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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 ’91 Lincoln Town Car with the 4.6-liter V8. While I was driving home the other day the accelerator seemed to slip past its normal position a little too far. From then on, it accelerates very slowly and will not kick into overdrive when the accelerator is depressed all the way to the floor. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Lucas from Keosauqua, WA


The throttle linkage needs to be checked out. There was a problem with the clip that holds the kick down cable on the throttle on this model vehicle. In fact, Ford issued a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) on this problem. When this happens, the transmission won't shift properly and, if the vehicle is driven for long periods of times, the transmission will burn up from partial engagement. Check with your Ford dealer to see if there was a new throttle linkage clip issued to remedy this problem. Finally, check out www.nhtsa.gov and do a TSB database search for your year, make and model vehicle. You will be able to get the details of the TSB from this site.



Dear Tom,

I recently purchased a ’96 Honda Accord for my daughter. The original owner lost the code that I need to make the radio work. What should I do?

Sally from Mableton, GA


The only way to get your radio unlocked is to go to your local Honda dealership. They will have to identify the radio code, access the information through their database and unlock the radio. They will give you the code for future use if needed. This service usually costs about $60 to $100, depending on what area of the country you live in and the shop’s labor rate. You could also replace the OEM radio with an aftermarket unit, which is usually the best course of action. For about $150 you can get a wonderful head unit that will deliver concert-quality sound out of your speaker system. While you’re at it, you could install a sub woofer enclosure, amplifiers, perhaps upgrade the speaker system, and install tweeters in the front of the vehicle. Oh baby, what pristine sound! (Somebody stop me from spending Sally’s money!)



Note: Check out this great review of my latest book, “How to Make Your Car Last Forever,” courtesy of Broke as a Spoke. The book “should be kept right alongside your owner’s manual,” says the reviewer! Here’s the link: http://brokeasaspoke.com/how-to-make-your-car-last-forever/.


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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