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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 2007 Buick Lucerne. During humid mornings or evenings moisture accumulates on the windows as soon as I start the car. Activating the defroster does no good. If I put the defroster on high blower and the heat on high, then eventually the windshield will clear. At times even the rear window will fog up. What’s up with this?

Paul from Buffalo

Paul,

Moisture buildup inside the car is usually the result of a leaking heater core or the result of a plugged A/C condensation drain. The A/C system is always activated (even in winter) in an effort to dehumidify the vehicle’s interior. Get these two areas checked. Success to you. 

Tom

Dear Tom,

Where is the EGR valve on a 2002 Pontiac Firebird? I was given a quote of $400 to change the EGR valve and it seems like a lot of money. They also said I needed a “carbon cleaning.” What’s that?

Patti from East Aurora

Patti,

The EGR valve is located on the right front side of the engine and is part of the emissions system; it attaches to an EGR adapter plate. If the EGR system is indeed malfunctioning, the EGR passages may require cleaning as well (carbon cleaning). During this procedure, a high-grade carbon cleaner is injected into the engine at the fuel rail while the engine is running. Then the engine is shut off for a time while the cleaner does its magic. The price quoted seems a bit high given the fact that the valve is $213.75 and the labor to replace it is one-half hour at the shop’s labor rate. They might be including a carbon cleaning in that price. Ask the shop if this is the case. If it does include the carbon cleaning, then the price quoted is within the ballpark. Best to you.

Tom

Dear Tom,

I own a ’98 Dodge Dakota with oil pressure problems. The vehicle has had three oil pumps in the past three years and the pump has gone bad again! The oil light goes on and the engine rattles. The tech says that he has seen a few of these. Do you have any recommendations?

Dave from Niagara Falls

Dave,

Has anyone done any investigation as to why this phenomenon continues to occur? There has to be a root cause, such as excessive sludge buildup clogging oil feed passages; worn main, rod, or cam bearings; or the engine is worn out and needs replacing. Better find another shop that knows how to diagnose internal engine problems. 

Tom

For more great advice from auto expert and Jamestown, N.Y. resident 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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