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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

Dear Tom,

I own a 2000 Chevy Venture van with 54,000 miles. The transmission fluid has been changed twice and the coolant was changed about one year ago. Should I get the spark plugs changed before they get stuck in the head? The dealer wants to just clean them and not replace them. Thank you.
Cole from Buffalo, NY


The spark plugs are probably platinum and therefore do not need replacing at this mileage. It's a good idea to have them removed, inspected, cleaned and re-gapped. Check to see if the dealer recommends using anti-seize on the plug’s threads before reinstalling and re-torqueing them. Keep up the maintenance on that van and you should see 150,000 miles. Best to you.



Dear Tom,

I own a restored ’73 Ford Bronco that I use for both off-road mild rock climbing as well as on-road part-time driving. It has a 302 engine with an Edelbrock manifold and 4bbl carburetor. I cannot get the carburetor to work right when the vehicle is climbing a hill or going down a hill (either too lean or too rich). I've given up and think I should install fuel injection. Any suggestions? PS: Love listening to you on Sirius radio! Thanks.

Rick from Las Vegas, Nevada


Sounds like you're running out of fuel when climbing/descending. Try checking the carb’s float/needle seat adjustments. They might not be allowing the fuel bowls to stay filled during incline/decline. In addition, it might do you well to install an electric fuel pump with a fuel pressure regulator to maintain even steady fuel pressure while climbing/descending. Good luck.


Note: Check out this review of my latest book, “How to Make Your Car Last Forever,” courtesy of Frugal For Life. And be sure to read the comments at the bottom of the page. Fun stuff! Here's the link:http://frugalforlife.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-make-your-car-last-forever-in.html

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.

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