Hammer Time: Carfax, Red Flags, And Rolling Turds

Steve,

You often write about the importance of evaluating a car’s history before purchasing it. We all have access to Carfax and Autocheck reports, but what are some things on those reports that trigger your red flag?

Here are five red flags that always give me a sense of caution whenever investigating the history of a vehicle.

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Piston Slap: Fix My Bro-Ham, Sanjeev!

Mark writes:

Hello Sanjeev,

I have a problem and hope you can help me. My Cadillac Brougham with the 307 V8 smells like gas under the hood. This is intermittent and the last time it was in the shop the mechanic found no leaks under the car or around the carb.

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Piston Slap: Wither Synthetic Oils?

TTAC Commentator Halftruth writes:

Sajeev,

I am in the market for a new mid size truck. I have been looking at Tacomas both new and used and came across a used one at a decent price. Thing is, the owner states that “purchased new and immediately changed all fluids to synthetic from the oil to the rear diff”.

I am not crazy about this as I have heard of nightmares from folks going to redline, purple stuff etc etc for a better (shift, mpg whatever). Why dont folks leave well enough alone? What is your take on this???

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Piston Slap: A Modest Proposal For a Shiny Ride

TTAC commentator raded writes:

Sajeev,

I recently bought a new car for the first time. Up until 9 months ago, I had been driving a 1995 Buick Regal coupe that wore scratches and dents like badges of honor. After the transmission went out, I drove a hand-me-down 2002 Saturn L200 that had spent the majority of its life behind a motor home. In eight years of ownership, I took the Buick through an automatic car wash maybe three times and never washed it by hand (I live in Portland, Oregon. It rains almost nonstop October through May. That’s kind of like a car wash, right? Right??). Recently I took the Saturn through a car wash for the first time simply because I’m trying to sell it.

Now my fiancée and I have a pretty blue 2012 Mazda3 hatchback. For the first time in my life, I have a car that I want to keep looking good.

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Piston Slap: Just Bought It, Now Gotta Sell It!

Anonymous writes:

Hello Oh Ye Sajeev-full, (WOW – SM)

I bought myself a ’12 VW Golf TDI (4-dr, 6-sp) because, at the time, I was driving 2k miles a month around the CA Bay Area for work. I wanted fun, frugal, and practical all in one car, and the damn thing delivered (best mileage was 57, average was 46).

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Piston Slap: Do New Cars Burn Oil?
Jim writes:

Dear Sajeev:

I hope you are well. I have a 2011 Subaru Forester (silver/5 speed) which has been great since purchase. I have travelled 19K to date and change oil every 6 months or 7,500 miles. I have one somewhat troubling matter, however: I’ve added a quart of synthetic oil prior to each 6 month/7,500 mile oil change.

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Piston Slap: A Fear of Falling?

Michael writes:

I am a longtime TTAC reader, but do not comment very often. However, I have a question that perhaps you and the B&B can help me with. I am the owner of a 2011 Kia Soul +, 14,XXX miles. Been a great vehicle so far.

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Hammer Time: The Second Set

Within 50 feet of getting out of my old 74 Chevy C10 I hear a familiar voice.

“Hey Steve. How are ya?”

A 6 foot 7 inch monstrosity of a man pats me hard on the back and dislodges the few cobwebs that remained from a 5 AM wake-up call.

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of the series. The first can be found here.

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Hammer Time: The First Set

Coffee. Old magazines. Quiet murmurs of conversations. I am stuck in an old office with two dozen other people who are awaiting instructions from a young tattooed lady with a clipboard and a shrill nasal voice.

“Follow me!”, I hear six inches from my ear. It seems like the perfect moment to have a rendezvous with the doctor, the dentist, or the job interview. Or at least someone who doesn’t instantly give me an instant flashback to my New Jersey upbringing.

Not this time. I’m in…

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Piston Slap: One of "Those People…"
TTAC Commentator MNM4EVER writes:

A mechanic friend of mine has a 1993 LX 5.0 w/AOD in slightly rough condition he is looking to get rid of. I can pick it up now, complete but not running, for $1800. If I do not buy it, he plans to get it running but otherwise not fix it up and sell it for $3k or so.

