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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 ’95 Ford Contour 6 cylinder. Whenever I drive the car there is a humming or roaring noise in the front that gets louder on acceleration. Also, whenever I make a turn there’s a popping or grinding sound more pronounced on one side. What’s wrong?

Jeffrey from Lancaster, PA


The humming noise is probably due to a bad wheel bearing, located on the side where the sound is emanating. It needs to be replaced before there is a safety issue (when wheel bearings separate, the wheel can fall off). Check the bearing and if it’s good then the noise could be coming from the differential and should be checked. In reference to the popping noise, the vehicle probably has a bad ball joint. However, there is one other possibility. The coil spring on the side that’s popping could be bad, so have it checked out. Ford issued a recall on several of their vehicles for failure of coil springs in salt belt states, so your vehicle may be involved. Call your local Ford dealer and have the VIN checked. The repair might be covered under recall. Success to you.


Dear Tom,

I own a ’93 Lumina and the brake warning light is lit. When I apply the brakes at a stand still, the engine RPMs fluctuate. When I let off the brakes, the engine runs fine. What could be causing this problem?

Sam from Syracuse, NY


Try this procedure: With the engine running, lift the hood and have someone inside the car apply the brakes. When the engine starts running poorly, pinch off the vacuum line going to the vacuum brake booster using a pair of pliers. If the engine smoothes out, then the brake booster is leaking vacuum and will need to be replaced. Another telltale sign of a leaking brake booster is a hissing noise. Does it sound like a snake is hissing behind the dash when you step on the brakes? If it does, then the brake booster is probably leaking internally.


Note: Check out the latest review of my new book, courtesy of Zikkir Car, Truck & Motorcycle News. Here’s the link: http://zikkir.com/auto/41826


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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