I own a 2000 Ford Ranger V/6 with 120,000 miles. On some cold mornings, the truck will start to buck until I get up to 60 miles per hour. I have replaced the sparkplugs, plug wires and several bottles of injector cleaner. What can you suggest?
Question: I own a 2002 Cadillac Deville with only 66,000 miles. There is an engine knock that the dealer says is carbon buildup. They did a de-carbon treatment and the noise went away for a while. I went back and they said the de-carbon treatment will cost $400. What is the problem with this engine? How can I prevent the problem?
Answer: When we have a customer with this problem, we suggest the use of full-synthetic oil, premium gasoline and brick acceleration entering onto the freeway once a week. The carbon buildup is from a mixture of slow driving and oil deposits.Question: I own a 1998 Buick with 115,000 miles. The car screeches as soon as I make turns; the tighter the turn, the louder the screech. The local shop checked the car and could not find the problem.
Answer: The problem sounds like the serpentine belt is slipping under the load of the power steering pump. The technician can mark the belt and power steering pulley with Wite-Out, start the engine, let it idle for 30 seconds without touching the steering wheel, then shut the engine and check the marks. Next, start the engine and turn the steering wheel until the screech is heard. Again, shut the engine and check the marks. Make sure the belt is the correct size and the automatic belt tensioner spring is good. There is an adjustment mark on the automatic tensioner, and it can be checked with the belt on.Question: With gas prices high, how is the quality of the gasoline in the discount gas stations? Some people say the gas is poor quality and even dirty. Another friend says there is a lack of additives in the cheap brands. Is this true?
Answer: Here’s the real deal: The off-brand gas can actually be the big-name brand that costs much more at the name brand stations. As for being dirty gasoline, it absolutely isn’t. Dirty gasoline would come from old dirty underground storage tanks. The additives you mention do have some merit. The big-name gasoline refiners have their own secret additive packages. Each company has its own recipe of additives. They all claim to have the best.Question: I own a 2006 Hyundai Sonata V/6 5 speed automatic sportronic transmission. When in the manual mode and shifting from first to second, the transmission shift feels like it is slipping. I went back to the dealer and they said there is nothing they can do. I test drove a 2009 Sonata and the transmission was very firm shifting. The dealer said that if the transmission was slipping, the computer would set a trouble fault code. Do you have any ideas?
Answer: If the transmission was actually slipping enough, the computer would set a trouble fault code. The window of slippage is set up in the computer and it sounds like the slippage is not enough to set a fault code. You can try changing the transmission fluid, and using only the recommended fluid. The newer vehicles have much better programming and design.Question: I own a 2000 Ford Ranger V/6 with 120,000 miles. On some cold mornings, the truck will start to buck until I get up to 60 miles per hour. I have replaced the sparkplugs, plug wires and several bottles of injector cleaner. What can you suggest?
Answer: The first step is a check of all the basics and full engine performance test and computer test. There could be a trouble code pending that does not set on the check engine light. I looked on our Identifix Web site and there are many complaints just like yours. The majority of times, the problem is the camshaft position synchronizer. Have your technician take a test drive on Identifix.com.Question: I own a 1992 Oldsmobile Toronado. The transmission shifts hard, and the engine seems to idle high. I went to a transmission shop, and they did not find any problem. Next stop was a certified repair shop; they replaced the engine mounts. The car still has the same condition. What do you suggest?
Answer: The first step is a computer scan looking for trouble fault codes, even if the check engine light is not on. There are many possibilities. The engine idle speed will need to be repaired before the transmission testing can begin.Junior Damato writes weekly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360. He can be heard live on WXBR radio 1460, 7-10 a.m. Saturday mornings.