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Community Manager

Need help for my column (not steering column)

Hey everyone!  Not sure how many people read the content published on Hagerty Media but I have a weekly advice column, Piston Slap, that is a Q&A for just about anything related to cars. Right now I need more questions to answer!


I've covered everything from Blue Flame C1 Corvettes not getting fuel, to a 1980 Buick that needs to be transported from Egypt back to the good 'ol USA.  


If you wanna join in on the fun, email me at so we can tell a good story and enlighten people on the interweb together! 

Advanced Driver

Have to check some resource material first so I don’t remove all doubt about being a dummy.  But I just might have one or two questions coming up on a particular project. 👍

Community Manager

Your forthcoming questions will be greatly appreciated! 


How about distributor the correct way to check and/or add up the timing specs that equal total advance, how to check, and how to dial in your total advance? Due to so much misinformation by way of forums and the internet (just look at some of the terrible youtube videos on how to dial in your total advance), it's a simple deal that is made a black art by way of bad info. 


Another would be tuning your carb. Carb tuning is especially critical when you have a big car, high gearing, etc. Ever notice how the carb that runs like a scalded dog on a low geared, light weigh car stumbles on a heavy car with an automatic? I am in the process of tuning out an off idle stumble on the LTD with a dual feed Holley. 


Those would be my two suggestions. 

Community Manager

Good suggestions but this column is a question and answer format. That's what I have noticed really works in getting people engaged on the blog side of writing. (which is kind of a different ball game compared to communities like this one!) 


I'm with you. Hmmmmm....I would have to think about it a little more. So far I have enjoyed your writings and column. 

Community Manager

Take your time, but do participate in the fun! 


Will do.

Intermediate Driver

Sajeev, if you're really stuck for a topic how about a question on something that might come up in a case of dire necessity. I'm talking about the relative merits (which I suspect are few) and drawbacks (likely more) of using a can of fix-a-flat compound.


I'll use my '97 Esprit as an example as the spare tire is basically symbolic. The spare is a 125 width mini that just fits in the nose of the car. A 245 width front tire won't fit there, much less a 285 width rear. A road tire should fit in the trunk but only if any and all luggage is jettisoned. That ain't happening, especially if my wife is on the trip, and she wouldn't be too happy with a grimy wheel & tire on her lap in the passenger seat. So a lot of the time the idea of replacing a flat with the donut spare is a non-starter. Plus, I wouldn't trust the donut anyway.


If I get a flat, plan A is to call Hagerty Plus. But if that isn't possible for some reason, e.g. in the middle of nowhere with no cell reception, I carry a can of fix-a-flat as plan B. Luckily, I have never had to use it.


So the issue is, do those things actually work. Can you drive on a tire with that "fix"? Can it inflate the tire on the ground or do you have to jack the car up anyway? Even with the simplifying assumption of even weight distribution and no extra luggage or passenger weight a rear wheel on the Esprit is holding up about 840 lb of car and I wonder if a can could overcome that weight or if it would just deposit a big ball of goo inside the valve stem. How much of a mess of the wheel and tire would it make if it did work? 


I'd much rather have these questions answered in your column instead of in real life.


May want to cover proper care and charging of a AGM battery. I get so many customers that really have no idea that charging one is different.