Kamis, 30 Juni 2011

What Does the Check Transmission Light Mean?

Many functions in your vehicle are controlled by the main engine computer, including how and when the transmission shifts gears. To get optimum fuel mileage and performance from your vehicle, computer-controlled shifts are the norm in most modern cars and trucks. In older vehicles, you may not have realized you had a transmission problem until you found yourself stranded. As of 2012, most new vehicles have a warning light that lets you know of transmission problems before they become a major expense.

Warning Light

    While some vehicles may have an actual check transmission warning light, other cars and trucks may inform you of impending transmission problems by using an existing warning light -- such as the overdrive, service or traction control lights. Read your vehicle owners manual to determine how the main engine computer informs you of a transmission problem. Some lights may stay on or may flash on and off until the problem is fixed.

Fault or Reminder

    A transmission warning light may serve a double duty. It may inform you of transmission faults, but the transmission light in some vehicles may also serve as a maintenance reminder to let you know it is time to check or change your transmission fluid, or to take your vehicle to the dealer for regular maintenance. For instance, if your transmission warning light came on just after the vehicle turned over 100,000 miles and you do not feel there is any problem with the transmission, the light may be just a reminder to perform scheduled maintenance. Check your owners manual or call the dealer to be sure.

Checking the Fluid

    One of the first things you should do if your transmission warning light comes on is to check the transmission fluid, if possible. Some vehicles have a sealed transmission that cannot be checked by the owner, but some have a dipstick -- much like the one used to check engine oil level -- so that you can check the transmission fluid level when required. Some vehicles require that the vehicle be warmed up and running while checking the fluid, but check the owners manual for the correct procedure first. If the fluid is low, add only fluid that is specified by the manufacturer to avoid further transmission problems. If the warning light is still on after adding fluid and driving a few miles, there may be another problem.

Symptoms of Trouble

    The conditions under which the transmission warning light comes on may help to point you to the problem area quicker. A problem with a transmission temperature sender may be the culprit if the light comes on or flashes only before the vehicle has warmed up to operating temperature. A light that flickers or comes on only when hitting bumps on the roadway may indicate a loose transmission wiring connection or a bare wire. Other problems, such as harsh or erratic shifting, not shifting from first gear automatically or transmission fluid that appears dark or smells burnt are problems that do not require a transmission warning light to tell you that there is a problem. Your dealer or a transmission repair garage can scan the main engine computer to obtain transmission fault codes. The fault codes may point to a problem -- such as a bad shift solenoid -- that may not require a complete transmission rebuilt, thus saving you some money.

Selasa, 28 Juni 2011

How to Check the Coolant Temperature Sensor on My 1993 Toyota Camry

The coolant temperature sensor on a 1993 Toyota Camry sends a signal to the cars computer to adjust the fuel mixture, ignition timing and control engine temperature by cycling the cooling fan. A bad coolant temperature sensor will cause the spark plugs to foul and destroy the converter over time by allowing it to overheat. It is a thermistor, which exhibits a voltage drop through reduced resistance to ground as the temperature rises and, conversely, lower temperature increases voltage.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the coolant temperature sensor by following the upper radiator hose to the thermostat housing on the engine. The two-wire sensor is next to the thermostat housing. Start the engine and allow it to warm to operating temperature. When it has reached normal operating temperature, shut the engine off. Wait 10 minutes to allow it to cool slightly.

    2

    Connect the voltmeter black lead to the negative terminal on the battery. Use the sharp point on the red lead probe to pierce the sensor signal wire on the electrical connector. Look at the sensor and locate the locking tab. Using the locking tab as the top of the sensor connector, pierce the wire to the left of the tab. Turn the ignition key to the On position without starting the car. If the sensor is good it will display 0.1 to 0.7 volts at 178 degrees. Withdraw the probe and the black lead from the battery negative terminal. Turn the ignition key off.

    3

    Unplug the sensor by pressing the tab and pulling the connector off. Switch the voltmeter to ohms. Probe the two male terminals in the sensor. A good sensor will show 200 to 400 ohms resistance. If it shows any discernible difference in either case, replace the sensor.

Why Are the Rear Brakes Making a Loud Noise After Replacement?

Why Are the Rear Brakes Making a Loud Noise After Replacement?

Loud noises emanating from your ride can definitely detract from the joy of motoring. Brake sounds add another dimension to this annoyance by raising safety concerns. When this disturbing occurrence coincides with recent repairs, workmanship and materials are called into question. The possibility of looming brake failure may add a sense of urgency to the situation, but some brake noises are somewhat less serious than others. A thorough and proper diagnosis can help eliminate the ruckus and alleviate anxieties. Whether the rear brakes are drum or disc styles, noisy operations should be investigated promptly.

The Drum Beat

    Drum brake designs and construction are tried and true and have afforded good service for decades. Even so, certain requirements must be fulfilled for silent and sufficient function. Brake drums can be worn in a manner that results in a slight taper across the braking surface that widens toward the open side of the drum. The bell-mouthed distortion might go undetected during shoe replacement, and the new shoes do not mate with the taper. An alarming howling tone radiates from the drums and seems to permeate the entire vehicle. A taper in the opposite side of the drum can be the caused by metal fatigue or overheating. Both instances produce a similar sound.

Making The Cut

    Grooves and scores can be cut into the brake drum by shoes that are worn down too far. Once the friction material, or lining, has been worn away, metal portions of the shoe assembly can contact the drum and score the surface. Loose lining material and dust in the drum may also contribute to the scoring. Replacement shoes only contact the high parts of the grooved surface, and a squeal or groaning sound may occur. Many of these deficiencies can be corrected by restoring the machined finish on the inside of the drum on a lathe built for the purpose. Hard spots on the friction surface of the drum develop from harsh applications or overloaded vehicles. Excessive heat darkens and hardens sections of the drum, creating a chattering sound. Conventional machining methods can not correct this malady, and new drums are required.

If The Shoes Fit

    The lining on new or rebuilt brake shoes is typically tapered at each end to prevent heel or toe contact with the drum. Bargain replacement shoes may not have this feature, and the square edge of the material impacts the drum sharply at times. The sound of this can differ between applications, but squeals and scuffing noises can occur intermittently. File a bevel into the top and bottom edges of these type shoes if better parts are not available. Brake shoes have different lengths of lining bonded or riveted in place. The shoe with the shorter lining is meant to be the leading, or front brake shoe. It is possible to mount the shoes in the wrong position, and any noises created could seem trivial in comparison to the loss of stopping power.

Discs In The Back

    Every detail of proper friction surface requirements may be even more critical on rear disc brakes. Rear brake rotors, or discs, are typically solid in construction, rather than the vented rotors found on front axles. Irregularities on the solid friction surfaces are more likely to "sound off," and often do not respond to machining efforts. Shims or backing substances missing from bargain brake pads might soon reveal their necessity. Quality replacement parts replicate original equipment for this reason and are often fashioned with tapers and slots in the lining material to prevent sounds, and heat accumulation. Brake pads made of materials other than those recommended by the vehicle maker may raise an intermittent racket all their own.

Senin, 27 Juni 2011

How to Know When a Belt Tensioner Is Bad

How to Know When a Belt Tensioner Is Bad

The timing belt tensioner regulates tension on the timing chain, allowing the engine to run effectively. If the timing is incorrect, it can reduce overall engine power and can potentially cause expensive damage to your vehicle. The timing belt tensioner may require replacement, if it becomes worn or damaged. The easiest way to determine a problem with the timing belt tensioner in your vehicle is to listen for abnormal noises while driving on a familiar route.

Instructions

    1

    Start your engine, and allow your vehicle to warm. Drive a familiar route. This will help you recognize anything out of the ordinary as you stop, start and take curves on the road. After you come to a stop, listen for a rattling noise when accelerating forward again. This noise often suggests a damaged tensioner pulley. The sound may also result from excessive pressure on the pulley.

    2

    Come to another stop, and accelerate slowly. As you do this, listen carefully to your engine. If it begins revving abnormally, there is usually a problem with your belt tensioner.

    3

    Shift through each of the gears in sequential order. Listen for any screeching or squealing sounds. If you hear these noises, your belt tensioner is likely worn out and requires replacement.

    4

    Begin your drive home, and listen for a humming sound. Even if the humming comes and goes away again, you should check your belt tensioner for any damage or wear.

    5

    Look under your vehicle for oil leaks over the next few days. Oil leaks often accompany a cracked belt tensioner. This should be addressed, immediately, to prevent damaging your engine.

Jerky Transmission Causes

Jerky Transmission Causes

Transmission hesitation isn't uncommon, particularly with older units that may have seen a bit of wear and tear. In most cases, the failure comes down to some sort of fluctuation or drop in fluid pressure; in others, it may just be the price you pay for instant throttle response and quick gear changes.

Transmission Basics

    A modern automatic transmission is made up of three basic interdependent systems: a mechanical system controlled by a hydraulic system and a hydraulic system controlled by an electrical system. These systems work together for the sole purpose of taking power from the engine and sending it through a set of gears and clutches. A clutch pack on the transmission's central shaft locks the shaft to a particular gear set; the hydraulic system provides pressure to lock the clutch pack together.

Basic Pressure Fluctuations

    No matter what kind of automatic transmission you have, fluid pressure fluctuations will almost always result in sporadic clutch pack engagement. The clutch pack is spring loaded to stay open whenever pressure to the pack drops, which causes it to repeatedly engage and disengage if there's an interruption in fluid supply. A clogged transmission filter will inhibit fluid flow to the clutch packs, and a bad or leaking oil pump may not provide enough pressure to keep them engaged.

