Tag: Advice

By on April 27, 2011

Frank in Boston writes:


I am the original owner and caretaker of a beloved 1995 Acura Integra LS. The car has only 68K pampered miles with all maintenance done based on “time-out” rather than mileage. It lives on a steady diet of E-10 Mobil regular dispensed in and around greater Boston. It is my ‘Orient Panther’ and ran like the proverbial Swiss watch until…

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By on April 20, 2011

Philip writes:


I have been driving a 2002 Chrysler T&C mini-van that is on its 3rd transmission. Based on the mileage, number 4 is right around the corner. I am feeling the Panther Love and I looking into a Lincoln Town Car.

A little background info. We live in The Woodlands Tx and I am the main taxi driver for a tall family of six. Neither my wife nor my teenage children do not what their dad driving an old man’s car. I, on the other hand, could care less.

The Panther I found on Ebaymotors/Autotrader is a 2003 Town Car with 42000 miles for 13800. The car is in Richmond Tx. Could you point me in the right direction on who I could have look at this car and what would be a fair asking price?

P.S.: Wife wants me to get a smaller sedan. She will be getting herself a mini-van for the family.

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By on April 18, 2011

James writes:

Hey Sajeev, James here (well duh.)  I’m at a conundrum of logic-versus-emotion and I need someone to talk me out of this idea. My current car is an ’07 Accord EX sedan, 4-cylinder, 5-speed, low miles (like 42k, hardly broken in.)  It’s a great car – costs almost nothing to maintain,comfortable, great shifter, good gas mileage.  The only thing is, I don’t actually… well… like it.

I’ve always had a thing for turbocharged Swedish cars (oh lord.)  My last car was a beautiful Saab 900 SPG that blew up in dramatic fashion despite me throwing a frankly insane amount of money at it while I owned it.  Thus the appliance-like Honda now. (Read More…)

By on April 14, 2011

Tyler writes:

Sajeev and Steve,

Everyday for the past 6 months I’ve been reading TTAC, usually on my phone between actual “work” at work. I find it very informative and enjoy it immensely. In the next 2-6 months I will be looking to “upgrade” my current car (Corolla S) to something a bit more sporty and fun to drive (which compared to a corolla leaves a lot of options out there) but, as usual, I am having difficulty deciding what to consider. The possibility of buying a outright fun car and keeping the Corolla is a possibility. I should also mention that I travel quite a bit (400 miles/week) with 75% highway use.

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By on April 14, 2011

“When should I buy?” Some folks think that the end of the month is the best. Dealers need to hit their quotas and well.. isn’t every car salesman measured on their month end performance?  Others believe that the best time to buy is when the new model’s change over during the August/September time frame. The manufacturers need to clear out those leftovers 2011 models for their recently pressed ‘new cars’. Most of the new cars are mostly the same so… why not just buy the old ones! Well, it’s not that simple.The answer to ‘when’ to buy always depends on three ‘whats’.

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By on April 13, 2011

Mark writes via LinkedIn:

You may remember I asked a question about the right winter car for my wife here in southern Oregon some time ago – she is happy now with her Subaru Forester, right in line with what the B&B said she should drive.

My current question has to do with my 2000 Mazda Miata. It has a hardtop, but is otherwise stock. Due to the arrival of my 1959 Rover P5 Sedan project car, the Miata has to live outside in the winter. I’ve put winter tires on it, but should I also man up and spend the money for a LSD rear end? It is an easy swap, but since I am confused after looking online about how much I would benefit in the snow from such an upgrade, I thought I’d ask for some advice. Should I spend the money on the Miata, or put a kicking sound system in the Rover?

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By on April 11, 2011

John writes:

Just a few days ago one of four nearly new tires developed a bubble on the sidewall. Thankfully, I purchased the roadside-whatever-the-heck when I bought them and got the replacement for the cost of shipping and had it mounted with decent haste – potential NJ turnpike crisis averted.

Now, I figure the other tires are at around 85-90% when this episode started. Is there a way to get the new tire to catch up with the others in terms of wear? Or should I leave well enough alone?

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By on April 8, 2011

Philip writes:

As spring descends on Texas & a young man’s (OK, middle aged man’s) fancy turns to cars deficient in practicality but full in spirit, I bring to you the following dilemma for your consideration.

The parameters are simple, manual is a must, RWD is preferable, A/C is mandatory (this is Texas), price point should be less than $30K, pre-owned and pre-loved is fine.

The choices are narrowing down to classic marques and Japanese hot imports. In no particular order; Porsche 911, Lotus Elise, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru WRX-STI. Each has unique advantages and drawbacks. Cachet versus all-out performance, specialized services versus the local franchise dealer, low-tech tradition versus hi-tech cutting edge.

This is my case for you to ponder. Or perhaps there’s even a car or two I have overlooked (I already have a BMW 325)? Your input, knowledge and experience would be greatly appreciated.

