Kamis, 29 September 2011

Why Do Auto AC Compressors Turn Off?

Why Do Auto AC Compressors Turn Off?

An automotive air conditioning system is powered by a compressor. This compressor will turn off and on as needed to operate the system, but problems may occur that cause the compressor to turn off too often, causing the air conditioning system to not work properly.

Low Refrigerant Pressure

    Many automotive air conditioning compressors have a low pressure switch that prevents the compressor from running if the pressure level of refrigerant in the system is low. Leaks in air conditioning systems are common, which result in the loss of pressure. If the pressure level is low, the system should be inspected for leaks before being recharged.

Electrical Problems

    The electrical wiring that runs the air conditioning system may become damaged or the contacts corroded, which may cause the compressor to not work properly. The wiring and contacts attached to the compressor should be inspected for problems and repaired as needed.

Diagnostic Scan

    If the refrigerant levels and electrical wiring all check out, a diagnostic scan should be conducted to determine the source of the problem. Diagnostic scanners can be purchased from an auto part store, but car dealerships and repair shops can often run a more detailed scan.

How to Troubleshoot a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee

How to Troubleshoot a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Troubleshooting your 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee before taking it to a service center can save you time and money. A problem may seem complicated at first but upon inspection, have a simple and inexpensive cause. Get a few basic tools and rule out causes that have easy fixes, such as a faulty battery, a blown fuse or corroded spark plug. Make sure regular maintenance has been performed, including having your transmission fluid and engine oil changed.

Instructions

    1

    Shut off the engine and make a visual inspection under the hood. Check for broken or loose serpentine belts, loose wires and collapsed, broken or disconnected hoses. Look for corrosion on your battery terminals, water pump and radiator. Crank the engine and look again. Check for excessive rocking or vibration. Listen for the source of suspicious noises.

    2

    Check your fuses for breaks. Pull them out one by one to inspect them visually, or use a fuse tester for a much faster result. Fuse testers are inexpensive and reliable. Turn the car on but don't crank it. Ground your tester to a metal surface with no electricity and press the tip to each end of the fuses. If the tester lights on one end but not the other, the circuit has been broken. Replace the fuse.

    3

    Test your spark plugs for sufficient spark. Remove a wire from one of the spark plugs while the engine is running. Connect the spark plug tester to the spark plug and look for a pulse in the tester. Check each spark plug in turn. No pulse means no spark. Replace the spark plug.

    4

    Ensure your battery and alternator are putting out sufficient voltage. Turn the engine off. Touch the red (positive) tester to the red battery terminal and the black (negative) to the black battery terminal to test the battery. The volt meter should read between 12.5 and 12.8 for proper output. Repeat with the engine on to test the alternator. The volt meter should now read between 13.6 and 14.3. Lower numbers means either your battery or your alternator is struggling.

    5

    Take your Jeep to the nearest auto parts shop for a free diagnostic test of your engine's error codes. Error codes are stored within the computer and are retrieved with a SCAN tool. But first, try pulling the codes yourself by turning the key on and off in this sequence: on, off, on, off, on. Watch the "check engine" light for codes. It will flash several times to indicate the first digit of a code, pause for a moment, and flash some more for the second digit. For instance, code 55 will read: flash, flash, flash, flash, flash, pause, flash, flash, flash, flash, flash.

User Information for the OTC Genisys Scope

User Information for the OTC Genisys Scope

The Genisys Scope is a four-channel scope manufactured by OTC. The scope analyzes even the most sophisticated of vehicles, according to Genisys. It does this by utilizing InfoTech Software, which provides accurate information necessary for repair.

Basic Features

    The Genisys Scope has a 4 MB sample rate on all channels and provides adjustable glitch capture. You may update the scope using Compact Flash or PC. Its custom enclosure is horizontal and ergonomically designed with a sunlight readable display. The scope's design optimizes future expansions.

InfoTech Software

    The Genisys Scope's InfoTech Software covers domestic, Asian and European vehicles. The software covers engine, transmission and antilock brake systems diagnostics. InfoTech Software features component functional tests, component specifications, circuit description, component wiring diagrams and a variety of other diagnostic functions.

Vehicle Systems Test

    The Genisys Scope is capable of completing a variety of vehicle system tests. These tests include exhaust gas recirculation system tests, canister purge system, and starter cranking tests and voltage drop. It also tests ignition systems, including coil, module, wires and plugs. Fuel delivery tests include fuel pressure, fuel volume, pressure regulator, fuel pump voltage and current.

Rabu, 28 September 2011

The Power Brakes & Power Steering Failure in My Chevrolet Astro

The Chevrolet Astro, a rear-wheel drive minivan, was manufactured from 1985 to 2005. Despite its longevity, the Astro was not exempt from mechanical issues, especially power brake and power steering failure.