Control System Fluctuations

    There are a lot of little check valves and modulators in your transmission that control fluid pressure to the clutches. In non-electronic transmissions, these modulators are mechanical and get their control signals from a mechanical linkage, a vacuum line or from fluid pressure produced by the pump. Most modulators use a spring-loaded diaphragm or valve assembly; that spring may soften or break over time, and the cylinder walls in the control assemblies can wear down and leak. The same will happen with any kind of malfunction in the electrical system, either in the actuators or the sensors that provide your computer with information.

Manumatic Transmissions

    "Manumatic," "automated manual" and "dual-clutch sequential gearbox" are all different names for a transmission that is essentially a manual gearbox but uses some sort of computer or mechanical system to control gear changes. These transmissions typically use a single or a pair of large clutches like a standard gearbox, and they're known for slightly less-than -eamless operation. Computers aren't as good at detecting clutch slippage as humans are, and may have trouble dealing with a slip-and-release or "chatter" situation. Sadly, with some automated manuals, it's just the nature of the beast.

What Are the Causes of Struts Going Bad?

What Are the Causes of Struts Going Bad?

Struts do three basic things; they act as an upper control arm, support the car's weight with a coil spring and control wheel movement with a shock absorber. Strut failures can happen in a number of different ways, most related directly to time and wear.

Time

    All struts wear out over time. Spring material is just like a paperclip; if you bend it back and forth fast enough and often enough, it'll heat up. Repeated heating and cooling cycles affect the temper of the springs, causing them to soften and sag under the weight of the car. These same cycles will also cause the oil in the shock absorbers to break down, getting thinner and reducing the shock's ability to dampen movement.

Hard Use

    Aggressive driving and off-roading will subject the strut springs and shock oil to more extreme heat cycling, which will cause them to prematurely wear out. Larger-diameter springs, higher-capacity shock absorbers and external oil reservoirs can help to prolong strut life, but won't make them bulletproof under extreme use.

Heavy Wheels and Tires

    A heavy wheel and tire combination will put more stress on the strut assembly, particularly the shock absorber. While even a slight increase may shorten strut life, a very heavy off-road tire will really kill the assembly. If you're going with a wheel-and-tire combo more than 10 percent heavier than stock, then upgrade to a heavy-duty shock absorber.

Why Won't My 1975 Ford F-100 Start?

Why Won't My 1975 Ford F-100 Start?

While there can be many reasons why a Ford 1975 F-100 may not start, there are a few general areas that usually reveal the problem. These areas include the battery, electrical array and fuel system.

Wiring

    Damaged wiring may be an issue. Frayed, detached or wet wiring can make many components inoperable. If wiring damage is evident in the fuel system or around the battery, then the F-100 will have trouble starting. Burned out or broken fuses and relays may also be to blame. It is best to pair check the wiring with other systems.

Fuel

    Fuel problems can be more involved than an empty tank. If the carburetor is flooded, the F-100 will have trouble starting or it will not start at all. Fuel may not be reaching the injectors, as well. Any water within the system, such as in the tank, can also be to blame.

Battery

    If the battery does not bare a sufficient charge, the starting system will not work. Often, a symptom of this includes a clicking sound once the key is turned. The battery's cables may not be fully attached, and they may also be damaged. If white powder is present on the terminals, then corrosion is present and posing a problem.

Mechanical

    Troubleshooting the starting motor could reveal damage. Issues with the pinion directly impact whether or not the truck starts. Beyond battery issues, check and service the vehicle's alternator.

Minggu, 26 Juni 2011

Indications of a Bad Spindle on a Chrysler

The spindle on your Chrysler car is a part of the steering and suspension system. The other parts of the suspension and wheel will rotate around the actual spindle. If the spindle in your Chrysler vehicle fails, your car will not steer or drive properly. There are several problems that can indicate that the spindle has stopped functioning properly.

Tire Wear

    A bad spindle can affect the way your car's tires wear out. You can identify tire wear problems by looking at and measuring the tread on your tires with a tire tread gauge. If one section is noticeably flatter or more worn than another, your car has a tire wear problem or issue that should be corrected.

    Depending on how badly worn your tire is, you may need to replace the tire in order to get the smoothest ride and best traction possible.

Bad Steering and Handling

    The spindle is an integral part of your vehicle's steering and suspension systems; so if it is not functioning properly, you can expect your vehicle not to steer or handle properly either. If you have noticed a problem with the way your vehicle is handling or performing, the spindle should be one of the components you should have your mechanic check.

Noises

    If your Chrysler's wheel spindle has broken down or frozen up, you will probably hear grinding or metallic noises coming from the wheel assembly of your vehicle. The noises may vary in loudness and frequency; but if you hear them, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic for evaluation.

2001 Dodge Neon Troubleshooting

Since its introduction in 1995, the Dodge Neon has been a popular compact car. Properly identifying minor issues before they become major problems saves your Neon any costly repair.

Electrical Problems

    CarComplaints.com says that electrical issues are the 2001 Neon's most reported problem. The two most common are related to the engine and battery. Having your mechanic perform routine engine check-ups and battery tests deters future problems.

Exterior Lighting

    Repair Pal says that the 2001 Dodge Neon experiences numerous headlight, turn signal and corner lamp problems. Routinely checking your exterior lights ensures future safe driving.

Steering Problems

    MyCarStats.com reports steering issues with the 2001 Dodge Neon, usually beginning with a squeaky steering column. Spraying WD-40 lubricant on the lines of the steering column will help fix this problem.

Outcome

    Following these preventative steps will maintain your car's performance and help avoid future problems.

Sabtu, 25 Juni 2011

How to Troubleshoot a 97 Chevy Blazer What Won't Start

How to Troubleshoot a 97 Chevy Blazer What Won't Start

There are several reasons why a 97 Chevy Blazer will not start. Some problems you can fix right away, and others may require help from a mechanic.

Instructions

    1

    Check your Chevy Blazer's battery for signs of corrosion if you only hear clicking noises when you turn the key. If the interior lights go dim when you try to start it, then you may have a dead battery and need a jump start from another car using jumper cables.

    2

    Check to be certain the Blazer is in park or neutral, if you only hear a clicking noise when you turn the key and the interior lights do not go dim. Be certain you are depressing the clutch pedal to the floor if you have a standard transmission. This could also be an indication of a problem with the ignition switch or starter motor.

    3

    Check the Chevy Blazer's spark plugs if you hear the engine cranking when you turn the key, but the car doesn't start. Do this by holding a spark tester next to the spark plug's wire while someone else turns the ignition key. If there is no spark, it could be a problem with the spark plugs.

    4

    Listen for the fuel pump to engage when you turn the key in the ignition of your Blazer. If you don't hear it come on and run, that could indicate a problem with the fuel pump or the pump's circuitry.

    5

    Check for compression in your Blazer by screwing a compression tester into a spark plug hole. If the compression registers low, this could indicate a problem with the timing belt.

    6

    Remove the distributor cap on your Blazer. Look inside the cap for signs of moisture. If you see moisture, spray some mechanic's solvent that is used to clean car parts onto it. Dry it off with a clean rag.

    7

    Look at your gas gauge to be certain you have enough gas. It may seem like common sense, but it is often the common sense procedures that we forget to perform.

Jumat, 24 Juni 2011

Why is My Check Engine Light On in My 2002 Volkswagen Beetle?

The 2002 Volkswagen Beetle was available in a GL, GLS, GLX and S sub-model. The available engines were a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 1.9-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder and a 2.0-liter in-line four cylinder. The 2002 Beetle has an onboard diagnostic computer called an OBD-II, which will provide you with the reason your "Check Engine" light is on. The OBD-II monitors several aspects of the engine and emissions, and the "Check Engine" light illuminates when the computer senses a fault in one of the many systems of the car.

Instructions

    1

    Open the driver's door on the Beetle and kneel next to the driver's seat. Locate the OBD-II plug port beneath the dashboard. The OBD-II port looks identical in shape to the plug on the scanner. Insert the scanner plug into the OBD-II port. Sit in the driver's seat of the car when the scanner is connected.

    2

    Turn the ignition key to the "II" accessories position without starting the car. Press the power button on the scanner if necessary. Use the arrow keys on the scanner to select your vehicle's type, year, make and model. The 2002 Beetle type is "Foreign." Press the "Read" or "OK" button to accept your answers as you enter them. Choose the "Read trouble codes" selection on the scanner. Allow the scanner to communicate with the car.

    3

    Use the information from the scanner to diagnose what part of the vehicle is causing the error code and "Check Engine" light. Your scanner will give you a brief or a long definition, depending on the quality of the scanner software. Some scanners even offer the most popular fixes to eliminate certain codes. Make the repair on the vehicle, or have the repair made by a professional mechanic.

    4

    Insert the code reader back into the car after the repairs have been made. Scan the OBD-II computer for codes. Choose the "Erase codes" option. Select "Yes" when the scanner prompts you if you would really like to erase the codes. Allow the scanner to communicate with the car. The scanner will prompt you that there are no remaining codes when the process is finished.

    5

    Drive your car as you normally would, if you performed the repairs yourself. If the "Check Engine" light illuminates within a short period of time or immediately, then the proper repairs were not performed. Consult repair manuals and other resources for the repairs to eliminate the "Check Engine" trouble codes you are receiving.