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By on April 6, 2011

Beto writes:


I been reading TTAC for about a year and really enjoy your column, it’s very informative and fun. I live in Houston and I really enjoy cars. I am still young, not rich, I don’t know much about repairing vehicles, but I would like to learn and make it a hobby.

I am would like to purchase an “older cool vehicle” that I can ride around on the weekends and I would be able to work on it myself, something not expensive and easy to keep up with. I am not looking a long project car that would be sitting on jacks in my garage for years, but something that it’s already running, or just needs a few parts to make it run and more importantly that I can learn to work on it. I would like to spend less than $5K on the car itself, and I am very open to all kinds of vehicles. I really would like an old roaster or small sport car, but I like older trucks too. Whatever the vehicle it is, I think it’s time to start getting my hands greasy.

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By on April 5, 2011

Shawn writes:

In Nov-2010 my 2000 Camry v6 XE with 70k miles started to have some problems, mainly an oil leak and a power steering leak. Additionally it was going to need a new timing belt soon, and the front driver side wheel makes some squeaking noises. While I could live with a small oil leak, I needed to fix the power steering pump. I don’t have the time or place (and possibly ability) to replace the power steering pump myself so this was going to have to be done at the mechanic.

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By on April 4, 2011

Steve writes:

Hi Sajeev,

For those of us who have entered the OnStar “Push On” contest that is giving away 10 GM vehicles of the winner’s choice and who feel lucky (yeah, right), we have a potential problem.  You get a GM vehicle of your choice and $25K to cover taxes, delivery, dealer prep, added dealer markup (in the spirit of the GTO, G8, Camaro…don’t put it past them), etc.

Here are the choices and my first thoughts:

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By on March 31, 2011

TTAC Commentator Topgun writes:

I’ve been a long time reader of TTAC and am a big fan of the New or Used and Piston Slap columns. I am in the market for a new or lightly used (CPO) car and have a preference for rear wheel drive. I have a budget in the 20-25k range for this purpose. This car will be my only car; hence it should be able to handle daily driver duties (25-30 mpg would do) without being a complete snooze to drive (that’s where the rear wheel drive part comes in). A 4 door isn’t strictly necessary since I am single with no kids.

The 2011 Mustang V6 and the Hyundai Genesis Coupe seem to fit the bill nicely. I’ve test driven both and found them a hoot to drive. The fuel efficiencies, ride, and interiors are also up to the mark. However, I can only get the 2.0T version of the Genesis Coupe for the same money as the V6 Mustang. So, the Mustang seems to offer more value for the money, live rear axle notwithstanding.

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By on March 30, 2011

Kiwi writes:

Howdy Sajeev. I’m looking to the general crowd of enthusiasts and experts here to give me some advice. I am most assuredly not a car expert myself.

We have three cars, two of which are a 2000 Toyota Camry (177k miles) and a 2000 Chevy Blazer (78k miles). The Camry is my daily car, and I drive 55 miles round trip to work five days a week (sometimes more as I have night school twice a week). The Blazer is my mother-in-law’s car, and she drives very little, mainly just to pick up my daughter from school a couple of times a week (less than 10 miles round trip), down to the local shops, etc. We are up in the PA/NJ area.

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By on March 29, 2011

Nate writes:

Hello gentlemen, I need some help with an upcoming car purchase. You may have covered my situation in the past, but here it is:

My wife currently drives a 2005 Saab 9-3 with about 60k miles on it. We owe around $8500 on the car. I’m doing my best to talk her into selling or trading before we have to pony up the cash for (another) inevitable repair, which from experience is never cheap on a Saab. I know nothing in my price range will drive quite like a 9-3, but my wife would prefer something very similar, with these qualifications:

Automatic transmission
Four doors
Sporty looks
A perky or down right powerful engine
2008 or newer
Less than $25,000

I know my wife would prefer something that’s of a similar size to the 9-3, but I don’t think she would be averse to a larger sedan like a TSX or an Infinity. I would prefer something still under warranty or at least less expensive to fix. I’m leaning towards a Mazda 3, but I’m not sure she’s sold on it just yet. Is there anything else that stacks up? Thanks in advance.

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By on March 28, 2011

Elorac writes:


Not sure if this is an appropriate Piston Slap question, but here goes. I’m the owner of a 2009 Infiniti G37S coupe, manual trans, approx 30,000 miles. I’m very happy with the car (aside from a touchy clutch that gets tiresome in slow traffic), but ever since I bought it I’ve felt that I won’t really have gotten my money’s worth until I do some real hooning. I recently received a track day package as a gift, consisting of five half-hour sessions, the first with some manner of instructor. I’ll be attending next week, with just about equal parts excitement and trepidation.

Having never done anything of the sort before, and with little experience with truly “enthusiastic” driving, I’d like to ask you (and the B&B) for any advice you might have, in all aspects of the experience but with a particular emphasis on potential damage to my car’s powertrain innards. As laughable as it may seem, given the context, I do actually care about the long term health of this car, and I’d like to avoid doing anything too grievous to it. A fool’s errand?

(Read More…)

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