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Piston Slap: Is It Piston Slap? Ja-nee, Baby!

Mu-een (from Cape Town, South Africa!) writes:

Hi I would like to know what is the difference sound of a tappet noise, or bad rocker, or a piston slap. Thanks regards.

Mu-een

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Piston Slap: Cooling to the MAXX?
Scott writes:

Hello –

Saw a Dex-cool question you posted previously, and figured I would try my own. We have a ’06 Malibu Maxx SS. Basically the car runs hot, but not all the time. I have been religious about flushing the cooling system and using only the correct fluids.

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Hammer Time: The Number One Killer

“I wouldn’t buy a car at an auction. They’re all junk!”

Bad transmissions. Blown engines. Cars that smoke, drink and hang out with the bad boys thanks to all different types of leaks and spewage. This is the general stereotype that most uninformed consumers have of those cars at an auction.

Most folks look at auction cars as vehicles that are worth more dead than alive. Every malady and defect is assigned to these ‘red light’ vehicles that are sold as/is with no warranty.

But do you know what is the #1 issue of those auctioned off trade-ins here in the Atlanta area?

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Piston Slap: Limited Use but Unlimited Potential?
TTAC commentator jdmcomp writes:

I own a Jaguar (Ford Era) that gets driven only about once a week, with jaunts of a few miles to several hundred. I keep syn oil in the engine. I have owned this car for several years and the only problem to date is the flat spotting of the tires. What should I do to keep this vehicle in good running condition? Is weekly driving enough?

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Piston Slap: Why Dented Roof, Regal? BECAUSE S.L.A.B.

Ed writes:

Hello Sajeev,

Recently my GF and I became the owners of a 1999 Buick Regal with about 225k miles on it. We weren’t in the market for a Buick, but when a limb dropped on its roof from a dead tree was combined with a higher deductible and a desire to keep the claim off our homeowners policy, the natural thing to do was buy the dented car for the $2500 asking price. Now our question is what is the best way to get most of our money back from this “investment”?

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Piston Slap: I Just Heard…WHAT???

TTAC commentator Robstar writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I bought a new 2005 Subaru WRX STi in March of 2005, it currently has around 51k miles on it. Rotors have been replaced once, brake pads twice. The car still has it’s original clutch! It went from being an occasional commuting car in all city traffic to an every-day 60 mile RT jaunt mostly highway.

With all of that said I don’t think I’m rough on the car as it’s rated EPA 16/22 and over the latest 5300 miles (since I started keeping track) I’m averaging 23.5mpg in mixed driving. Before I present my issue, keep something in mind:

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Piston Slap: To Love, To Hate Aftermarket Rimz
Lance writes:

Hey Sajeev,

A long time (since roughtly 2006ish) TTAC reader, I thought you might be able to help me out a bit, or point me in the right direction. My car (2007 Honda Civic Si Sedan, 17300 miles when bought used off lease, now currently around 39000 miles) vibrates terribly at highway speed. Starts around 55mph, continues to increase until about 80-85 where it begins to smooth out again.

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Super Piston Slap: The Life and Death of a Proper LeMons Car
Sajeev writes:

One of the more (in)famous vehicles in junk car racing recently visited the big boneyard in the sky. It’s particularly sad for me, as this vehicle helped me back into the driver’s seat when I needed all the help I could get. The tenacious handling, phenomenal power complete with a BULLITT-worthy soundtrack in a brown station wagon; it was all positively insane. A sad tale indeed, but worth sharing from start to finish. So here’s Mr. Brian Pollock, owner of this brutally competitive Ford Fairmont Wagon, to tell the tale.

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Hammer Time: Good, Fast, And Cheap

Good, Fast and Cheap.

Feel free to pick any two when it comes to all things cars. Consumer. Retailer. Rebuilder. Doesn’t matter. You always get a choice of two out of the three.

Don’t believe me?