Power Brakes

    Chevrolet technical service bulletins (TSBs) indicate that the Astro's anti-lock brake system (ABS) may fail due to hydraulic pressure issues. In certain cases, the brake pedal may self-apply during full lock turns or at low speeds. This may also be accompanied by grinding noises.

Power Steering

    Chevrolet TSBs report that the Astro's hydraulic power system may cause power steering performance issues while turning or braking. Service bulletins state that power steering problems are primarily indicated by excessive front end noise. Power steering failure may result in difficulty or inability to turn the steering wheel.

Solution

    Hydraulic brake issues should first be addressed by adding hydraulic brake fluid. If brake problems persist, the anti-lock brake fuses and sensors should be examined. Prior to repairing any power steering components, power steering fluid should be checked and filled if necessary. If fluid level is not a problem, the power steering pump should be professionally diagnosed.

Selasa, 27 September 2011

Signs of a Failing GM Fuel Pump

Signs of a Failing GM Fuel Pump

Providing gasoline or diesel to the engine's combustion chamber is the job of the fuel pump. If a fuel pump fails in a GM vehicle, the car cannot harness the power it needs to function.

Identification

    A fuel pump is typically positioned within the fuel tank of the vehicle. It pumps fuel up through the fuel lines for combustion inside the engine chamber.

Considerations

    Frequently, GM fuel pumps give no sign of impending failure. They can just fail and the vehicle will come to a stop without any way of turning back on. But,sometimes they give signs such as stalling, reluctance to start or buzzing.

Time Frame

    Failure of a GM fuel pump commonly occurs anywhere after 60,000 miles. Keep in mind that the signs, if any, of a failed fuel pump can mimic signs of other fuel system problems, such as a clogged fuel filter. Make sure that the fuel pump issue is diagnosed by a professional before paying for an expensive fuel pump replacement service.

How to Buy a Code Scanner

How to Buy a Code Scanner

Buying a diagnostic code scanner depends largely on what you plan on using it for. There are scanners for On-Board Diagnostics, ABS brakes, TPMS sensors, and more. The more you are willing to pay, you will get higher functionality from the scanner.

Engine Diagnostics

    Cars manufactured after 1996 have to be compliant with On-Board Diagnostics. This means most cars sold in the United States use the same diagnostic system. Vehicles before 1996 all have separate systems and you will have to shop a little more carefully, keeping the manufacturer in mind. A scanner for 1989 Fords will not work in Toyotas of the same year. OBD-II scanners will not work on OBD-I vehicles.

ABS Brakes

    The ABS braking system is separate from the OBD-II system, and it has its own trouble indicator light on the dashboard, as well as a set of trouble codes. Many scanners for use in current vehicles do not have the longer backward reach of OBD-II diagnostics. Shopping for a brakes diagnostic scanner requires researching ahead, keeping in mind the make and model of the vehicle it will be used on.

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

    According to the Department of Transportation, all cars and light trucks after 2008 have to come with a tire pressure monitoring system. Similar to ABS brakes, this also means a separate trouble indicator light on the dashboard. The market for diagnostic scanners is largely dominated by OBD-II devices, and TPMS diagnostics is a relatively new system.

Senin, 26 September 2011

What Are the Causes of One Brake Wearing Before the Other Three?

What Are the Causes of One Brake Wearing Before the Other Three?

The brake system on a vehicle consists of a complex system of hydraulics, mechanics and friction. On occasion, a problem can occur and cause uneven brake wear when one set of brake pads wears out faster than the rest. This problem may occur for several possible reasons.

Caliper Failure

    Uneven brake pad wear most commonly occurs as a result of caliper failure. The calipers contain a piston that presses on the brake pads to stop the vehicle. When the driver releases the brake pedal, a seal inside the caliper pulls the piston away from the pad. Made from rubber, this seal can eventually lose its ability to pull back. This condition in turn causes the pads to put constant pressure against one of the brake rotors and cause that brake pad to wear significantly faster than the others.

Brake Hose

    Brake hose failure takes place when the metal brake line sustains damage from impact or the rubber brake hose collapses due to age. This problem can create pressure in the hydraulic system that can force the piston caliper outward, dragging the brake pad along the rotor and causing that pad to wear at a faster rate.

Brake Pads

    Manufacturers produce brake pads in mass quantities, testing them regularly for proper function before releasing them. Even with the checking, some defective pads can make it to store shelves; defective pads can wear quickly.

