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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,

There is a low coolant warning on my ’99 Jeep Grand Cherokee that won't go away even though I had the coolant serviced. Also, the carpet is wet and slimy on the front passenger floor. Any help would be appreciated.

Theresa from Palo Alto, CA


Have a cooling system pressure test performed on your Jeep. Specifically, have the service tech look for a leaking heater core. Hot water from the cooling system circulates through the heater core. This heat emanates from the core and is blown into the vehicle’s cabin by the fan (this is how the heater works). When the heater core springs a leak, water from the cooling system leaks into the vehicle’s cabin and coolant is lost, hence the cause of the low coolant warning light and the wet carpet. The fact that the water feels slippery tells me that it’s probably antifreeze. Prepare yourself for a hefty repair bill; heater core replacement is very labor intensive. Wish I had better news. 


Dear Tom,

I bought a used ’98 BMW 528i. The former owner had a bunch of kids who kept losing keys. BMW only issues 10 keys per vehicle, so I'm down to the valet key. I've talked to BMW USA and they won't help. Any ideas?

Daniel from Readstown, WI


BMW is great when it comes to customer satisfaction; in this case, I’m sure they would help you. Your best bet is to contact the district zone rep for BMW and explain the situation to him or her. Show them your title of ownership and the recent bill of sale for the car and I'm sure they will make an exception to the rule in this case. Good luck!



Note: Check out the latest review of my new book, courtesy of The Jamestown Post-Journal. Here’s the link: http://post-journal.com/page/content.detail/id/576254/By-The-Car-Guy.html?nav=5192

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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