Niagara Gazette

Features

August 8, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Tips for increasing fuel mileage and other questions answered

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — •••

MARY FROM DALLAS: I own a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country with 85,000 miles. It’s running well except for a little stumble now and then. My father used to clean his plugs when that happened to his car. Does this sound like a good idea to do to platinum plugs or should I just change them?

TOM: Have a computer scan done to see if there are any misfire codes. This will tell you if the plugs are dirty resulting in misfire. Bad spark plug wires can also cause this condition. Why? When the insulation breaks down then the wires crossfire. An effective way to see if the wires are cross-firing is to spray water in them. If they crossfire, then the wires need replacing. Another suggestion, have a flight tester hooked to the vehicle’s datalink connector and drive it. This way the tech can monitor the datastream to observe any anomalies in the system. Aside from this course of diagnosis, anything else is a shot in the dark. Success to you.

•••

TONY FROM PHILADELPHIA: I bought a 2007 Mercury Grand Marques and I am not happy with ride. I talked to the dealership and they said nothing could be done to improve the ride. I changed to one of Michelin’s better tires and it did seem to help a bit. I also changed the shocks and struts and that helped a little too, but I am still unhappy with the ride. The car does not have air ride suspension. Would this give me a ride closer to the Lincoln Towncar? Thanks for your input.

TOM: Yes, the air ride suspension would help the ride of your Merc. After installing the air ride system, you can adjust the shock and strut feel by adjusting the air in the system. There are many aftermarket systems available for that car. A simple keyword search on Yahoo rendered over 400,000 results. I went to a site called “Suspension-Alternatives” and found three good kits ranging from $235 to $500. I wish you success.

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