Slide Pins

    The slide pins are the metal pins that allow the brake caliper to slide back and forth with the wheels. When these pins become corroded, the caliper can no longer slide. As a result, the caliper becomes stuck in one position; if it sticks in the right position, it can cause the pads to wear more quickly on that side. Typically, a wire brush and some grease will take care of the corrosion.

How to Troubleshoot a Chrysler Crossfire Anti-Theft System

The Chrysler Crossfire, manufactured from 2004 to 2008, was designed to be one of the centerpieces of the redesigned Chrysler lineup. It was factory equipped with many advanced electronics, including an antitheft system. However, the antitheft system may require some adjustment for it to function correctly. Fortunately, the process for troubleshooting the Crossfire antitheft system is straightforward and can be completed without any tools or equipment.

Instructions

    1

    Ensure that the doors, hood, decklid and rear liftgate are properly closed. The alarm cannot properly arm if any of the doors or other openings are not closed.

    2

    Replace the batteries in the key fob to ensure that the remote is capable of arming the alarm system. If the batteries have been dead for more than a few minutes, the fob will need to be synchronized with the vehicle to function. To synchronize the remote with the car, aim the remote at the vehicle and press the lock or unlock button twice. Next, place the key in the vehicle's ignition and turn the ignition switch to the "On" position. All of the steps must be completed within 30 seconds.

    3

    Verify that the parking lamps flash three times when the system is armed using the remote. Alternatively, verify that the alarm is armed by looking at the alarm indicator on the dash. If the alarm is properly armed, the alarm indicator light should blink.

How to Check the Engine of a 2000 Neon

How to Check the Engine of a 2000 Neon

Doing a manual engine check of 2000 Dodge Neon can be time consuming. An On-Board Diagnostic II (OBD-II) scanner will save time and pinpoint potential problems. The scanner retrieves active trouble codes. It can also be told to retrieve pending codes, which are malfunctions that have been sensed but haven't occurred often enough to be classed as trouble codes. The Neon does not need to have the service light on for an scanner to be effective.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the data link connection under the Neon's dash. It will be to the left of the steering wheel.

    2

    Hook your OBD-II scanner into the data link connection. The plug at the end of the diagnostic cable will fit easily into the outlet.

    3

    Start the Neon's engine. If your brand of scanner features an "auto-on," it will turn itself on. Otherwise, switch the scanner on at this time.

    4

    Key in a "read" command. Some brands might also do this automatically.

    5

    Scroll through the codes that appear on the scanner. If your service light is on, some of these will be trouble codes and should be addressed as soon as possible. Other reported codes will have a "pending" status and will be marked as such. Write down the codes on a piece of paper.

    6

    Consult your scanner's manual for code meanings. Most scanners feature a list of generic codes toward the back of the manual. The generic codes are universal to all OBD-II vehicles. Manufacturer codes might not be contained in either scanner's manual or vehicle's owner's manual. For these codes, go onto the Internet and consult sites such as obd-codes.com (see Resources). They have a list of all the major manufacturers' diagnostic codes.

How to Check Your TPS on a 1991 S10

Early on in the life of the Chevrolet S10 pickup, it was a relatively simple vehicle that only had the most basic of electronic engine controls. As time progressed, the S10 became more complex and powerful. The 1991 model came standard with General Motors then-famous Iron Duke 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that cranked out an acceptable 105 horsepower. This engine relied more on electrical control than the earlier years, including a throttle position sensor. Since this sensor only adjusts voltage to indicate its reading, testing it is nearly as easy as testing battery voltage.

Instructions

Checking

    1

    Unscrew the wing nut from the top of the air cleaner housing. Pull the lid off the air cleaner housing and pull the air cleaner from the housing. Pull the air intake tube from the air cleaner housing and pull the vacuum line from the side of the housing. Lift the housing out from the engine compartment.

    2

    Look on the front of the throttle body and find the throttle position sensor.

    3

    Stab through the coating on the dark-blue-colored wire on the TPSs wiring harness with the positive probe of a multimeter. Touch the negative probe on the multimeter to the negative terminal on the battery.

    4

    Turn the multimeter on and set it to measure 12 volts. Turn the ignition to the Run position, but dont start the engine.

    5

    Read the measurement on the multimeter; it should read less than 1.25 volts. If the measurement is not accurate, the TPS has failed. If the measurement is accurate, proceed to the next step.

    6

    Slowly turn the throttle lever on the throttle body toward the drivers side, as if you were increasing the engines rpm. Watch the multimeters output as you move the throttle lever. The mutlimeters voltage reading will increase smoothly as you push the lever toward the drivers side, then max out near 4.5 volts. If the TPS fails this test, it must be replaced.

Replacing

    7

    Follow steps 1 and 2 in the section titled Checking to access the TPS.