Good. Cynicism is always a solid first step in buying any used vehicle. Whether you are kicking the tires at a lot as the end consumer. Or listening to the urgent chant of an auto auctioneer trying to sell the mediocre remnants of a rental fleet at a wholesale dealer auction. Everyone pretends to offer you a great deal.

But truth and reality in this business, at all levels of this business, are two very separate things.

Let’s take all those great deals I get from the auctions… good, fast and cheap. Sure. I do get them all. Just almost never in the same car.

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Piston Slap: To Rent, To Own
Brad writes:

Hi Sajeev –

I’m a longtime reader of the blog, and also have been car less for the past 17 years. I live in a major Pacific Northwest city and haven’t needed a car. But I’m getting older, I’m partnered up and need to visit in-laws out in the boonies, and I just find myself wanting a car. I don’t want an older car. The two cars I did own back in my teens and early 20s were a 1980s Buick Skylark and a 1988 Dodge Omni. I think dealing with the repairs on those two beaters put a bad taste in my mouth for very old cars. So I’m looking at new or slightly used.

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Piston Slap: SHO-in Off the MetSHO!

TTAC commentator crabspirits writes:

I stumbled upon your Lemons Z34-fiero article. My brothers both had LQ1 Cutlasses and whoever designed that engine was a sadist. They both blew the headgaskets and were impossible to work on. FYI: we run the SHO-swapped, mid-engine Geo Metro in the 24 Hours of LeMons. I had some good battles against that LQ1 Fiero, some captured on my helmet cam.

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Hammer Time: Before Cars

A lot of folks may look at their early teenage years with fleeting moments of fondness.

Friends, birthday parties, fun and games. Not to mention a healthy variety of mischievous activities to help keep life interesting between the endless classroom lectures and local social drama.

I don’t remember 99.9% of it… which is no doubt a good thing since my life was pretty much in a counterclockwise hormone ridden tailspin by the time I hit the big 1 3.

But I do vaguely recall one unfortunate thing I never could avoid.

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Piston Slap: What is The Poor Man's TARDIS? (Part II)

TTAC commentator horseflesh writes:

Hi Sajeev!

I’m sending you the third installment in a series of linked Piston Slap queries. A while back, I hit Piston Slap with a question… what’s the best way to unload Grandma’s Buick? Now I’d like to share the story of how one large, white, wallowing ride was replaced with another vehicle, also white, but more enjoyably absurd in every measurable dimension. This new addition to the motorpool is the conclusion to my second Piston Slap query– What is the Poor Man’s TARDIS?

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Piston Slap: Automatic Decisions, Manual Trannies
TTAC commentator hidrotule2001 writes:

Hey Sajeev,

A few months back you helped me sort out a plan of action for my Ford Fiesta transmission problems, and I have another stick-shift quandary I thought you might have some insight on.

My second vehicle is a 2003 Ram 1500 (bare bones work-truck, standard cab, manual everything), which I’ve recently been doing a lot of maintenance on (new plugs, pads, rotors, u-joints, carrier bearing, and a few other things). One issue I haven’t been able to sort out is an odd grinding/squealing I get when the car is in gear at high rpms (3000+) with the clutch peddle fully depressed (on the floor), something akin to what you hear if you come off the clutch with the shifter only part-way into gear.

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Piston Slap: FREE Cressida, Sanjeev!
Jonny writes:

Hey sanjeev, i’m looking for some advice on what i should do here. The car: 1987 Toyota Cressida, 170,000kms (i live in vancouver, BC), usual mid-eighties toyota rust, other than needing brakes it seems to run great. i paid exactly $0.00 for the car.

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Piston Slap: A Power Ram Split Decision?
Douglas writes:

Sajeev,

Here’s some fodder for Piston Slap. Situation: I have a 1993 Dodge Power Ram 250, 103k miles, base model, so about the only thing it has in the way of amenities is AC.