Kamis, 23 Juni 2011

Why Does My ABS Go On When I Press My Brakes?

Your vehicle's antilock braking system uses dozens of components designed to do one thing: keep the wheels turning at the same speed regardless of braking system demands. The ABS does this by monitoring wheel speed and increasing or decreasing pressure to each wheel in response to the observed differences in wheel speed. A number of faults can trigger an intermittent ABS warning light, some more serious than others.

Air in the Lines

    An intermittent ABS fault -- particularly when accompanied by a brake warning light -- will typically indicate a loss of pressure in the brake lines. Brake fluid, as a liquid, is incompressible, meaning that it'll never get any smaller in volume no matter how much pressure you apply to it. Air trapped in the brake lines will compress, causing the ABS computer to read a temporary drop in pressure and trigger an ABS warning light. The fix here is to bleed the brake system.

Low Brake Fluid

    Three things happen when you press the brake pedal: The master cylinder sucks fluid in from the reservoir; the cylinder's piston pushes fluid through the lines; and the slave cylinders receive the pressure and move, in accordance. If the brake fluid level is low enough, the master cylinder's piston will just suck in air and fail to pressurize either the car's front brakes, rear brakes, or both. Keep the fluid at the full level at all times.

Leaking Brake Cylinders or Lines

    A leaking brake cylinder or line will have the same net effect as air in the lines. Instead of pushing on the brake slave cylinder, pressure in the lines will escape through the leak and leave the system. Depending upon the particular braking system, a leak in one part of the system can leech pressure from the part of the system and cause an overall net loss in braking pressure.

Accumulator and Pump Malfunction

    The ABS pump pressurizes a spring-loaded chamber called an accumulator, which provides instant pressure for modulating brake pressure past what your foot provides at the brake pedal. A failed or failing pump or accumulator will result in a momentary loss of brake system pressure as the ABS system opens the modulator valves to control pressure at the individual wheels.

Dirty Wheel Speed Sensors

    The reluctor rings on the backs of your vehicle's wheels resemble a gear; when the teeth in that "gear" pass in front of a magnet, they induce a slight electrical field in a sensor located nearby. Metallic brake dust can stick to this reluctor ring and "bake" onto it, changing the size of the gaps between the teeth, and altering the sensor's output. This may cause a constant on-light as the computer reads a consistent discrepancy in wheel speed, or it may cause a temporary fault if the ABS computer only reads its sensors during brake application.

How to Reset the Sliding Doors on a 2003 Honda Odyssey

The 2003 Honda Odyssey LX models feature a 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, independent suspension and front-wheel drive. Models that feature the EX designation are outfitted with luxury items such as leather seating with available GPS navigation and/or entertainment packages. All trim levels receive automatic sliding doors that allow you to open the doors via key-chain remote or while sitting in the driver's seat. Resetting the automatic sliding door function for your 2003 Honda Odyssey may rectify certain issues that can arise from an error condition.

Instructions

    1

    Disable the power sliding door system by pushing the "Sliding Door" switch, located on the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel.

    2

    Open the passenger-side fuse box, located under the passenger-side leg well. Remove the fuse labeled "13" from the fuse box using your fingers or a fuse removal tool.

    3

    Open and close both power sliding doors, manually.

    4

    Reinsert fuse "13" into the passenger-side fuse box. The fuse must be removed from the fuse box for at least 30 seconds before reinstallation.

    5

    Turn on the "Power Door" switch and test for proper automatic sliding door functionality.

Problems With an OMC Outdrive

Problems With an OMC Outdrive

Outboard Marine Corporation Cobra outdrives first came out in 1985. The unit was able to attach to several different engine configurations, on a variety of boats and hull designs. Some problems still remain with OMC outdrives, notably the transom shift cable, cable routing, dog clutch gear and cable guide.

Transom Shift Cable Design

    The cable, designated the lower shift cable, went through the transom and attached to the gear-change box. Inherent problems were discovered with the inner cable core binding inside the protective sleeve, which promoted difficult shifting. In these cases, operators needed to apply two to three times the amount of of pressure to move the shifter from neutral to forward and reverse. Sometimes the shifter jammed and did not move at all.

Transom Cable Routing

    Inconsistency in the transom cable routing caused kinks and sharp bends in the cable, which halted the core's interior movement. This was traced back to insufficient factory lubrication that caused premature wear of the core and sleeve. Also, cables that came with the rubber cable sleeves mounted above the starter, and not routed under it to the proper bracket, failed. This faulty routing configuration also caused the unintentional activation of the electronic shift assist system.

Dog Clutch Gear Failure

    Failure of the dog clutch gears has happened as a direct result of a defective transom shift cable. When the shift cable only partially engaged as a result of binding, it shaved metal off the engagement gear contact surfaces between neutral, forward and reverse. Clutch dog gears stuck in partial engagement during a higher than normal rpm shift caused gear tooth breakage and rapid wear.

Cable Guide

    Many OMC outdrive cable binded at the pivot point on the plastic cable guide. The retaining screw that held the cable guide down was often over-tightened, even though directions have been followed. Using a screwdriver to turn the retaining screw one turn counterclockwise to free up the cable, remedied the problem.

    Many OMC outdrive motors were set too high by the factory or maladjusted by their owners. The most common complaint indicated idles speeds that ran from 20 to 50 per cent over manufacture's specifications. This created a hard, shock engagement of the transmission gears and U-joint when shifting the gearbox. Propeller key and key-way shaft problems also resulted. Most OMC outdrives were designed to idle at 650 rpm, or according to individual engine model specifications.

My Sportage Won't Start

My Sportage Won't Start

The Sportage is a midsize sport-utility vehicle that is manufactured and sold by Kia Motors America, a branch of Kia Motors Corporation, which is based in South Korea. The Sportage occasionally may need troubleshooting as, just like any vehicle, there are times when it may not start. In those cases, try a few simple checks before calling a professional mechanic.

Instructions

    1

    Check to be sure the steering column is not locked. With the steering column locked, the key will not turn in the ignition. Turn the steering wheel left and right until you hear a click to indicate that it is in the correct position, then try to start the engine.

    2

    Add a gallon of fuel to your Sportage to be sure that there is enough fuel for the engine to start. Without enough fuel, the engine may sputter or shut off completely and will not restart. After adding the fuel, try to start the engine.

    3

    Check the fluid levels of your Sportage. Refer to the owner's manual for the locations of the dipsticks for oil and transmission fluid, and check the coolant reservoir. Make sure that each is full or filled between the minimum and maximum lines. Without the proper fluid levels, the engine can be damaged and may not start.

    4

    Listen for sounds as the engine is turned over. The Sportage may make certain noises that will indicate the reason it is not starting properly. If you do not hear any sounds when you turn the key, the ignition switch could be faulty. If you hear clicking, the starter is likely the problem. If the engine starts and then sputters out or turns off immediately, the fuel pump, fuel filter or fuel line could be faulty.

    5

    Put the key in the ignition and turn it to the "Accessories" mode. Turn on the head lights and interior lights of your Sportage. The lights should come on even if the engine is not running. If they do not, the battery will have to be charged, jump-started, or replaced. Read your owner's manual to determine the proper battery for your vehicle.

    6

    Call a mechanic or dealership for further advice on starting problems. Have the vehicle towed to the location at which a professional can diagnose the problem.

What Does the Power Steering Pressure Switch Do?

What Does the Power Steering Pressure Switch Do?

The power steering pressure switch lurks quietly under the hood until a problem develops with a vehicle, such as a power steering leak requiring line replacement. If the vehicle idles poorly and the check engine light turns on, a check of the diagnostic codes may reveal an error with the power steering pressure switch. The power steering pressure switch feeds information about the demand on power steering to the engine control module.

Location

    The power steering system's fluid is split into two sides. The high-pressure side feeds fluid from the power steering pump to the power steering gearbox or the power steering rack. Most heavy-duty trucks and many older cars were designed with a power steering gearbox, but front wheel drive vehicles and most new light duty trucks utilize a power steering rack. The fluid returns through a low-pressure line back to the pump reservoir, where the cycle repeats. The power steering pressure switch is always installed on the high-pressure side of the system.

Operation

    The power steering pressure switch is much like a light switch, either off or on.
    The power steering pressure switch is much like a light switch, either off or on.

    When the steering wheel and front tire positions do not match, the power steering fluid pressure pushes the tires in the desired direction, and the pressure in the power steering system spikes higher. The power steering pressure switch contains a diaphragm that actuates a contact switch. A spring pushes outward on the diaphragm keeping the switch normally open. The switch closes as the pressure of the power steering fluid on one side of the diaphragm rises high enough to overcome spring pressure. Once the front tires match the steering wheel position, the steering gear redirects the fluid back to the power steering pump and the tires no longer move. The system pressure drops, the pressure no longer overcomes the spring pressure on the diaphragm, and the switch opens.

Purpose

    The power steering pressure switch feeds information about demand on the power steering system to the vehicle's computer. At low speed, such as during parking lot maneuvers, the engine produces little power. Instead of waiting for the engine speed to decrease from the increased demand on power steering, the vehicle computer can compensate immediately for the increased load demand to keep the engine running smoothly.

Failure Symptoms

    When the power steering pressure switch indicates the system is always on or always off, the engine control computer illuminates the check engine light to the problem. During low speed parking lot maneuvers or when the engine is in idle, turning the steering wheel may cause the engine to bog down, and then surge as the computer overcompensates for the load. In some cases, the vehicle may stall at low speed when the wheel is turned, as the engine computer did not know there was a sudden demand for power and could not compensate fast enough.

