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How to Make Your Car Last Forever: Auto Q&A with Tom Torbjornsen | Business

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How to Make Your Car Last Forever: Auto Q&A with Tom Torbjornsen
How to Make Your Car Last Forever: Auto Q&A with Tom Torbjornsen

Dear Tom,

I own a  ’90 Cadillac Brougham. Its knock sensor went out which caused it to run poorly. I have replaced the sensor, but the car still misfires. I had it scanned for codes but there are none in the computer memory. What could be the causing this problem? Could the problem be the ignition coil?

Big Wal from Indianapolis, IN

Big Wal,

Yes, the ignition coil could be misfiring, causing the drivability condition you described. However, the best way to track down this gremlin is to conduct a flight test. During this test, the tech hooks a diagnostic computer to the car’s OBDII data port and drives the vehicle while monitoring what's happening in the data stream. This procedure helps the tech track down the cause, rather than indiscriminately replacing parts hoping to fix it. The cost of diagnostic testing is small compared to the “hit and miss” approach. 


Dear Tom,

I just changed the oil in my ’03 Chevy Silverado pickup. How do I reset the Oil Life Monitor?

James from Cedar Hill, TX


Here’s the procedure as per GM: Turn the ignition key to the RUN position. Fully push and release the accelerator pedal three times within five seconds. If the “Change Oil Soon” light flashes, the system is resetting. Start the vehicle. The oil life indicator will change to 100%. If the “Change Oil Soon” light comes back on, the system has not reset itself. Repeat the procedure. Good luck!



For more great advice from auto expert Tom Torbjornsen, visit the America’s Car Show website at www.americascarshow.com or become a fan on Facebook for frequent updates. You can also hear Tom’s radio show at noon EST Saturdays on the SSI Radio Network and at 10 p.m. EST Sundays on Stars Too — Sirius 108 & XM 139. And, pick up a copy of Tom’s latest book, “How to Make Your Car Last Forever,” on Amazon.com. Follow Tom’s Q&A blogs every week on WGRZ.com, Buffalo.com and Examiner.com. If you have an automotive question for Tom, send him an e-mail: tom@americascarshow.com.

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