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Piston Slap: An Irrational Preference for Hyundais? (PART II)
JP writes:

Sajeev

I’m following up on this Piston Slap episode: soon after the column, a family member needed a car temporarily for work. He ran the Satan Fe for 7000 miles and to 3% brake pad life last fall without a hitch. After that, the Satan Fe didn’t seem so devilish but it was still one more Hyundai CUV than I needed. I decided to hybridize your advice with my ambitions. I got the ridiculous offer from Carmax (they told me it would head straight to auction). Then I put a funny and honest listing on Craigslist (“Korean snowmobile…I mean 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe”). I started at $500 below the local rate and I slowly dropped the price.

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Piston Slap: Feelin' Blue, Cobalt?
Brandon writes:

Sajeev,

I own a 2010 Cobalt SS and I’ve been having random problems with it. I’ve tried checking the forums and I haven’t found any information that matches my car’s problems. It seems like most of the posts on the Cobalt SS forums are by people with modified/tuned cars, and mine is completely stock.

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Piston Slap: When RON Met PON…Mon!!!

Brian writes:

Hola! First off, love the site, long time listener, first time caller. I recently had the amazing opportunity to act as chauffeur for my good Chilean friend Diego’s road trip through Patagonia. He had access to a little four banger 1998 Daihatsu Feroza (Rocky in the US) but did not know how to drive. So I gladly I wrestled this thing around Southern South America in a circuit of just over 3000 Kilometers that took us south on Chile’s famous Carretera Austral (dirt roads cutting through the Andes) and back north through Argentina’s Route 40 (very similar to route 66 in the US).

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Piston Slap: The Fuel Hating Tranny
Eric writes:

My question is for Sanjeev Mehta. I purchased a 2010 4 cylinder automatic Toyota Camry LE new and have been using it as my daily driver since. My commute is almost all city driving, so I noticed a quirk about the car right away.

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Piston Slap: The Sentra's Salt Assault

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.

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Hammer Time: What Recession?

I live in a nice quaint small town called Powder Springs, Georgia.

The sidewalks are paved downtown and even partially bricked for artistic value. Thanks to a generous donation by the taxpayers. The streetlamps are ornate and well lit thanks to the same contributors.

The old closed down ACE hardware store is now the new police station. The old city hall has been replaced by the new city hall. Even the vehicles that get too old to keep get replaced with shiny new ones thanks to American taxpayers far and wide.

How many miles do you think would it take to replace a car owned by the local city government?

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Piston Slap: The Truth About "Throwaway" Motors
Dan writes:

Dear Sajeev,

A recent post on the CX-9 users forum (at www.mazdas247.com) caught my eye. An stalwart owner tore down his 3.5 (Ford) engine to clean up a sludging problem and broke a rod bolt in the process. He then discovered much to his dismay that replacement rod bolts are not considered “serviceable parts” by Mazda. In fact, it turns out that most of the internal engine components you would want to replace in a rebuild are not available from Mazda. (This is true for both the 3.5 and the more recent 3.7 litre versions.) Unavailable items include pistons, rings, bearings, etc. Searching on-line one can find the typical factory exploded parts diagrams with all these internal components listed, but in lieu of part numbers there is the notation, “This part is not serviced.” ( Here’s an example)

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Piston Slap: 100,000 Mile Tune Ups, Dex-Cool, Grandma's S.L.A.B.
Justin writes:

Sajeev,

I have a 2001 Buick Regal LS. I bought it in 2007 with 14,000 miles on (yes, from a grandmother). It has 72,000 miles on it as of this morning. It’s not a great car and has required plenty of maintenance (for example, I’ve had to replace the brakes completely 3 times already). However, I have a few questions about long term items:

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Piston Slap: MPGs as a Noun? OMG!

Bryan writes:

Sajeev, not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m seeing a new trend in auto advertising. “MPG” is beginning to be used as a noun. As in, “the new CX-5 gets 31 MPGs” (punctuation intended). Only in the last year or so, have MPGs (plural) been spoken instead of “miles per gallon”.

Weird. Anyway, random thought. Love the site.

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Piston Slap: Honey, If You Do This For Me…

TTAC commentator sastexan writes:

Sajeev –

One of my best friends is shopping to replace his Mazdaspeed6 for something a little more utilitarian that can hold his bicycle and gear in the back (frequent triathlete). Here’s the issue – he wants to get another manual shift car, but his wife is pressing for an automatic because she has never learned to drive stick.