Rabu, 22 Juni 2011

How to Troubleshoot a 1969 Dodge Pickup

How to Troubleshoot a 1969 Dodge Pickup

The 1969 Dodge pickup was manufactured several decades before the introduction of high-tech sensors and onboard computer systems. The trucks were built with either a V-8 engine or a 225 cubic inch V-6 engine. Diagnosing mechanical problems requires basic observations and close monitoring of the vehicle performance. Although the engine is simple and closely resembles the previous three models, the 1969 Dodge updated the body style with a rounded front and a short box. It is difficult to find parts for the 1969 model, but engine components from the 1967 and 1968 trucks do match the 1969 pickup.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the key and start the engine. If the engine is dead and the vehicle has power, the starter must be replaced. Tap the starter with a hammer to unlock the teeth and start the engine. If the hammer works, the starter must be replaced in the near future. If the hammer does not engage the unit, remove the starter bolts with a socket wrench and replace the unit.

    2

    Turn the key and attempt to start the truck. If the engine cranks but does not fire, replace the spark plugs. If the problem continues, the carburetor must be cleaned and serviced. Spray a commercial cleaner in the carburetor, then test the engine.

    3

    Drive the vehicle and monitor the power as you accelerate. If the engine sputters and stalls, the fuel pump must be replaced. The fuel pump relay and fuel hose may also require service. Check the rubber hose for damage and leaks and replace it with a new hose.

    4

    Test the transmission by accelerating without breaking the legal speed limit. If the truck stalls, skips gears and hesitates while shifting, the transmission must be fixed immediately. Check the level of the transmission fluid and have the transmission flushed before committing to expensive repairs.

    5

    Monitor the brakes for grinding, squeaking and pulsing at the pedal. The brakes must be replaced if a consistent squeaking is present. Grinding indicates further damage and the rotors must be inspected for damage.

Bad Motor Mount Symptoms

Bad Motor Mount Symptoms

Motor mounts hold the engine in place and help absorb the vibration created by the engine as it runs. Controlling that vibration is important, and not just to the quality and smoothness of the ride. Uncontrolled vibration can damage engine parts and result in the need for costly repairs. Checking the condition of motor mounts should be a regular part of routine vehicle maintenance.

Heavy Vibration

    Excessive vibration is the most common symptom of a broken or damaged motor mount. Because the engine is no longer being held securely in place, its vibration can be felt inside the passenger compartment. Depending on which motor mount is damaged, the vibration can range from significantly more than usual to severe and outright disconcerting.

Engine Looks Out of Place

    Without the support that a fully functioning motor mount provides, it is possible that the engine could shift its position. This is especially true when excessive vibration continues unabated, creating stress and damage to the motor mount so that it no longer supports the engine sufficiently, shifting the engine even further--and more dangerously--out of position.

Unusually Noisy Engine Compartment

    If the engine is even slightly out of position because of a motor mount problem, the vibration resulting from weak or broken motor mounts can cause parts that would normally never come into contact with the frame or other components in the engine compartment to do so noisily, with an audible banging and rattling. This noise should be investigated right away as serious consequences could result, such as needing to replace more sensitive parts damaged by the vibration and banging.

Damage To Other Engine Parts

    If the damaged motor mount has produced significant engine vibration and/or caused it to shift out of position to such a degree that parts are banging against the vehicle's frame or even other engine parts, this can result in significant damage to those parts. Belts could snap, metal could bend, seals could crack, wires could stretch and break, and nuts and bolts could vibrate loose. Damaged parts could lead to problems with surrounding and interdependent components, as well as a host of costly and time-consuming repairs.

How to Troubleshoot a CVT

A continuously variable transmission, or CVT, utilizes a system of tapered gears or pulleys to allow for a constantly variable gear ratio. This allows the engine to always operate at peak efficiency and performance, in contrast to conventional transmissions which have a set number of gear ratios from which to choose. Automobile CVTs are equipped with extensive electronic monitoring systems to ensure the transmission internals are operating properly. Therefore, you can troubleshoot virtually any extensive problem with your CVT by accessing the engine control unit diagnostic system.

Instructions

    1

    Observe the vehicle gauge layout. Most problems with the CVT internals will activate the vehicle "check engine" light, often indicated by an illuminated engine symbol. Alternatively, some CVTs are programmed to flash one of the gear indicator lights, such as the overdrive light, when transmission problems occur.

    2

    Plug an engine diagnostic code reader device into the diagnostic access port, generally located underneath the driver's side dashboard area. The engine control unit, or ECU, monitors transmission malfunctions and stores an error code when malfunctions occur. If you do not have an ECU diagnostic reader, many automotive service centers offer free ECU code-reading service.

    3

    Study the error codes given to you by the diagnostic reader to troubleshoot the CVT. Each component malfunction features a unique error code, as well as a brief description of the malfunction. For a more detailed explanation of the error code, contact your vehicle manufacturer's service department.

    4

    Check the CVT fluid level. Access the CVT fluid dipstick, generally located in the lower engine compartment. Remove the dipstick and wipe off all excess fluid. Then, reinsert the dipstick and remove it once again. This leaves an accurate mark on the dipstick which indicates the fluid level. Compare the fluid level with the recommended level given by your vehicle owner's manual.

    5

    Blot a generous amount of the CVT fluid onto a clean, flat paper towel. Allow the fluid time to settle, then observe the color and consistency of the blot stain. Healthy CVT fluid will produce a consistently dispersed, light-brown blot. In contrast, worn fluid will produce a dense, dark blot on the towel. This is due to contamination of the CVT fluid, such as through oxidation. Flush and replace unhealthy fluid with new transmission fluid as recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

    6

    Start the vehicle and shift the transmission between the various drive selections. If the gearshift feels hesitant, this indicates a problem with the gearshift or shift linkage components. However, if grinding or vibrations occur from the transmission itself upon gear changes, this indicates a problem with the transmission internals.

    7

    Accelerate your vehicle and observe the tachometer, which indicates rpm values. If the transmission struggles to increase or maintain the given rpm value, this indicates a problem with the internal CVT pulley system. For example, a slipping CVT belt will make it more difficult for the transmission to deliver the engine power to the wheels. Alternatively, a slipping belt and other internal CVT problems that hinder power delivery make the engine feel hesitant under heavy acceleration.

How to Know When a Fuel Pump Is Leaking

How to Know When a Fuel Pump Is Leaking

A fuel pump is designed to deliver gasoline from the gas tank to the engine of a vehicle. If it stops working properly, it can stop the engine from running. Knowing the warning signs of a malfunctioning fuel pump can allow you to get the pump replaced in a timely fashion. Replacing a faulty fuel pump can prevent the car engine from completely shutting down.

Instructions

Highway Speed Test

    1

    Pull the car onto the highway.

    2

    Pay attention to how the car runs for the first mile on the highway. If the car jerks or falters in the first mile before hitting top speed, this may indicate a fuel pump problem.

    3

    Focus on the car's speed as it travels along the highway. A sudden loss of speed even when the accelerator is pressed could be indicative of a fuel pump problem.

Acceleration Test

    4

    Start the car. Place the car in drive.

    5

    Press down on the accelerator.

    6

    Pay attention to the acceleration of the car. If the car moves and then seems to lose power and acceleration after traveling a few feet, it could indicate a problem with the fuel pump.

Start Test

    7

    Place the key into the car's ignition.

    8

    Start the engine.

    9

    Pay attention to how long it takes before the car's engine turns over and starts. Excessive cranking of the engine or the inability of the engine to turn over at all could be indicative of a fuel pump problem.

Selasa, 21 Juni 2011

My 2000 Dodge Caravan Won't Start in Park

My 2000 Dodge Caravan Won't Start in Park

Chrysler Group LLC manufactured the first Dodge Caravan minivan in 1983. The Caravan has been widely successful, with consumers preferring the full size and car-like features. When the 2000 Dodge Caravan was released, minivans accounted for almost 8 percent of all new vehicles sold in Canada and the United States. The 2000 model sported a more powerful engine and design improvements. All this recognition means little when you hop in your minivan only to discover the vehicle won't start.

Instructions

    1

    Check the battery terminal connections. Open the hood and look for the battery. Look to see if the cables are clamped to the terminals on each side of the top of the battery. If the terminals are heavily corroded, jab the point of an insulated screwdriver between the cable connector and terminal; firmly wrench the screwdriver in the gap. Attempt to start the minivan. If it starts, the cable connection is loose. Turn off the van, remove the screwdriver, and replace the cables.

    2

    Insert the key into the ignition and turn the key. If the engine does not turn and you hear no clicking or cranking, it is possibly a dead battery. Open the hood and connect one end of the booster cables to the battery terminals. Connect the other end of the cables to another car's battery terminals. Wait a few moments, and then turn the key to start the car. Remove the booster cables. Allow the minivan to run for several minutes to replenish the battery.

    3

    Wiggle the wires from the battery to the starter. The starter is a gray, cylindrical metal device with wires leading to the battery. It is located on the driver's side of the engine, tucked under the windshield. Attempt to start the minivan. If the engine starts, take the minivan to an auto shop to replace the wires. If you hear clicking and the engine does not turn over, the starter is bad. Take the minivan to an auto shop to replace the starter.

    4

    Check the spark plugs for dirt, moisture or corrosion. Select the correct nut from the ratchet set to remove each spark plug. Look for dirt or corrosion on each plug. Clean the end of the spark plugs with a rag, or replace the spark plugs entirely.

