When should I tune-up my Nissan 320? It's a classic, but I still drive it in order to maintain its performance. The problem is that I'm not sure about when to have it tuned-up. Can you help me?
Aside from the car owner's manual, your vehicle will tell you when it already needs tune-up. It will show signs such as the engine running sluggish because this means it has been losing power. It may also run or idle roughly and have problem with misfires. If you are not sure whether these signs are already existent, simply stick with the common tune-up interval of 60,000-90,000 miles. Better yet, see your mechanic and have your vehicle inspected in order to determine if your vehicle needs it soon.
Knowing the tune-up schedule for your Nissan 320 is as important as the vehicle itself. For classic cars, in particular, it will greatly help maintain high market value. It is then understandable why classic car owners are willing to pay a significant amount of time and money for a good tune-up. Classics running with high mileage engines are most likely to require replacements of the distributor cap and rotor, the ignition wires, and even the fuel filter. Cleaning will also be more tedious because it is most probably be needed by the engine throttle body, PCV valve, and the fuel injectors.
My 320 has been suffering from ignition difficulty, so I finally took the spark plug off for replacement. I noticed that the electrodes have black and dry sooty deposits. What went wrong with it?
Dry black plug sooty deposits indicate a number of ignition problems, including wrong heat range, weak spark faulty timing, too rich fuel mixture, and low compression. You can identify which of these reasons caused the plug to have black deposits by the symptoms it showed. Hope that it's just wrong heat range so that you'll be able to fix the problem by yourself. For this problem, you may be experiencing normal cranking of the starter without the engine starting, or that engine starts only when cold but stalls when hot. Fuel economy may have also dropped significantly. The engine would also go rough when idling, misfires at all speeds, and surges when running at steady speeds. You are most probably to feel it lacks power as well and accelerates poorly.
I'm worried that I'll have to bring my Nissan 320 to a mechanic again because of the steam coming from the engine. What are the probable reasons why this is happening?
Worst case scenario is that the mechanic would tell you to have a sealer installed, or have the cylinder-head bolts torqued to specifications because of leaking head gasket. If the joints are leaking, you'll just have to tighten the drain plug, filter, and the engine covers' bolts. But the issue can also be caused by less complex problems, such as incorrect antifreeze mixture, slipping drive belts, leaking coolant hose, and faulty engine thermostat. You can just fix these problems by yourself to save from additional service fees should you buy replacements.