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Hammer Time: The Trickle Down Effect

Local propaganda almost always serves to screw the little guy. With rare exception, it never fails to do so.

We need a new stadium!”, cries the billionaire whose team already got one just two decades go. “Please pay for it John Q Public!”

“Hey! What about me?”, screams the local electric company CEO. “We really need to double the monthly service charge for our local residents to manage our costs. But let’s also throw in a double digit rate reduction for those who use a lot of energy. Like the billionaire and his businesses. After all, they create the jobs out here!”

And the story drones on. The trash company that owns a multitude of companies that have virtually nothing to do with trash, wants to hike your bill. Because they need to hit their numbers. Just like everybody else. The insurance company. The gas company. The local government. The state government. Heck, every local monopolist and oligopoly is thrusting their well oiled lobbyist machines right at your shrinking wallet.

Guess who else is doing it now? The auto parts stores.

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Hammer Time: Ramblings Of An Aspiring Kibbutznik

I must have been a kibbutznik in a past life. Whenever I buy something of value, I never have the urge to keep it for myself.

Perhaps it’s due to too many bouts of suburbia. A neighborhood with twenty lawnmowers. Thirty The Lion King videos, and fifty to seventy vehicles. All this redundancy seems to be a bit much for a guy who hates to see things unused by my family 98+% of the time.

Yeah. I know that most folks aren’t willing to share their ride. Some won’t even loan you Simba. But if I lived in a place where we all put a smaller chunk of our change into a ride, I wouldn’t go cheap . . . except for possibly an old Volvo wagon.

These would be my top picks. All used of course!

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Super Piston Slap: The Saab Secure Program. Yes, Really.

NOTE: I received the following email from Saab Automobile Parts North America. As I was not aware of the recent details behind Saab’s parts/service operation (my bad) I felt obligated to share this, unedited, with everyone. – SM

Sajeev,

We read, with great interest, your latest Piston Slap post and the many comments in response to “ The Last Saab = good Deal?” We wanted to take this opportunity to let you know about Saab Automobile Parts North America, the exclusive authorized provider of Saab Genuine Parts in North America. Venues like yours help us to get the message out that Saab Genuine Parts and Service are available.

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Piston Slap: Reading the Light Bulb Filaments

TTAC commentator Celebrity208 writes:

Sajeev:
I’d always thought that police crash investigators would check the tail light bulbs of a car that was rear ended to determine if its lights were on at the time of the crash. I thought it had something to do with the way the filament was broken/burnt/etc. So my question is two-fold, am I crazy and do they do this, and if so how might LED tail lights remove this piece of forensic evidence regarding correctly operating brake lights at the time of an accident (presuming the fault was contested)?

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Piston Slap: Hocus Pocus…Focus???

Zack writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I’ve been following a series of discussion on a MK3 Ford Focus forum; in particular I’ve been following the technical discussion about how to squeeze more power from the MK3’s new 2.0 GDI motor. Of course, this involves talk of CAIs, Cat-deletes (inadvisable), and free flow exhaust. One of the more curious things to emerge is…

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Piston Slap: Deffo Not Your Father's Oldsmobile!
Paul writes:

Long time listener, first time caller. I have a 1982 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Brougham, that last summer I ripped the 307 out of. It now has a Chevy ZZ4 crate motor, backed by a TH 350 transmission. (Gasp! My hero!!! – SM)

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Hammer Time: Repo Pro, Repo No!

“Aaahh Steve? My rig caught on fire.”

At first I thought about oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico engulfed in an endless torch of black smoke and molten metal.

Then I realized that the repo driver was talking about his own truck. In all my years of dealing with repo companies, I had never known an auto recovery company, big or small, that was neglectful enough to turn their money maker into an ashen shell.

Before noon I would be awakened by another surprise.

