Whitesburg KY
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Mostly cloudy

Car Talk

What we’d instruct you to do is, next time the car dies, open the hood and touch the test light to a spark-plug wire. Then have another person try to start the car. If the light flashes, you’re getting spark. That means the problem is fuel.

If you try to start the car and the test light doesn’t flash, then we know it’s a spark problem. By knowing which of those it is, we can save you a lot of time and money in trying to figure it out.

If the test tells us that the problem is lack of fuel, we’d suspect either the electric fuel pump or the fuel pump relay.

If you had no spark, we’d suspect one of the electronic ignition components, like the electronic ignition module, the coil or the hall-effect sensor.

But start by finding a mechanic who’s willing to work with you to narrow it down. If you need help finding a mechanic you like, try searching our Mechanics Files (www.mechanicsfiles.com), which is a database of mechanics who are personally recommended by other readers and radio listeners of ours. Good luck.

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Changing your oil regularly is the cheapest insurance you can buy for your car, but how often should you change it? Find out by ordering Click and Clack’s pamphlet “Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even Knowing It!” Send $4.75 (check or money order) to Ruin, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

(c) 2015 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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