TTAC Commentator Benderofbows writes:Sajeev,I always enjoy reading Piston Slap and want to ask about my truck, a 2007 Nissan Frontier with the VQ40DE (4.0L V6), 6-speed manual, and 42k miles. Sometimes the truck will rattle while accelerating at around 2200 RPMS. This only happens after completing a long freeway run (an hour or more) and occurs in every gear regardless of throttle position. The noise goes away after a few shifts or always after the truck has been shut off and restarted. It has been going on for 6 months or more (it took me that long to figure out how to duplicate it) and doesn’t seem to be getting any worse, plus it doesn’t trip any check engine lights. I can’t imagine how to replicate the noise for the dealership service department. Any ideas? Computer issue with the air/fuel mix maybe?Sajeev answers:I hate being the armchair quarterback at times. That said, I’m putting all my chips on a transmission problem, not an engine issue. … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: There’s a Rattle on the Frontier!
Piston slap noise
Jeffrey writes:Hi Sajeev,I had a question regarding one of the vehicles I own and the potential for head gasket issues. Suprisingly, this is not in regards to the Subaru!We have a 1998 Acura 3.2TL, a great vehicle and perfect sized. I am the second owner and it does have just over 134,000 miles. It was first purchased in Boise, with an easy commute…spent some time in California with a more grueling San Jose commute, and back in Boise for 6 years. I drive it pretty easily on a 20 mile, roundtrip, commute every other day and a couple trips on the weekend. I enjoy this car. It has the classic Honda feel to it; low cowl, buttons and switches with a fluid movement, handles nicely, double-wishbone suspension, longitudinal drivetrain means no torque steer, heated mirrors/seats, excellent climate control (cold A/C). The only item(s) that do need replacing are the shocks. But overall, I’ve put minimal money into a car I purchased for $4500. Only accessory I added was a PIE … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Trust In Yourself, Love Thy Acura
Raghav writes:While searching Internet I saw your replies on Toyota Corolla. I too have few problems with Toyota Corolla 2007 model purchased in India, it has 37,000 Km on the odometer. The vehicle is serviced regularly every 10,000 km. The problems are:1. Engine growling noise steadily increases with the RPM beyond 3,000 and this happens on all gears. What could be the reason?2. One of the rear shock absorber was leaking and the dealer replaced just the faulty one (under warranty, car had done 27,000 km) and after that I feel the ride quality is poor. Do you think changing only one shock can cause this?I have taken it to the dealer but their response is vague like (a) sound insulation from engine area must have become weak (b) change tires because side walls have a crack.Sajeev answers:I’m avoiding Raghav’s question for a moment to applaud our readers outside of North America. It’s nice to see our International reach is present, accounted for. And … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: The Corolla and the Khadda Factor
Randy writes:Dear Sajeev, I’m a middle-aged man in love with a cranky mistress. My 1999 Concorde LXi has developed a thumping sound from the right front going over bumps with the wheel slightly turned to the right. It currently has around 94k miles on the ticker. I enjoy this car for no other reason than it is a large fwd American sedan that can cruise the interstate all day long and returns decent mileage with the 3.2 liter engine.I bought it three years ago from an elderly couple in Topeka. They claimed it didn’t run well and I being slightly mechanically inclined determined the belts were bad and a failed a/c compressor was the main culprit. At that time it had 36k miles on the odometer. It looks good, no rust, original paint and wheels. I have had all the services done including the timing belts, tensioners and water pump replaced for preventative care. The transmission fluid has been changed twice now under my care.I’ve been reading TTAC for years … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Where’s the LH-Love?