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Piston Slap: The Last SAAB = Good Deal?
Bruce writes:

I got my 2007 9-3 serviced at the Falls Church, VA Saab dealership. My question: They had new (2011) 9-5s for $20,000 off the sticker price. Almost half off. Are they a good deal? Would you buy one?

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Piston Slap: Not My Ticket, Not My Problem?
Bryan writes:

A question I’d love to see posed to the Best and Brightest: What to do when you’re sent tickets for a car you’re not liable for?

I just got two tickets this morning, for parking infractions that occurred 9.5 years ago, under a previous owner of a car that I bought 9 years ago. I’m not going to pay them just to quell the payment demands, since I consider this extortion.

So, is it better for me to simply never acknowledge receipt of the tickets, since they’re not my liability? Or will that put a black mark on my credit rating? I’m concerned that trying to rationally explain things to the parking enforcement company will only get me stuck deeper in the problem – they don’t care about the truth, they just want to get paid.

This has happened to my parents twice before, so I think it’s a common problem – but I don’t know what the best thing to do is, and I’d love to see how the Best and Brightest have dealt with it.

Sajeev answers:

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Hammer Time: Morning Calls

Morning phone rings at the car lot…

Me: Hello?

Random Stranger: Hi there, like, I have this friend you know and he told me that you finance vehicles, and his name is Emmanuel and aahhh, like I was wondering, well, uh, do you have any Toyotas and like, do you, ummm… finance vehicles you know?

Me: I’m sorry. Who is this?

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Piston Slap: Taurus Fulla Bull!
TTAC commentator TheDward writes:

Sajeev! Thank you for taking the time to read this. My dad is dealing with some bullsh@t, and we could use your advice. His daily driver is a 2006 Taurus with 155k miles. (Bull huh, I get it! Snort! -SM)

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Piston Slap: An Inappropriate Grab?
TTAC Commentator flipper35 writes:

Hi Sajeev,

We have a 2000 Dodge Durango 2WD with rear abs (hub assembly is different than if the front had abs if it matters) and 165k miles. It has been a pretty good truck with few issues but we do have an annoying one that came up. The truck isn’t a commuter for me, just for the occasional errand that my wife needs to run or when the whole family goes somewhere so it gets driven a couple times a week just a few miles on the highway into town and back. The issue is the brakes.

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Piston Slap: The Young Lady and the Key

Hi Steve and Sajeev:

My daughter has been driving the Saturn Astra recommended by Steve for a few months now and we can all say that it is a nice car — screwed together well, efficient and kinda sporty. I consider it to be a win. Except for a minor key issue.

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Piston Slap: The Butterfly Effect
Earl writes:

Hi Sajeev, here’s a question for you and the best and brightest here. ”How might your life have been different had you bought a particular car?”

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Piston Slap: Your Body is A Temple?

TTAC contributor David Holzman writes:

Sajeev,

My brother Tom’s Prius has been suffering neglect: a scraped door here, a tear in the bumper there, and my heavens, enough dirt to coat all the government buildings in the Washington DC metro area, where Tom lives and works, and pretty soon a two year old Prius is looking like a common beater. He has no plans to fix all this ugliness, but if there’s a logical, cost-benefit case to be made, he will definitely be swayed, as will his wife.

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Piston Slap: The Relentless Pursuit Of…Sludge?

Yaw A. writes:

Hey Sajeev,

Long time fan of the blog. Sad that I have to ask this but the time has come. My mom bought a ’99 Lexus RX300 AWD a couple of years ago and has been having problems with it. She just came up on 135K miles and has been having oil lights come up + oil consumption problems. She got someone to look at it and the diagnosis is the dreaded 1MZ-FE sludge monster. The only logical repair seems to be to replace the engine; Lexus quoted her something crazy like $10K for a new engine and another $5K for labor.

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Piston Slap: An Accord Awakening?
Ronald writes:

Sajeev,

I’ve been lurking TTAC for a few years now and I really enjoy visiting the site every day. I think I’ve learned quite a bit about how to get the most out of my cars. Here’s my most recent car issue: I recently inherited a 2004 Honda Accord EX-V6 with an automatic transmission. It was purchased new and only has about 44K miles on it.