    5

    Check to see if the gas tank lid is closed securely. If the lid is missing or loose, moisture may have entered the fuel supply. Add a can of isopropyl alcohol fuel additive from any car parts store.

Troubleshooting Wheel Bearing Problems

Troubleshooting Wheel Bearing Problems

A wheel bearing is used within the center of each wheel hub to avoid metal-to-metal grinding. It is well lubricated to reduce as much noise as possible. Eventually it will wear down and need to be replaced. It may become dislodged due to rough terrain, rusted from water or damaged from dirt and rough particles. Symptoms will arise that can be seen or heard and the replacement of the wheel bearings will be important to avoid an accident.

Instructions

    1

    Listen for grinding noises originating from a moving wheel. When the bearing becomes dislodged or irritated it will produce a grinding or rumbling noise. There are other problems that can make grinding noises, but a wheel bearing issue will be related to the speed and movement of the vehicle. The grinding will get louder and faster as the vehicle accelerates, and it will get louder or stop altogether when going around corners as the weight of the vehicle shifts. Driving around in a large open area to shift weight on each wheel separately is the best way to determine which bearing is degrading. The loudest noise will come from the defective wheel.

    2

    Lift the vehicle so the wheels are free from traction by using a jack or industrial lift. When the wheel bearings wear out they lose their shape and no longer fit solidly as they are supposed to, which in turn allows some play in how the wheel rotates. Shake the wheel in and out and if it is loose then the wheel bearings might be wearing out and should be replaced.

    3

    Examine the tires for extreme wear and tear. When the wheel bearings wear out they become loose and the wheel no longer is in solid rotation. If the tires are no longer following a solid path they will begin to wear very quickly and unevenly, and this is a sign that the wheel bearings need to be replaced soon.

    4

    Check any available nuts and bolts and ensure they are tight enough for travel. This might solve some problems with tire wear and sudden noises. If not, then the replacement of the wheel bearings might be necessary.

Senin, 20 Juni 2011

Symptoms of a Bad Steering Gear

Symptoms of a Bad Steering Gear

The steering gear multiplies the turning force required to steer a vehicle. Converting the force of the driver turning the steering wheel and applying that force to the steering linkage which turn the front wheels of an automobile is the main purpose of the steering gear. An inspection must be done of the steering gear each time the tires or front end of the vehicle are aligned. Symptoms of a bad steering gear occur when different problems arise.

Wandering

    A worn steering gear will cause the automobile to wander or veer to one side when operated. The automobile will also pull to one side when the steering gear is excessively worn. Ensure that no other steering component is worn or damaged, such as the linkage or tie rods. Replacement of the steering gear is the only correction for this problem.

Excessive Play

    Excessive play in the steering wheel is another symptom that the steering gear is bad or worn. While driving the automobile, the steering wheel is loose or must be turned in one direction a lot before the front wheel begins to turn in the desired direction. The steering wheel can also wobble back and forth during operation. The steering gear has too much play in the component before engaging the linkage and turning the vehicle. Have someone observe the tires as you begin to turn the steering wheel. See how far you turn the steering wheel before the observer lets you know when the front tires begin to turn. If you have to turn the steering wheel more than 1 inch in one direction before the tires turn, there is a problem with the steering gear.

Noise When Turning

    A popping noise or grinding noise heard while turning the steering wheel can come from a bad steering gear. A leaking gasket or low power steering fluid causes heat to build up in the steering gear component. The power steering fluid provides lubrication to the moving parts of the steering gear. Without the fluid, friction creates heat inside the steering gear component, prematurely wearing the gear. Puddles under the driver's side of the vehicle is a good sign that a seal or gasket on the steering gear is losing fluid. Check the power steering fluid level on a periodic basis, similar to the way your check the oil level.

Oil Foaming or Discolored

    Another symptom that the steering gear is bad occurs during regular maintenance inspections. The power steering fluid or oil is foaming, discolored or milky in color. Fluid that is black in color shows signs of excessive heat buildup in the steering gear. Foaming oil shows that air is building up in the steering system and the fluid is not lubricating the moving parts of the steering gear. Milky oil is a sign that water has gotten into the steering system. Water in the power fluid prevents the steering gear from being lubricated properly.

Minggu, 19 Juni 2011

Dodge Trucks Troubleshooting Codes

Like most modern vehicles, the 2007 Dodge trucks come with an onboard diagnostic computer system to monitor and signal when the vehicle is not performing correctly. Additionally, the system also is designed to ensure that the engine and emissions meet federal emission requirements or signal for repair if they do not.

Trouble Signals

    The OBD system monitors dozens of sensors. When a sensor picks up an aberration, it will send that signal to the OBD main computer. If the trouble is significant, it will then trigger the "check engine" light. The codes also will be saved so they can be pulled for diagnostics.

Obtaining the Trouble Codes

    The easiest and most direct method of interpreting the Dodge truck engine codes is to use an OBD scanner. The scanner input is connected to the truck underneath the steering wheel. The owner plugs it in, turns the truck ignition to the "on" position and the OBD data downloads.

Finding Reference

    A user can write the code down displayed on scanner if it is a basic one. More expensive models will provide the trouble code and definition. If not, a user can simply look them up on the Internet at a code website that lists the trouble codes for Dodge trucks.

How to Troubleshoot Honda Civic Oil Burning

Since its introduction in 1973 the Honda Civic has earned a reputation as a reliable vehicle. Regardless, engine problems can occur, especially in older models or vehicles subjected to improper maintenance. Some problems can result in lubricating oil leaking into the cylinders, causing a characteristic blue smoke to come out of the exhaust pipe. It is important to identify the cause of the oil burning so that the problem can be repaired as quickly as possible.

Instructions

    1

    Check the coolant in the cooling fluid reservoir and in the radiator. If the cooling fluid is dark brown, or if there is oily scum floating on the surface, it is likely that the engine head gasket has failed.

    2

    Check the compression of each cylinder. Low compression in one cylinder likely indicates that the piston rings or the valve seals are worn or damaged. To determine which, put a teaspoon of motor oil into the cylinder and repeat the compression test. If the compression increases the problem is the piston ring. If the compression remains low the problem is the valve seal.

    If compression is low in two adjacent cylinders it likely indicates a head gasket failure. Low compression in all cylinders indicates that the piston rings, and perhaps the cylinders, are worn.

    3

    Check the PCV valve. Remove the hose from the valve and start the engine. Tap your finger on the exposed PCV valve opening. If a vacuum is present then the valve is working properly. Check the hose for blockage.

    4

    Check the engine oil pressure by connecting an oil pressure testing unit according to the manufacturer's instructions. High oil pressure usually indicates that oil passages in the engine are plugged with sludge. Low pressure is likely an indication of problems with the oil pump or excessive wear on the crankshaft bearings.

Symptoms of a Bad Slave Cylinder

Symptoms of a Bad Slave Cylinder

A vehicle's slave cylinder -- part of the hydraulic clutch system located on the outside or inside of the transmission -- is a device which aids in clutch disengagement. When a clutch pedal is pressed, the master cylinder applies pressure to the slave cylinder, causing the clutch to release. If the slave cylinder is faulty, the clutch will malfunction, preventing a vehicle from properly shifting gears. Several symptoms are indicative of a slave cylinder problem.

Loose Pedal

    The way a clutch pedal feels when pressed will often indicate if a slave cylinder is faulty. The clutch might feel loose or soft and may not shift into action, even when the pedal is pressed completely to the floor. This occurs when a seal inside the slave cylinder starts leaking, allowing air to seep in.

Low Fluid Levels

    Monitoring clutch fluid levels may help with diagnosing a bad slave cylinder. If a slave cylinder is leaking, clutch fluid levels are quickly depleted and need frequent refills. If the clutch fluid is below the normal level immediately after a refill, or within a short time, check the cylinder for cracks or holes that might allow seepage.

Leaks

    Fluid leaking from a slave cylinder indicates a problem. Internal leaks are the most common and are diagnosed by examining the cylinder. Sometimes cracks in the cylinder are not visiblem and squeezing the bottom part of it, called the boot, will help reveal any weak spots on the surface. Also, look for spilled fluid -- medium to dark red in color -- on the ground below the slave cylinder. Leaking from a master cylinder can produce symptoms similar to slave cylinder leaks. To be sure of the leak source, inspect the inside of both the master and slave cylinders.

Other Symptoms

    The slave cylinder will often squeak when the clutch is depressed due to rust build-up or other problems. Also, if the slave cylinder is faulty, you may experience problems shifting gears. The vehicle will often slip into a gear even when the clutch is pressed, or it may not shift at all.

Sabtu, 18 Juni 2011

How to Use a Rectifier Regulator Tester

How to Use a Rectifier Regulator Tester

For automobiles and motorcycles the battery is used to help start the engine. Once the engine has been started, it turns an alternator that generates electricity. However, this is AC (alternating current) power. The battery which needs recharging by the alternator is designed for DC (direct current). The ignition system, tail lamps, brake lamps, turn signals and gauges also need electric power to function. They are also DC components. To address this need for DC power, a regulator rectifier converts the AC power from the alternator to the necessary DC power. When the charging system isn't working properly, this is a component to check.

Instructions

    1

    Review the documentation for the regulator rectifier. Make sure you understand each pin connection. Depending upon the design, you will find at least one output lead. You will also find a negative pin that serves as the DC circuit ground.