    8

    Press and hold the unlocking button on the TPSs wiring harness, and unplug the wiring harness.

    9

    Remove the two TPS-retaining screws with a Phillips screwdriver and remove the TPS.

    10

    Apply a thin coat of a thread-locking chemical onto the threads on the TPSs screws. Position the TPS onto the throttle body, aligning its screw holes with those in the throttle body. Tighten the TPS-retaining screws with a Phillips screwdriver. Plug the wiring harness into the TPS.

    11

    Guide the air cleaner housing onto the throttle body and set the air cleaner into the housing. Place the lid on top of the housing and hand-tighten its wing nut. Plug the air intake tube onto the intake on the air cleaner housing and plug the vacuum hose into the side of the air cleaner assembly.

Minggu, 25 September 2011

Car Ignition Switch Problems

Car Ignition Switch Problems

Cars rely on several electrical and mechanical components, including an ignition switch, in order to start properly. The ignition switch can experience electrical problems, due to faulty or corroded components, which can adversely affect the car's operation.

Definition

    A car ignition switch, also known as a starter switch, is a mechanism located in the car's engine. The switch is designed to engage, or start, the car's major electrical systems.

Process

    The car ignition switch connects to the car's starter mechanism, which is connected to the battery. The switch is activated when the key is inserted into the ignition, which contains a lock cylinder. When the key is turned inside the lock and moved to the correct position, the switch activates and sends a signal to the battery. The battery sends an electric current to the starter, which activates the engine.

Problems

    A car ignition switch can experience problems due to bad electrical connections or faulty or corroded contacts inside the switch. Problems with the ignition switch can cause the car to fail to start. Ignition switch issues can also result in problems with car accessories, such as malfunctioning or non-functioning headlights and windshield wipers. Under these circumstances, the ignition switch should be professionally inspected and repaired or replaced.

Sabtu, 24 September 2011

How to Troubleshoot the AC on a 1996 Chevy S10 2.2 Liter

How to Troubleshoot the AC on a 1996 Chevy S10 2.2 Liter

It's really no fun when your AC is not working on your Chevy S10. If there is some really hot weather on the way, why not troubleshoot the system? You might find that you can fix the issue right away on your own. With a special UV kit from your auto parts store, troubleshooting the AC system is a snap.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood on your S10.

    2

    Find the AC compressor in front of the engine. The AC compressor has a belt attached to the engine so that it turns when running.

    3

    Ask your friend to start the engine while you look and listen to the engine. Have your friend turn on the AC. Listen for the car engine's RPMs to change. A working AC compressor will make a clicking sound when it turns on and will change the RPM of the engine because of the load of power. If you do not notice a change in the engine RPM and no clicking sound, then check the electrical connections to the compressor. If you are working on an AC system where the belt has been removed from the AC compressor, then make sure that the AC compressor is not frozen. You can turn the pulley on the AC compressor to make sure it moves. If it does not move, then you need a new compressor before moving on.

    4

    Find the AC inlet filler located on one of the AC lines entering the AC compressor. Sometimes there is a protective black cap that you can turn counterclockwise to remove.

    5

    Open your UV kit. In it you will find special Freon, sealant, UV glasses and UV light.

    6

    Press the Freon can onto the inlet connection and squeeze the trigger to fill the AC system.

    7

    Drive the car for a while with the AC on.

    8

    Park the vehicle and open the hood again. Put on your glasses and shine the UV light all around the AC lines and compressor. Try to see if you can find a leak in the system. You will be able to see the leak with the special glasses and light. If there is a major leak, then you will need to replace that part. If it is a pinhole leak, then proceed to the next step.

    9

    Press the can of sealer over the inlet connection and pull the trigger. Let the can fill the AC system. This sealant should stop a pinhole leak and get your AC system blowing cool air again.

Jumat, 23 September 2011

What Can Cause a Car Battery to Overheat?

What Can Cause a Car Battery to Overheat?

Finding out what has gone wrong with your car can be frustrating if you are not mechanically inclined. However, an overheating car battery is common, and there are many reasons why it may occur. It will result in your car stalling, not starting or a white smoke coming out of the engine compartment -- so it is important to understand what could have caused it.

Insufficient Coolant

    The coolant in your vehicle is responsible for removing excess heat from the engine compartment so that other components under the hood, such as the battery, can function properly. Coolant is usually green in color and is poured into the car's radiator then circulated throughout the system. The level of coolant should not fall below the minimum level mark inside the radiator. If the coolant level is insufficient, the battery can overheat.

Circulation Problems

    If the coolant or water is not circulated properly throughout the system, this can cause the car battery to overheat. Poor circulation can be caused by a clogged radiator, a defective drive belt on the water pump or a broken thermostat. Each of these problems can affect the health of the battery. When this happens, the battery's temperature rises, and the car stalls due to the battery's failure.