Andrew writes: I’m a 21-year-old college student with a 2001 Chevy Cavalier with the 2.2L and 5-speed. I bought the car when I started college with 40,000 miles on it and I have driven it to 70,000 miles without any problems, despite not always being nice to it. But now the suspension — I think it’s coming from the front — is starting to make a good bit of noise.Any time I go over bumps, especially at lower speeds I can hear the suspension making squeaking noises. The steering and handling of the car do not feel any different than normal, although I drive it every day so I wouldn’t notice a slow change. Also, the steering makes a clunking noise when turning the wheel all the way at low speeds. There was a technical service bulletin about this issue, and since it didn’t seem like it was causing any real problems and I’m low on cash (read: college student) I let this issue go. I don’t know if these two things have any … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Eibachin’, I Bitchin’ About Zerks
Gareth writes:Good afternoon Sajeev,Read your latest and I’m determined to help you out. I recently had a bone-stock 87 CRX Si follow me home from an impound auction and, if I can get the damn thing through an Ontario Safety Inspection, I’ll let TTAC’s very own Derek K drive it.Therein lies the rub, or brake rub really. The front discs were rubbing, a lot. Constant grinding sound as the wheels turn. I have since removed/lubricated the caliper sliders (they were a bit stuck from sitting) and measured the discs and pads using a measuring tape and straight edge, everything is above min specs.With the pin lube the grinding noise has abated somewhat but continues, worst is passenger side.The discs don’t feel warped (no front shudder under hard braking).Your thoughts?Sajeev answers:OMG SON, why can’t someone find ME a nice CRX in Houston? What’s so wrong with giving the Piston Slap Guy a ride in your whip, huh? I care not of the distance between us, … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: The Self-Lathing CRX?
Hi Sajeev,I saw your call for reader questions for the Piston Slap series, and as a diligent and loyal TTAC supporter/Kool-Aid drinker, I will do my best to do my duty (did I just recite the Boy Scout motto?).You’ve been kind enough to respond to my previous question regarding the failing health of my wife’s Subaru Outback. By the way, in the spirit of CarTalk’s Stump the Chumps question follow-up feature, we ended up dumping the ailing Outback via Craigslist at a discounted price with a full-disclosure of all the mechanical issues (Love. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru…or something like that…). We got a 2nd gen Acura MDX and we actually love it. Take note Subaru.Anyway, to my question: my daily driver is a 2007 4Runner with the lovely Lexus-derived 4.7 V8. The V8 part is important because in the 4×4 variant, as mine is equipped, the power is delivered to the road through a full-time 4-wheel drive setup, rather than the part-time 2H-N-4H-4L … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Sleepless Above The 4Runner?
Greg writes:Hello Sajeev, David Holzman says I should write to you about my Mazda concerns.1. Concern #1. In two out of three dealers there was significant rust at the center of the wheels due to the wheel caps not having been put on. I only took three pictures, but essentially: at New Country Mazda in Saratoga Springs NY 100% of the Mazdas had no wheelcaps on in the lot and were all showing various degrees of rust. That includes the one in the showroom, you can see it in the pic with the tile floor.I only took three pictures, I wasn’t intending to do a 60 minutes expose. The other two pictures were taken at Orange Motors in Albany NY. At Orange Motors about 40% of the cars had no wheel caps. One had light rust and the other shows advanced penetration of the surface–not quite sure what we’re looking at, an axle nut and lug of some sort maybe–but this is rust that won’t wipe off, on a 2015 Mazda 6, and I don’t have anything comparable on my 2004 … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Mazda’s Rust and Tire Size Trust Gap?
TTAC Commentator Sam Hell Jr. writes:Hi, Sajeev!I read with deep concern your notice that the Piston Slap mailbag was empty. You kindly answered my previous query about putting more conservative tires on my ’11 automatic tC (now at 51,000 miles), despite the fact that I erroneously addressed the email to your parasitic e-twin Sanjeev, and I’m happy to pester you/be of service once more. Please find, below, my questions, and thank you for your time.Almost all of the driving I do — work, parents’ place, the gym, the grocery store — is within 5 or 10 minutes of my apartment. So basically, take the common advice about limiting short car trips and cold starts, and I do the opposite. It really can’t be helped. These are not walkable or bike-friendly routes even in the six annual weeks that northwest Ohio isn’t sweltering or freezing. How much of the old wisdom about making fewer short trips still applies to modern vehicles? What, if anything, … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Sam Hell’s Scion Grab Bag
June writes:Greetings, editors. I love your website. It has taught me a tremendous amount about cars and the industry. This is my first time writing. I would love to see a piece about auto reliability, perhaps from an insider engineering perspective. What I’d like to see addressed is the question of why some cars and makes are more reliable than others.I know these issues often result in pissing contests between:1) those who claim to be “real auto enthusiasts” and would drive nothing less than a German sports car with a stick, despite the verifiable quality control issues that afflicts all the German manufacturers, and,2) those who value reliability, fewer headaches, fewer trips to the mechanic, and more money saved in the long run, perhaps at the expense of an “emotional” engagement with their car. I wonder why it has to be an either-or proposition. Why can’t we have it all? What has happened over the years that has driven down … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Does Automotive Racism Exist?