    2

    Disconnect the rectifier regulator outputs. Keep it connected to the alternator. The output end is what you want to disconnect to test the output.

    3

    Connect the regulator rectifier tester. Insert the probe leads into the output voltage side and the ground. If you have multiple outputs, you will have to return to this point to test all other outputs. You may also touch a test lead to the vehicle chassis for a sufficient ground.

    4

    Start the engine. Do this for only a brief period of time to test the output. While you are conducting this test, the battery is providing power for all the on-board electrical systems. Since that means this test drains the battery, keep the engine on for less than one minute.

    5

    Test the regulator rectifier. Read the output indicator from the tester. Compare the results against what you should see. If you have multiple voltage outputs, test each of the remaining ones in the same manner. Just make sure you only run the engine briefly.

    6

    Determine the disposition of the regulator rectifier. If all of the outputs have checked out as good, then there is no need to replace the regulator rectifier. However, if even just one of the rectifier outputs is bad, the whole component must be replaced according to the directions stated in a repair manual.

How to Test a Steering Rack

The steering rack, in your rack-and-pinion equipped vehicle, provides precise steering control with a minimum of moving parts. The light weight and durability of this design makes it favored among manufacturers of cars and light trucks. The basic system consists of an input shaft and gear -- the pinion -- and a horizontal shaft and gear -- the rack -- in a sealed housing bolted to the frame or unibody of the vehicle. Power-assisted units contain a spool valve on the pinion shaft to provide power steering assist.

Instructions

    1

    Block the rear wheels, using wheel chocks, to prevent vehicle movement during the test. Set the parking brake firmly. Slide a floor jack under the front subframe for front-wheel drive vehicles or cross member for rear-wheel drive vehicles.

    2

    Raise the front of the vehicle, until the wheels are off the ground, using a floor jack positioned under the front cross member or subframe. Support the weight of the vehicle by lowering it onto jack stands positioned under the frame or cross member.

    3

    Start the engine. Observe the front wheels. If the front wheels begin to turn on their own with no steering input from the driver, replace the steering rack unit. This condition is caused by a sticking spool valve in the rack and pinion assembly. Turn off the engine.

    4

    Move the wheels back and forth by hand, from the three o'clock and nine o'clock positions on the tire, and observe the tie-rods that connect the steering rack to the steering knuckle near the wheel. Any perceptible movement, with reasonable hand force on the tie-rod joints, indicates the need for the replacement of tie-rods.

    5

    Remove the front wheels using a lug wrench. Loosen the clamps on the bellows boot, located around the inner tie-rod and the rack and pinion housing, using a screwdriver or socket and ratchet. Slide the bellows boot towards you until it slips from the housing. Inspect the interior of the boot for excessive power steering fluid accumulation. Slight seepage around the seals in the housing is normal, but an accumulation of fluid in the boot requires the replacement of the rack and pinion unit.

    6

    Pry the dust boot that covers the pinion shaft connection to the steering column sector shaft, located on top of the steering rack, from the steering gear housing, using a large flat-head screwdriver. Inspect the pinion seal for leakage. Replace the rack and pinion unit if the pinion seal is leaking. As with the rack seals, seepage is normal, but an accumulation indicates a leak and indicates that replacement of the rack and pinion unit is required.

    7

    Raise the vehicle from the jack stands, remove the stands, and lower the vehicle until the wheels touch the ground. Have a helper turn the steering wheel back and forth while you observe the pinion shaft. If the pinion shaft moves without causing movement at the wheel, replace the rack and pinion unit.

How to Troubleshoot the Driver's Side Door Lock on a Ford Contour

How to Troubleshoot the Driver's Side Door Lock on a Ford Contour

Ford's Contour sedan can include power door locks that can be operated using a button on the driver's side door trim. Pushing the button locks or unlocks all the doors. There is also a childproof safety lock that can be used to prevent rear-seat passengers from using the rear doors. Problems with the driver's side door lock on a Ford Contour can be related to the locks not working, or the childproof system. Rectifying these problems can be achieved through troubleshooting.

Instructions

    1

    Open the driver's side door and stand adjacent to the Contour. Press the button on the driver's side door trim marked "L," which stands for "Lock." Walk around the vehicle and try to open all the closed, locked doors from the outside.

    2

    Press the button marked "U," which stands for "Unlock," and try to open the doors again. If the doors didn't lock or unlock, change the fuse. The door lock fuse is in Position 25 on the passenger compartment fuse panel, which is in the cabin below the dashboard. Pull the old fuse out with the included puller tool and replace it. Try the locks again.

    3

    Close the driver's side rear door and press the "U" button on the door panel trim. Try to open the driver's side rear door from the inside if you are still having problems. If the door won't open, open the door from the outside and inspect the lever in the rear door lock. Push it outward to release the childproof door-lock system, and allow the driver's side rear door to be opened from the inside.

Jumat, 17 Juni 2011

How to Troubleshoot a 2001 Ford Escape XLT 4WD

The Ford Escape is a compact sport-utility vehicle offered by Ford since 2001. The task of troubleshooting your Escape can be time-consuming and frustrating unless you utilize a diagnostic code scanner. Your Escape is equipped from the factory with an onboard diagnostic computer known as the OBD2, which will output unique error codes when specific electrical and mechanic components of your Escape are failing.

Instructions

    1

    Find the diagnostic port on your Escape by feeling around the driver's side foot well, above the area where your right knee would be if you were in the driver's seat. The diagnostic port will be marked with OBD2 and will be approximately two inches in width.

    2

    Plug the code scanning tool into the diagnostic port, then turn your ignition to start the vehicle or to the "Accessories" position if the engine will not start.

    3

    Allow the code scanning tool to pick up error codes that are being sent out by the diagnostic computer.

    4

    Perform a search on the Internet for the error codes, or bring the error codes to an auto parts store, mechanic, or Ford dealership. Now that you know what has malfunctioned in your Escape, you can begin repairs.

How do I Program a Remote Keyless Entry for a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu?

How do I Program a Remote Keyless Entry for a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu?

The 2006 Chevrolet Malibu is a popular family car. It's roomy and has a variety of trim levels, layouts and engine options. Originally introduced in the 1960s, the Malibu was discontinued, only to be reintroduced in 1997. The 2006 model is the second generation since the reintroduction, spanning from 2004 to 2008. You may need to program a keyless-entry remote Despite claims to the contrary, there is only one method to program a keyless remote for the 2006 Malibu.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a keyless entry unit from a Chevrolet dealership (see Resources) or another retailer. These are available from online retailers.

    2

    Take your unit to a dealership or automotive locksmith for programming.

    3

    Wait while the dealer or locksmith programs the unit with a TECH II scan tool.

Kamis, 16 Juni 2011

How to Troubleshoot a 2004 Jeep

How to Troubleshoot a 2004 Jeep

When troubleshooting your 2004 Jeep, start with the major components: power, electricity, fuel and computer. Then move on to the smaller, more complex issues, many of which can be identified by watching what the Jeep does. If it malfunctions at high speeds, for instance, a wire may be loose or a belt may be frayed. If it overheats, the thermostat or radiator may not be working properly or the fluids may be too low. Be sure to get regularly scheduled maintenance performed on your 2004 Jeep to avoid unnecessary problems.

Instructions

    1

    Check the engine codes. Run a diagnostic sequence by inserting the engine key and turning the engine "On" without igniting it. Turn the engine off and on several times. The Jeep's computer will go into diagnostic mode and any stored error codes will read out on the "Check Engine" light. Record the number of times the light flashes, indicating a trouble code. Check the owner's manual for the meaning of each code.

    2

    Test the battery and alternator for proper voltage output. Connect a voltage meter to the battery, making sure to connect the positive connections before the negative. Test the battery voltage output before cranking the engine; then crank the engine to check the alternator output. Check your owner's manual for the proper voltage for your make and model.

    3

    Examine the fuses for breaks in the line. Pull each one out manually or test them each with a fuse tester. Ground the tester wire to a metal bolt or plate, then check each fuse by pressing the tip of the tester to the ends of the fuses. A lack of light in the tester bulb indicates a nonworking fuse.

    4

    Look under the hood for engine problems. Check for signs of loose or broken wires, frayed or broken belts, or corrosive buildup on components such as the battery, alternator and water pump. Turn the engine over and look again. The vibration of the engine running shows loose connections more clearly.

    5

    Test fuel pressure by connecting a fuel pressure gauge to the test port in the fuel rail line while the engine isn't running. Crank the engine and check the gauge for the proper pressure reading. Your repair manual will tell you the proper fuel pressure output for your Jeep.

2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Charging Problems

2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Charging Problems

The 2003 Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Direct Injector (TDI) automobile has technical service bulletins (TSB) published about charging problems, as well as several complaints from automobile review websites. The charging problems range from a faulty engine control module (ECM) to the battery not being installed correctly.

Faulty ECM

    A TSB is published on the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI because of a faulty ECM. The ECM controls most of the Jetta's engine components, as well as the charging ability. A faulty ECM does not inform the alternator to create more voltage to recharge the battery. The Jetta TDI needs to be taken into the dealership to ensure the ECM is programmed and updated properly.

Timing Belt Problems

    New maintenance procedures were sent to the dealerships of the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI because improper maintenance on the timing belt was published in the original service manual. The life of the timing belt can be extended with the installation of the new maintenance instructions. Improper maintenance on the Jetta TDI timing belt causes the belt to stretch or wear prematurely, preventing the timing belt from allowing the alternator to create enough voltage. Lack of voltage from the alternator prevents the battery from being recharged.