Insufficient Air Flow

    An overheating battery is a heat transfer problem since heat is not being directed away from it. This issue can traced back to a lack of air flow to the radiator which, in turn, affects the car's battery. This symptom can be identified by checking the air fan and by looking for excessive debris buildup on the radiator or air conditioning unit.

Leakages

    Leakages can cause the car's battery to overheat because the system is not being cooled and lubricated properly. Checking for oil, water or coolant droplets on the car's engine parts and on the ground beneath the car will show you if potential leaks. A buildup of yellow gunk around the oil cap or white cloudy exhaust fumes are indicative of coolant or oil leaks that can cause a battery to overheat.

Python Car-Alarm Troubleshooting

Python Car-Alarm Troubleshooting

Python is one of the Directed Electronics brands for vehicular security applications. Other brands include Hornet, Viper and Clifford. System functions include options such as Remote Start, Remote Start with Security or Security. The latter is often labeled a car alarm. Shock-guards, six-tone sirens and remote controls are all featured. Problems with a Python include operation, interpreting the trouble chirps and false alarms.

Instructions

    1

    Change the battery if the remote control's buttons don't work the system. Two long beeps -- five seconds after you press a button -- usually indicate low batteries. Open the back of the remote and replace the battery or batteries.

    2

    Listen for the chirps that identify specific issues. Four chirps when disarming indicate the system has been tampered with. Inspect the vehicle for evidence of a break-in attempt. Five chirps indicate the system went off so many times that a nuisance circuit was triggered. Check for nearby construction, or other anomalies. Don't arm the Python on a ferry or vibration-causing surface.

    3

    Turn the ignition key -- and start the engine -- to reset the nuisance-prevention circuitry. Relocate the vehicle if necessary.

    4

    Press the correct button on the remote control if the Python car alarm doesn't function correctly. The closed-hasp padlock icon controls the locking, arming and panic functions. The unlocked icon controls unlocking, disarming and panic-off functions.

Rabu, 21 September 2011

2004 GMC Yukon Sunroof Problems

2004 GMC Yukon Sunroof Problems

The 2004 GMC Yukon has been the subject of four recalls and more than 325 technical service bulletins (TSB) published by the manufacturer. None of the recalls deals with sunroof problems some Yukon owners are experiencing, but several of the TSBs do.

Sunroof Wiring Problem

    A TSB is published on the 2004 GMC Yukon concerning the button that controls the sunroof. The wiring on the sunroof button control is reported by Edmunds.com to work intermittently. The sunroof opens only periodically when the control button is pressed. The TSB reports the main wiring harness controlling all the electrical equipment in the Yukon may not be properly wired into the controls under the console of the GMC. A dealership should inspect and repair or replace the wiring.

Sunroof Jamming

    The 2004 GMC Yukon may have a problem with the sunroof jamming during closing. A TSB published by the manufacturer reports the sunroof may come off its tracks. The wheels or tracking devices on the sunroof don't close at equal speeds, causing the sunroof to jam partly open. The timing on the sunroof needs to be adjusted to prevent this problem. The Yukon should be taken to a dealership for this, as the sunroof can be damaged to the point that it may have to be replaced.

Sunroof Leaking

    A leak may develop in the 2004 GMC Yukon sunroof because debris builds up in its drain lines. The drain lines normally allow water to run harmlessly onto the ground or pavement. But leaves, dirt and other debris may clog the lines, causing water to leak into the cab. The edges of the sunroof should be cleaned periodically to ensure these drain lines do not clog.

Selasa, 20 September 2011

2002 S-10 Transmission Issues

2002 S-10 Transmission Issues

For the 2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup, 77 different technical service bulletins (TSBs) or recall notices were published by the manufacturer. Some of these TSBs concern the transmission issues that some 2002 S-10 owners experienced. According to Repair Pal and Car Complaints, two automotive technical information websites, more than 10 transmission problems were reported by owners of 2002 S-10s by late 2010. Edmunds.com lists all the transmission TSBs and the issues that S-10 owners reported to the manufacturer.

Transmission Output Seal

    The transmission output seal is prone to leaking on the 2002 S-10, according to Repair Pal. This issue is attributed to the transmission mounts coming loose and breaking the seal around the output shaft. When transmission fluid begins to leak out of the S-10, this issue creates multiple problems such as transmission jerking and shifting problems. An S-10 owner will know there is a transmission fluid leak when reddish spots develop under the truck. You'll need to take your 2002 S-10 into the dealership to have this transmission issue corrected or it can damage the transmission to the point of failure.

