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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 2006 F250 4x4 Ex Cab with a 6.0 L Diesel. What are your thoughts on the chip tuners such as Bully Dog and Super Chips? Are they worth the investment?
Douglas from Tornado, WV


Chip tuners create excessive boost and blow out head gaskets on diesel engines. There is a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) from Ford stating that Ford Motor Company is aware that the ONLY reason for the head gaskets blow out is from a chip installation. If a vehicle comes into a dealership with blown head gaskets, the first thing the dealer must check is a performance/chip modification. According to Ford, if ANY performance/chip modification is found, the repair goes from warranty to customer pay, and Ford relinquishes all responsibility for the engine failure. And don’t think if you remove the chip before bringing the truck in for service that they won’t detect it, because one look at the vehicle’s datastream history will tell them that a chip has been installed. Computer chip or $1,500 repair? Your choice. Is it worth it?



Dear Tom,

I own a ’93 Cadillac Deville. It has a rattle that is not quite like a rod or engine knock. It goes away after the vehicle warms up. What could it be?

Lee from Shelbyville, TN


If it was a rod it would knock all the time. Your description reminds me of a condition that GM has with their V6 and V8 engines, referred to as “piston slap.” GM says that piston slap is the result of the piston rocking in the bore until it warms up and expands, essentially taking up the slop or slap. According to GM, this condition will not result in major engine damage. Check out the following website for more info on piston slap: www.pistonslap.com. A device called an “engine ear” should be used during the diagnostic process to pinpoint the noise. An “engine ear” is a set of microphones attached to a set of headphones, which can be moved all over the engine until the exact source of the noise is found. This device is very effective in tracking down an offending engine noise.



 Note: Check out this great review of my latest book, “How to Make Your Car Last Forever,” courtesy of Own The Dollar. Here's the link: http://ownthedollar.com/2010/10/how-to-make-your-car-last-foreve/


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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