the take-out window? You must have an existential histrionic fit!Cue the cheapskate commenter: "Jeez. I drove my 1987 Corolla 734,562 miles, the last 83K with the emergency spare on the left rear, and it didn't even use up all the tread! Plus, I never had brake failure and it never used a drop of oil even though I used Walmart $1.88 stuff in a plastic gallon jug. I guess Toyota could teach those Ferrari guys sump'n about how to build cars!"