Transmission Case Cracked

    According to Edmunds.com, a TSB was published on the 2002 S-10 because the transmission case is prone to develop a crack, causing fluid to leak out of the transmission. The TSB published on this transmission issue pertains to the linkage and lever on S-10s with column shifters. The issue is attributed to the transmission mounts coming loose and to a possible manufacturing defect. The transmission begins to hesitate before the gears engage because the transmission fluid is low. An S-10 owner can check the fluid level by pulling the dipstick under the hood and viewing the level as determined by the lines on the end of the dipstick. You should check your S-10's fluid level when the S-10 engine is running, warm, and the transmission is in park.

Transmission Failure

    Car complaints reports that at least eight 2002 S-10 owners experienced complete transmission failure. Reportedly, the S-10 began to jerk or hesitate during the shifting of gears before this transmission issue occurred. Some S-10 owners complain about hearing a loud noise and the loss of third and fourth gears before the transmission failed. This S-10 transmission issue is attributed to at least two different issues. One of the causes is the linkage prematurely breaking, damaging the internal operation of the transmission. The other cause of this transmission issue comes from a faulty transmission plate. Once the transmission fails on the 2002 S-10 the only correction for this issue is to have the transmission replaced or rebuilt.

How to Tell If the Transmission Is the Problem?

How to Tell If the Transmission Is the Problem?

Transmissions are complext components containing valves, seals, gears, pumps and yards of fluid passages. To non-experts they can seem mysterious and are perhaps not given much thought while the engine is shifting smoothly. When symptoms start popping up, like strange shifting anomalies, leaks, noises and vibrations, the vehicle owner has to know what to look for to spot a faulty transmission, since so many other vehicle components can cause the same symptoms.

Instructions

    1

    Look at your instrument panel for any warning light that identifies a transmission-related problem. Vehicles equipped with electronic, or computer controlled transmissions will indicate warnings such as a "service engine soon" or a "check engine" light. Some models will display the silhouette of a transmission on the instrument panel.

    2

    Hook up a code scanner tool to the universal wire jack at the bottom of the dashboard on the driver's side. Start the engine. Write down any code numbers that appear. Refer to a trouble code book to decipher the code description. If a problem results from the transmission, the code book will pinpoint the exact component failure, such as speed control or vacuum control sensor. You can take your vehicle and this information to a repair center to verify and repair the problem.

    3

    Use a floor jack to lift the vehicle high enough to place two jack stands under the front frame and two under the rear frame. Take a shop light and look at the sides, front and rear of the transmission housing. Any leak will be evident on the housing, as well as the front and end of the transmission housing where the front main seal and tail shaft seal sit.

    4

    Look on the floor for puddles. Look under the radiator where the transmission lines connect at the nut fittings. Transmission fluid has a red syrup color to it, unlike any other vehicle fluid, with the exception of the power steering fluid. A front or rear transmission seal, line or pan that leaks must have the gasket or seal replaced.

    5

    Inspect the transmission mount for breakage, if you have heard a heavy clunk upon rapid acceleration from a standing start. This noise results from the transmission slamming against the floorboard. Look at the fabric damper between the two mount supports. Try to push a large screwdriver in the seam and push up and down. If the transmission moves freely downward and the seam widens, it indicates a broken transmission mount. Remember: this clunking sound mirrors the sound of a broken engine mount.

    6

    Drive the vehicle normally for a while. If you notice slippage while the transmission shifts, this could be a low fluid level or contaminated fluid. Accelerate moderately and feel for any delayed or "lag" in the shifting. Transmission slip happens with a low fluid level, burned or contaminated fluid or worn internal clutches and bands. In the case of a manual transmission, slippage results from a worn clutch and weak pressure plate. An engine that races without engaging the transmissions points to no fluid, a bad pump, or worn-out bands and clutches.

    7

    Pull the dip stick from the transmission fill tube and smell the fluid. Burnt automatic transmission fluid will have a bitter acrid smell to it. Burnt fluid will have a gritty texture to it when you rub it between your fingers, and appear brown in color. For a manual transmission, smell the gearbox case near the bell housing. Any burnt odor will indicated the asbestos fibers on the clutch have slipped and burned. The odor will be bitter and strong. Do not mistake it for a brake pad or brake shoe smell that originates from the front and back of the vehicle.

    8

    Feel for any vibration that radiates up through the chassis, while the engine idles. A clanking, humming or whining sound, in addition to the vibration will mean the transmission torque converter has misaligned or one of its mounting bolts have broken. A vibration at idle will rule out the the entire drive train and suspension. The only other vibrating component might be the crankshaft damper, also called the harmonic balancer. Yet the crankshaft damper will not produce such noises with its vibration.