Wiring Harness Problems

    The wiring harness on the front headlights causes the battery to loose voltage and prevents the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI from starting. The headlight bulbs also blow out prematurely because of this problem. The improper installation of the wiring harness causes the headlights to go on and off intermittently during operation, or when the Jetta TDI is parked. Once the headlights begin to work intermittently when the engine is off, the battery voltage drains. Replacement of the wiring harness corrects this charging problem on the Jetta.

Rabu, 15 Juni 2011

The Symptoms of Motors With Stuck Rings

The Symptoms of Motors With Stuck Rings

The piston rings fit into horizontal grooves in the pistons. The rings expand against the cylinder wall and seal the combustion chamber. This ensures that the engine maintains a consistent level of compression. Stuck piston rings are uncommon, but they do occur. There are two positions in which the rings can get stuck. They can become stuck inside the piston grooves, or they can stick against the cylinder wall.

Seized Engine

    If the rings are stuck against the cylinder wall, the crankshaft will not rotate. This condition usually happens when an engine has been sitting for a long time. The rings rust and bond to the cylinder wall. If an engine is seized, it is important to eliminate other causes, such as failed crankshaft bearings, or broken valve-train components, since these can also seize an engine. The typical solution to this condition is to pour penetrating oil into the cylinders. Over a period of days, the oil will usually free the stuck rings.

Low Compression

    If the rings are stuck inside the ring grooves, they cannot seal the combustion chamber. A compression tester must be used to determine if each individual cylinder is maintaining compression equal to the others. Rings can become stuck in the ring grooves from a buildup of carbon on the piston. They can also break and remain in the ring grooves for many miles.

Gasoline in Oil

    A ring that is stuck in the ring groove allows unburned gases from the combustion process to force their way into the lower parts of the engine. This results in the engine oil becoming saturated with these gases. If the engine oil has an odor of gasoline, it could indicate a stuck ring. Engines that are only used for short drives can also develop a gasoline smell to the oil. This is caused by the engine always being operated at a low internal temperature, and should not be confused with a stuck piston ring.

Increased Crankcase Pressure

    The crankcase is vented to allow internal pressure to escape. This venting is handled by the PCV valve. When a stuck ring allows pressure to enter the crankcase, the PCV valve will become overwhelmed, and internal pressure will build. This results in oil being blown out of the PCV valve. Another clue to increased crankcase pressure is a dipstick that is continually being pushed up, away from the dipstick tube. In this case, the pressure has vented itself out of the dipstick tube.

How do I Fix the Power Door Lock on a 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis?

How do I Fix the Power Door Lock on a 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis?

Some Mercury Grand Marquis automobiles have power door locks. Pressing a control on the trim panel of the front door locks the doors. When you close the doors after you have set the door locks, the doors remain locked. Problems with the power door locks on a 1993 Mercury Marquis can be related to vehicle power failure causing the locks not to work, overloaded circuits causing the fused system to fail, and lost codes. These kinds of problems can be corrected by following some troubleshooting steps.

Instructions

    1

    Pull on a front inside door handle if the car's power circuit fails and you need to exit the vehicle. The physical action overrides the power system and the front door lock will unlock. Re-apply power by charging the battery. The power door locks will become operational again when the power is restored.

    2

    Replace the power door lock fuses to fix the power door locks if they continue not to work despite power being available to the car. One fuse is 15 Amps and is in "Location 8" on the instrument panel fuse box --- to the left of the steering column. It is marked "Power Door Locks." The other is the seventh down on the left-hand side of the high current fuse panel, in the engine compartment. It is a 20 Amp fuse. Replace the fuses by one of the right amperage and color. They slot into place.

    3

    Check you are using the right code if the doors will not unlock when you press the driver's door keypad. The code is in three locations if you don't have it: On the wallet card in the glove box; taped to the underneath of the trunk lid; and taped to the computer module behind the driver's door trim panel. Entering the right code will fix the door locks not opening.

What Is a Car's Limp Mode?

Limp mode, also called safe mode or an open loop, is a state that a vehicle reverts to in the event of a serious sensor or component failure. The vehicle will run poorly, but should manage to get you home or to a repair shop. Every auto manufacturer implements limp mode in a different way.

ECM Sensors

    The ECM, or engine control module, also called an engine control unit, relies on various sensors that monitor throttle position, crankshaft position, air-fuel ratio, engine temperature and a host of other values depending on the specific vehicle. The ECM is a computer and monitors the signals from every sensor on the vehicle's engine. When a sensor gives a signal that is above or below the expected range, a trouble code will be stored in the ECM and the vehicle's check engine light will come on. If the malfunction is serious enough, the ECM will revert to limp mode. This is similar to a computer reverting to its default mode.

Effects

    In limp mode, the ECM will revert to a set of stored, and limited, default engine parameters. For instance, the air-fuel ratio will not be adjusted in real time and the engine will run very rich. Engine timing will be set to a predetermined curve, and throttle response will be severely reduced along with maximum engine rpm.

TCM

    Automatic transmissions have a TCM, or transmission control module, that works in conjunction with the ECM to control converter lock-up, fluid line pressure, downshifts, shift firmness and shift points. Automatic transmissions also can have a limp mode.

Effects

    In limp mode, the TCM will order the transmission to go to full line pressure to prevent clutch slippage. It also will lock the transmission into one gear, usually second or third.

Repairs Required

    Remember, limp mode is just that; its purpose is to get you off the highway and to the nearest repair shop or home. Have your vehicle repaired as soon as possible.

How to Check the Coolant Level Switch on a Saturn

The coolant level switch notifies the second-generation, onboard diagnostic system (OBD-II) when your radiator becomes low on coolant. Over time, this sensor can become corroded and stop working properly. As a result, if your Saturn's radiator develops a leak, your OBD-II may not indicate a problem. Coolant could run out of the radiator, which could warp the engine block as a result of overheating. All Saturns since the 1996 model year utilize OBD-II for diagnostics, so the process for troubleshooting the coolant level switch is the same for any Saturn built since then.

Instructions

    1

    Drive your Saturn onto a set of ramps. Secure the parking break. Open the engine hood. Allow the Saturn time to cool.

    2

    Place a clean drain pan under the petcock on the lower side of the radiator. Open the petcock with a pair of pliers, and drain approximately two gallons of fluid into the pan. Close the petcock with the pliers.

    3

    Start the Saturn's engine. Wait approximately five minutes for the "Coolant" light to illuminate. If the light does not illuminate within five minutes, the coolant level switch is defective. If the light does illuminate, immediately turn off the vehicle. Saturn radiators hold approximately six gallons of coolant, and you will not damage the vehicle by running it with four gallons of fluid for five minutes.

    4

    Open the lid on the overflow expansion tank located on the left side of the radiator. Place a funnel into the hole. Pour the coolant back into the radiator. Close the cap.

Selasa, 14 Juni 2011

Fuel Mileage Drop in 2000 Grand Caravan

The Dodge Caravan is a passenger van with an estimated rating of 26 mpg highway, and 20 mpg city driving. Mechanical problems are a possibility if fuel consumption suddenly drops without a change in driving habits.

Air Filter

    The air filter provides air flow to the engine. A dirty or clogged air filter causes the engine to work harder to take in the proper amount of air. This extra strain results in reduced gas mileage.

Tires

    The Dodge Caravan is a large and heavy car; check the tires for proper inflation. The engine uses more power to overcome tires that are not properly inflated; this results in increased fuel consumption.

Fuel Injectors

    The Dodge Caravan relies on fuel injectors to send fuel into the engine. Dirty fuel injectors might result in an improper air and fuel mixture, and increased fuel consumption.

Minggu, 12 Juni 2011

How to Set Up Ford F-250 Headlights

How to Set Up Ford F-250 Headlights

Driving with a malfunctioning headlight on your Ford F-250 is very dangerous. Faulty headlights result in diminished road visibility and make it difficult for oncoming drivers to see you. Replace a faulty headlight on any vehicle as soon as possible. Depending on your model, the Ford F-250 uses either 9007 bulbs or H6054 sealed-beam bulbs. Check your owner's manual to determine which model you have. You can purchase both bulbs at most auto-parts stores.

Instructions

Aerodynamic Headlights

    1

    Turn off the engine and open the hood of the F-250.

    2

    Release the clip securing the headlight assembly in place. Disconnect the electrical connector from the bulb by pulling on it. Remove the bulb retainer ring by rotating it counterclockwise. Slide the ring off the base.

    3

    Pull the old bulb out of the assembly. Push the replacement bulb into the assembly by lining up the grooves on the base with the grooves in the assembly. Place the retaining ring over the bulb and rotate it clockwise to lock it into place.

    4

    Reconnect the electrical connector to the assembly until it snaps. Reattach the clip to secure the headlight assembly. Close the hood.

Sealed-beam Headlights

    5

    Turn off the engine and open the hood of the F-250.

    6

    Remove the two screws above the headlamp assembly. Remove the parking lamp/side marker assembly by pulling gently. Disconnect the two electrical connectors from the parking lamp/side marker assembly.

    7

    Remove the four bolts from the headlamp assembly. Remove the four screws and the headlamp retaining ring from the headlamp. Disconnect the electrical connector and remove the old headlamp. Place the new headlamp into the assembly.

    8

    Reconnect the electrical connector. Reattach the four screws and the retaining ring. Reattach the four bolts.