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Super Piston Slap: Holiday Purchase = Holiday Project?
Sajeev writes:

The holidays, no matter your religion (or lack thereof), is a time when many a car freak has the downtime to think of something they’d really want. Another car? Maybe. More cars? Possibly. But I suspect many a Piston Slap reader is all about doing something to their car over the break. Here’s one of my projects: the Talking Lincoln Mark VIII, or MK-T for short.

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Piston Slap: Mad Vulcan Powah? (Part II)

TTAC commentator Felix Hoenikker writes:

Sajeev,
Thanks for the post. At the end of March, I bit the bullet and replaced the right cylinder head with a rebuilt one from Advance Auto. With my on line discount and a new head gasket, the total parts cost was under $200 plus a day’s labor.

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Piston Slap: Mad Vulcan Powah?
TTAC commentator Felix Hoenikker (yes, really) writes:

Dear Sajeev,

As a fellow Panther owner, I am seeking advice on the disposition of another Ford product. My 24 year old son just bought a new to him car and returned my 2000 Ford Taurus with the 3L Vulcan overhead valve engine to me. At 206K it runs great, but has one issue. Combustion gases are entering the cooling system and periodically venting through the coolant de-gassing tank.

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Piston Slap: Modern Sleeper, Future Classic?
TTAC Commentator Halftruth writes:

Hey Sajeev,

While watching the Mecum auto auctions recently, a beautiful Plymouth GTX came thru on the auction block. It got me thinking about the rash of brand-icide we’ve seen these past ten or so years. As they pass, others come in.

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Piston Slap: Rejuvenate or Deep Six the A6?

Vincent asks:

Hi Sajeev,

I own a 2000 Audi A6 2.7T that I bought 3 years ago. It has been a surprisingly good vehicle to me – comfortable and fast. I even track it on occasion with no complaints. It’s been fairly reliable; the most major issues were having the ABS controller rebuilt and replacing the valve cover gaskets myself, which were not a big deal. As long as nothing catastrophic happens, I plan to keep the car for many more years.

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Piston Slap: And Hybrids For All?
TTAC Commentator kurtamaxxguy writes:

Hello, Sajeev.
I drive an ’09 Subaru Forester XT. The general design is good, but Subaru’s are not particularly economical and the XT requires premium fuel to avoid engine overheating.

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Piston Slap: Of Power Curves and Turbo Boost…
Chris writes:

Sajeev,

In a couple recent Piston Slap articles you’ve mentioned that when driving car with a manual transmission its most efficient to accelerate with the engine near its torque peak, then cruise in the highest gear possible. This raised two questions in my mind:

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  • Inside Looking Out Why EBFlex dominates this EV discussion? Just because he is a Ford expert?
  • Marky S. Very nice article and photos. I am a HUGE Edsel fan. I have always been fascinated with the "Charlie Brown of Cars." Allow me to make a minor correction to add here: the Pacer line was the second-from-bottom rung Edsel, not the entry-level trim. That would be the Edsel Ranger for 1958. It had the widest array of body styles. The Ranger 2-door sedan (with a "B-pillar", not a pillarless hardtop), was priced at $2,484. So, the Ranger and Pacer both used the smaller Ford body. The next two upscale Edsel's were based on the Mercury body, are were: Corsair, and, top-line Citation. Although the 1959 style is my fav. I would love a '58 Edsel Pacer 4-door hardtop sedan!
  • Lou_BC Stupid to kill the 6ft box in the crewcab. That's the most common Canyon/Colorado trim I see. That kills the utility of a small truck. The extended cab was a poor seller so that makes sense. GM should have kept the diesel. It's a decent engine that mates well with the 6 speed. Fuel economy is impressive.
  • Lou_BC High end EV's are selling well. Car companies are taking advantage of that fact. I see quite a few $100k pickups in my travels so why is that ok but $100k EV's are bad? The cynical side of me sees car companies tack on 8k premiums to EV's around the time we see governments up EV credits. Coincidence? No fooking way.
  • 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.