    9

    Notice how easily or difficult the vehicle shifts into gear, if you have a manual transmission. A transmission that grinds while shifting or pops out of gear while driving indicates a worn synchromesh gear, which can not be attributed to any other component on the vehicle.

How to Tell If the Timing Belt Has Broken in a 1992 Honda Accord

A broken timing belt in a 1992 Honda Accord will leave you stranded. Honda uses an interference engine on this model. This means that if the timing belt breaks, the valves are likely to contact the pistons, resulting in severe engine damage and a very expensive repair. The recommended replacement interval for the timing belt on this year model is every 90,000 miles. It is best to replace the timing belt at or before the appropriate mileage to lessen the risk of failure.

Instructions

Timing Belt Inspection

    1

    Disconnect the negative battery cable and set it aside so that it cannot contact the battery terminal. Remove the positive crankcase ventilation, or PCV, valve from the top of the valve cover.

    2

    Squeeze the clamp on the vacuum hose at the left rear of the valve cover and slide it back onto the hose. Remove the hose from the valve cover.

    3

    Remove the two connections at the alternator. Pinch the clip with your fingers and slide it out and remove the 10 mm nut on the cable. Slide the alternator wiring harness out from the valve cover and set aside.

    4

    Remove the ground wire from the right front of the valve cover. Remove the valve cover nuts with the socket and ratchet. Carefully pry the washers and grommets out of the valve cover with a screwdriver. Insert a standard screwdriver between the valve cover and head. Gently pry the valve cover upward to remove it.

    5

    Remove the two 10 mm bolts that hold the upper timing belt cover in place with the socket and ratchet. These two bolts are at the bottom corners of the cover. Set the cover aside.

    6

    Inspect the timing belt. Rotate the engine using the proper size socket and breaker bar on the crankshaft pulley bolt. Always rotate the engine in a counterclockwise direction. Look for missing teeth, cracks, or oil and grease on the belt. If any of these conditions exist, the timing belt must be replaced.

Cover Installation

    7

    Install the upper timing belt cover and tighten the two 10 mm bolts with the socket and ratchet. Install the valve cover and insert the grommets and washers. Install and tighten the valve cover nuts with the socket and ratchet. Replace the ground wire at the right front of the valve cover.

    8

    Replace the PCV valve and vacuum hose on the valve cover. Secure the clamp on the vacuum hose. Route the alternator wiring harness in its proper location around the valve cover.

    9

    Connect the electrical connector at the alternator and install the cable with the 10 mm nut. Connect the negative battery cable.

Senin, 19 September 2011

A Clicking Noise in the Wheel of My Honda Pilot

The Pilot is a small SUV built by Honda. As the miles add up, your SUV will eventually experience mechanical problems. One such issue that can occur is a clicking sound from one or more wheels. Troubleshooting this problem requires that you determine exactly when the clicking noise occurs -- while you are driving, while braking or while turning.

Driving

    A clicking sound while driving increases when the Pilot accelerates and decreases when the SUV slows down. This is typically minor and may be caused by debris in the center cap or hubcap, or a piece of gravel or other debris stuck in the tire.

Braking

    A clicking sound that occurs when you are braking is a sign of a problem with the brakes on your Pilot. One possibility is that the shims holding the brake pads have worn out, causing the pads to slip up and down slightly. The other possibility is that a brake caliper has come loose.

Turning

    A clicking noise from the wheels when you are turning the Pilot indicates a mechanical problem. The most likely explanation is that the CV joint inside the front driving axle is failing and the defective part creates a clicking noise when you turn to one direction.

Minggu, 18 September 2011

How to Troubleshoot a Blower Fan Not Working

How to Troubleshoot a Blower Fan Not Working

To determine the cause of a blower fan failure, isolate the motor, and perform some basic electrical tests. Bring broad knowledge of electricity and specific knowledge of the use of electrical testing equipment. A wiring diagram for the specific vehicle is also helpful. Observe safety precautions while working with electricity.

Instructions

Follow the Power

    1
    Check the fuses.
    Check the fuses.

    Check fuses first. Fuse failure often causes component failure. Replace fuse if blown; if not, proceed to Step 2.

    2

    Check for power at the motor itself. Using a test light or a multimeter set on volts, unplug the blower motor. Keeping the black lead on a good ground, usually a bolt on the engine block, and the blower switch turned on, use the red lead to probe the plug that usually attaches to the blower motor. The meter should read between 9 and 11 volts or the test light will light up. If the voltage is right or the test light illuminates, go to Step 3. If not, skip to Step 4.