    9

    Reconnect the two electrical connectors to the parking lamp/side marker assembly and place it back into the headlamp assembly. Reattach the two screws to secure the assembly into place. Close the hood.

Sabtu, 11 Juni 2011

How to Tell if a Center Link Is Bad

How to Tell if a Center Link Is Bad

The center link, also often referred to as the drag link, is the element that keeps your two front steering wheels in line. Connected at either end via a ball joint, the center link is often bolted to the tie rod ends, which then control the angle each front steering wheel makes in relation to the direction the car is travelling. If you feel vibrations or wobbling while operating the vehicle, one of the first things to check would be for play in the center link.

Instructions

    1

    Jack up the front of your car and support the frame with jack stands.

    2

    Lie down on your back and slide under the front end of your car.

    3

    Locate the center link bar. This will be parallel to the front bumper and will connect each driving wheel with a ball joint at either end of a heavy metal bar.

    4

    Examine the center link for excessive play. Firmly grasp the center link bar and try to shake it firmly, checking for any movement. If any movement is detected, this is most likely the source of your problem.

    5

    Examine the ball joints on either end of the center link bar. Check that the rubber dust seal boots are intact and show no signs of wear or cracking. There should be no play in the ball joint when shaken by hand. If any play exists in the center link or ball joints, either the whole unit or just the ball joints must be replaced.

Jumat, 10 Juni 2011

How to Diagnose Auto Battery Drain

How to Diagnose Auto Battery Drain

A car battery drain -- also known as a parasitic battery drain -- is a common problem for many drivers; it occurs when a car's electrical system is functioning improperly. Most modern cars feature a computer system that continues to use some power after the car has been turned off. A battery drain occurs when this system pulls too much power from the battery, leaving it discharged. Diagnosing an auto battery drain is a relatively straightforward process, although it does require some persistence.

Instructions

    1

    Recharge your battery to full voltage using a car battery charger. This may take up to several hours.

    2

    Disconnect the battery charger when it has completed charging. Turn the car on and let it idle.

    3

    Check the battery with a voltmeter. Set it to 20 volts. Connect the red probe to the battery's positive terminal and the black probe to the negative terminal. The reading should measure between 12.4 and 12.8 volts.

    4

    Turn off the car. Disconnect the voltmeter and let the car sit overnight.

    5

    Check the car's voltage using the voltmeter. If it still measures in the 12.4 to 12.8 volt range, your battery is good and you most likely don't have a battery drain. If the charge has dropped significantly, either your battery is going bad or you have a battery drain.

    6

    Take your car to a licensed mechanic to determine and repair the root cause of the parasitic battery drain. You might also inspect your car's fuses and relays to determine the cause. Use the owner's manual to determine which fuse corresponds to which vehicle system, and replace the fuse accordingly.

Lucerne Brake Problems

Lucerne Brake Problems

Since the Buick Lucerne was introduced in 2006, it has been a reliable vehicle, according to Edmunds. The Lucerne does have three recalls for minor problems, but as of October 2010 there is no recall for brake problems. But the brakes have caused some problems for Lucerne owners because of standard wear and tear on the vehicle.

StabiliTrak Stays On

    Buick Lucerne owners complain about the brake's StabiliTrak light remaining on even after being reprogrammed by the dealership. According to Car Complaints, one owner has heard noises coming from the brakes when they are applied, but no malfunction with those brakes have been found by the dealership. The sensor that controls the StabiliTrak can prematurely go out and can easily be replaced by the dealership when the vehicle is under warranty. This module sensor replacement has corrected the problem with the StabiliTrak light.

Brake Pad Wear

    The Lucerne can have brake problems as the pads begin to wear. This wear is due to normal operation, and a squeaking sound or scratching sound can be heard when the pads are nearing time for replacement. If the brake shoes are not replaced, the shoes will begin to cut into the rotors of the antilock braking system (ABS), causing more damage to the brakes. This damage can cause the brakes to drag, which can overheat the brakes and warp the rotors.

Calipers Misaligned

    The Lucerne has brake problems when the calipers are misaligned after brake pad replacement. Calipers press the brake pads against the rotors, causing the Lucerne to stop. If the calipers on the Lucerne are more difficult to install properly and can easily be misaligned when reinstalled, the car will begin to jerk or vibrate upon braking. This vibration is created because the brake pads are not making even contact with the rotors because the calipers are not seated evenly. This misalignment of the calipers of the Lucerne creates heat, causing the rotors to overheat and warp more often on this Buick than other models. The calipers need to be removed and then reseated properly, which aligns the brake pads evenly around the rotors.

99 Ford Taurus Battery Problems

99 Ford Taurus Battery Problems

A malfunctioning battery or charging system in a car can create an array of symptoms: no starts, electronics malfunctions and complete vehicle shutdown are just basic examples of what a malfunctioning battery can do to a vehicle. All three versions of the 3.0-liter V-6 in the base model, as well as the 3.4-liter V-8 in the 1999 Taurus SHO utilize the same battery sizes. The 1999 Ford Taurus uses a standard 36-series battery, but has the option of a 34-series, as well. Proper protective equipment is essential to performing this project in a safe manner.

Instructions

    1

    Put on safety glasses and latex gloves. Open the hood of the Taurus. Inspect the physical shape of the battery. Bulging sides on the battery can be a sign of bad cells within the battery, which causes expansion of the outer casing. Excess corrosion on the battery terminals or on top of the battery can indicate a possible leak of battery acid. Pushing inward on the sides of the battery can help you determine if the battery is leaking; you will hear a hissing sound or see a physical reaction if it does. Do not push the sides excessively, as this creates a safety and health risk.

    2

    Remove the battery cables from the battery with a ratchet and socket. Thoroughly clean the battery terminals with a battery post cleaner or wire brush. Clean the battery cable leads in the same manner. Install the battery cables back on the battery and tighten them snug. Spray anti-corrosion spray onto the cleaned leads and terminals to prevent corrosion from interfering with your battery's connections.

    3

    Remove the two rectangular covers from the top of the battery, using a flat-head screwdriver. Inspect the water level in each of the battery fill holes. If the water level is more than 1/4 inch below the top lip of the hole, fill each hole with water. Install the caps, by hand, when you are finished. Some batteries are sealed units, or non-maintenance batteries. Do not try to remove the water covers on a battery that has a label indicating it is a sealed unit.

    4

    Turn your multimeter to "V," or the voltage setting, between 20 and 200 volts. Place the red probe from the multimeter onto the positive battery terminal. Place the black probe from the meter on the negative battery terminal. Your multimeter should provide a reading of 12.00 volts or higher. If the battery has a low voltage reading, recharge the battery on a charger, then retest the battery once the charge is complete. If the battery will not accept a charge from the charger, replace the battery.

    5

    Ask an assistant to start the engine, and increase the rpm to 1,500. Use jumper cables and another vehicle battery to jump-start the engine, if needed. Place the multimeter probes on the appropriate terminals again. The multimeter should show a reading of 12.50 to 14.00 volts. If the reading is above or below these numbers, then the alternator should be tested and possibly replaced. This voltage test needs to be performed on a fully charged battery.

    6

    Ask your assistant to turn on the high-beam headlights and the blower motor, with the engine still running. Ask him or her to increase the engine rpm to about 2,000. Take another reading with your multimeter. The voltage reading on the multimeter should increase about 0.5 volts. if the voltage on the meter does not change with the electrical loads on, the charging system on the Taurus is not working properly. Shut the engine off when testing is finished.

What Is the Output Voltage of GM Alternators?

What Is the Output Voltage of GM Alternators?

An alternator is a must for all modern GM vehicles to operate. It is responsible for keeping the battery charged in the car, which in turn, keeps all the electrical systems functioning properly. The alternator creates direct current, measured in volts, to achieve this. If it creates too little or too much voltage, this can indicate a problem with the alternator, and it may need attention.

Ideal Voltage Output

    Ideally, the GM alternator should be putting out anywhere between 13.5 and 14.5 volts. A voltage regulator helps regulate the voltage that an alternator provides. If the voltage dips below the optimal range, then the regulator kicks in to get the alternator to make more voltage. The opposite happens when voltage levels read too high. The regulator backs off and allows for the voltage to wind down until it is back within its normal range.

Higher than Usual Voltage

    A high voltage reading, typically above 15 volts, indicates a problem. Though the regulator is designed to protect electrical components of the vehicle, sometimes it does fail. When the voltage output of an alternator reaches a higher-than-recommended threshold, it will destroy the battery and ruin the electrical system of the vehicle. A GM alternator that is producing too much voltage must be replaced.

Lower than Usual Voltage

    When a car does not start or the lights are dim, it may be because the voltage output has dropped lower than 13.5 volts. When this happens, the battery is not being charged, and the electrical systems of the vehicle will fail. Low output can be caused by extreme drops in temperature and rainy conditions, but this quickly fixes itself once the car heats up.

    If there is a real issue with the alternator, you may not know until you use several of your car's electrical components all at once. The alternator becomes overloaded and these systems stop working. This results in a car that stops and does not start. When the alternator doesn't work, the energy to power these things comes from the battery, soon worn down from lack of charging.

How to Measure Voltage Output

    It is pretty simple to measure the output of a GM alternator. All you need is a voltmeter, also known as a multimeter. One of these can be purchased at a parts store or even an electronics store. Let the car idle for ten minutes before testing. Place the black stick of the meter on the negative terminal of the battery, while placing the red stick on the positive terminal. The voltage output will be displayed on the screen in the meter.