I own a 2000 Buick Century. About two months ago I had the brake pads replaced. Now it makes a noise when I step on the brakes (a squealing sound) and I have to press the pedal hard to get the car to slow down. What could be causing this condition?
Chris from Buffalo, NY
Make sure the rotors were turned when the brake job was done so that the pads could break in properly. Without a non-directional finish cut on the rotors for proper pad break-in, the pads will not stop the car properly and they will squeal. Also, have the pads checked to make sure they are properly secured to the calipers via the anti rattle clips. When the pads are loose, a high-pitched vibration ensues causing a squeal. Best to you.
My car has an engine miss. When I pulled the injector wire off (the third to the right from front of the car) it changed nothing. Then I put that back and pulled the middle wire off and the engine slowed down. I have three fuel injectors showing on my car. Can I take the injector out myself and clean it with oven cleaner? It only has two screws holding it to the fuel rail.
John from Jacksonville, Fla.
Injector? Injector wire? Third to the right from the front of the car? Three injectors showing? OVEN CLEANER?! What are you talking about, John? It’s obvious by your questions that you have no clue as to what you are doing. Back away from the car and close the hood! Drive to your nearest automotive diagnostician before you hurt yourself and/or the car. First you need to check spark and injector pulse in the cylinder/s that appear to be dead. If spark and injector pulse are present, then you should check compression in that cylinder. If it’s good, then try cleaning the injectors, but only try this procedure AFTER running a few more tests to confirm that the missing cylinder has compression and there are no vacuum leaks. Oven cleaner? Come on!
I used the sun visor of my ’02 GMC Safari as a storage place for my handicap placard. I slid it into the sliding extension of the visor. The placard slid all the way into the visor and has disappeared! I can’t get to it without removing the visor from its supporting rod. Can this be done?
Luke from Williamsville, NY
The visor is attached to the roof of the vehicle via a small plate with three screw holes through which screws thread into the sheet metal of the roof of the van. These are #2 Phillips screws. Remove them and the whole visor assembly will come down. You can then reach into the visor with a small screwdriver or wire to fish the placard out. Better find a different storage space. Success to you.
For more great advice from auto expert and Jamestown, N.Y. resident 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 glowbass.com. If you have an automotive question for Tom, send him an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.