Car Noises

by Bob DeP.

We have a '90 VW Fox. After a long road trip we started to have a clicking noise in the engine. My dad said it is from a dirty valve lifter. Is there any way to clean this or help the situation. Thanks.

You might want to try one of those engine oil additives that claim to "Clean Noisy valve lifters" but on that car, it is an overhead cam and there are no "lifters". There are rocker arms but no lifters. Lifters are used un pushrod engines or engines that are not overhead cam. You might need to have a valve adjustment.

Hi I have a 1997 Ford F150 XLT V6 2 wheel drive that is making a funny sound. When you start it (and it's cold outside) it sounds like there are crickets under the hood. (no there are no crickets....I checked) could you help me please? I don't think it's the belt because once the car warms up it quits.
Kimberlee J.

By "crickets" I am assuming that you mean there is a "squeak"? Then it is either a belt or a wheel bearing. On my '96 Bronco, one of the rear wheel bearings is making the same sound. I drive for about 1/2 mile and it warms up and goes away. As soon as the first major service comes around, I plan on taking it to the dealer for repair. Do you hear the "crickets" in the rain, or just when cold?

Hi, Bob!
I have a 10 year old Buick LeSabre wagon. The brakes squeal a little when cold. The other day I decided to try checking the brake fluid to see if it was low. When I pumped up the pedal with the engine off, the fluid got seriously "muddy." Do I just need it changed or is there a larger problem?

Brake fluid is probably the most over looked fluid in the car! New brake fluid is clear to yellowish, but after being in use for a while, it turns chocolate brown. Some people say that it is dirty, but there really is much of a way for dirt to get in there. What really is happening is that it is being water contaminated. What you need to do is flush the system and refill with fresh. Do you know how to bleed a brake system? Perform that procedure, but don't stop when you don't see any more bubbles, the new criteria will be when the fluid comes out "clean" and then do this for all wheels starting at the furthest from the master cylinder and working closer (RR, LR, RF, LF). Make sure that you have plenty on new fluid from an unopened container! This should be performed around every 36K miles!
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

True or False

Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!

Have a car care question? Visit our automotive center and see if we've already answered it or a similar question.

Stay Connected with TDS

Little Luxuries

to any newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

The Dollar Stretcher
Dollar Stretcher Parents
Dollar Stretcher Tips
The Computer Lady

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Get Out of Debt