, Salem, MA


December 29, 2012

E-brake won't go down in 2001 Crown Victoria


A: You got your hands on a really nice car. Back in the day, Pontiac had quite the lineup of great cars in their showroom. Starting with the Bonneville, 2+2, Catalina, GTO and LeMans. These were all pure GM Iron and GM muscle. First thing I want you to check is for 12 volts at the positive coil wire attached to the coil. If that’s OK, turn off the key and look for cracks on the coil tower wall. If that’s OK, hook up a dwell meter set at 8 cylinder. Have a helper turn the engine over and check the dwell. It should be set for approximately 30 degrees of dwell. Next, remove the distributor cap, and inspect the rotor for cracks. With the ignition disabled, have a helper once again spin the engine over and look for spinning in the distributor. It’s a really safe system, and I have confidence you will be able to restore spark.

Car Care Tip: As we approach the new year, try to make this simple resolution: More patience when driving, do not exercise road rage and, last, step a tad easier on the gas pedal to save fuel. Have a happy and healthy New Year.


Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to

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