    3
    Connect to a power source.
    Connect to a power source.

    Test the connection to the blower motor. Take two jumper leads, one black and one red. Connect the black lead to a ground and then to the blower motor assembly. Connect the red lead to a power source and then to the leads on the motor side of the disconnected connector. If the motor turns, the connector is bad. Repair the connector. If the motor still does not turn, the motor is bad. Replace the motor.

    4

    Test the switch. Plug the connector back in to the blower motor, and then trace the wire harness back to the connector closest to the blower motor switch, usually located under the dash. Disconnect the connector and set the multimeter to ohms. Place one lead on one prong of the connector and the other lead on the power in prong of the connector, taking care that they do not touch each other. If you turn the switch on, you should get a reading between .01 and .03 ohms. A slightly higher reading is acceptable because switches vary in resistance. If you get no reading on any of the switch settings, the switch is bad. Replace it.

Going Deeper

    5

    Test to see if the switch is getting power from the battery. Leaving the switch disconnected, switch the multimeter to volts again, or use a test light. Grounding the black lead as before, use the red lead to probe the connector. Usually a green or red wire will be the hot, or power, wire. Consult the wiring diagram for the specific vehicle if the wire color is unknown. If the meter shows the correct voltage, or the test light illuminates, the switch is getting power, skip to Step 3. If it does not, proceed to Step 2.

    6
    Typical wiring connector
    Typical wiring connector

    Look for a break in the wiring harness if the test light does not light, or the meter shows no value, there is a break in the wiring harness between the switch and the battery. Follow the wiring harness, checking the hot wire for voltage at every connection, until you find the break. Repair the break.

    7

    Look for a break in the wiring between the switch and the fan if the meter shows voltage or the light illuminates and you have tested the switch and motor. Follow the wiring harness as carefully as possible between these two locations, looking for burned out spots or breaks in the wire. When the break is located, repair or replace the wiring harness.

Sabtu, 17 September 2011

Ticking in the Alternator

Ticking in the Alternator

An alternator is responsible for supplying an automobile with electrical power and charging the battery. A ticking sound is often an indication that the alternator is about to fail.

Locating Sound

    With an engine running, it can be difficult to determine the source of a ticking sound. However, a short length of tubing can be used to help locate the sound. By listening to one end of the tube while the other is placed near a possible source of the clicking, a person can determine the exact location of the noise. The component making the click will sound louder than the others.

Worn Alternator

    An alternator may make a clicking sound if the bearings or other internal components are beginning to wear. Once the alternator has been identified as the source of the sound, remove the drive belt and turn the pulley by hand. If the pulley does not turn smoothly, the alternator is worn.

Alternator Testing

    To determine how poorly the alternator is performing, the alternator's electrical output should be tested. This can be done with a voltmeter, but most auto parts stores will test the alternator for free. Parts stores can test the alternator either on or off of the car.

How to Change the Back Turn Signal Bulb on a 2008 Ford Ranger

2008 was the last year of the 3.0-liter V-6 Vulcan engine in the Ford Ranger. Ford discontinued the small pickup entirely as of the 2012 model year. The 2008 Ranger offered HID headlights and integrated rear turn signal lights. The rear tail lamp assembly housed the brake lights, turn signal lights and reverse lights. While replacing turn signal bulbs is not as easy as it was in years past, anyone with a modicum of mechanical aptitude and 10 minutes of free time can conquer this task.

Instructions

    1

    Lower the Ranger's tailgate to expose the retaining screws on the inboard side of the tail lamp assembly.

    2

    Remove the four tail lamp assembly screws -- two on the inboard side, two on the outboard side -- using a socket wrench and a 6 mm socket.

    3

    Pull the tail lamp assembly off the rear of the Ranger. Rotate the turn signal socket counterclockwise to unlock it from the Ranger's tail lamp assembly.

    4

    Pull the socket directly out of the tail lamp assembly to expose the burned out bulb. Pull the burned out bulb directly out of the socket and discard it.

    5

    Insert the new 3157k bulb into the turn signal socket. Slide the bulb and socket into the tail lamp assembly. Rotate the socket clockwise to lock it into the tail lamp assembly.

    6

    Position the tail lamp assembly back onto the rear of the Ranger. Reinstall the four tail lamp assembly retaining screws using the socket wrench and socket. Close the tailgate.

Jumat, 16 September 2011

How to Troubleshoot Your 1996 Jeep Cherokee

How to Troubleshoot Your 1996 Jeep Cherokee

The 1996 Jeep Cherokee features as 2.5-liter engine with four in-line pistons and a multi-point fuel injection system. Both the block and the head are made of cast iron. Automotive.com gives the 1996 Jeep a rating of four stars for front impact safety, and there are only two recalls affecting this model: one for the rear safety belts and the other for the steering gear box. The Jeep originally came with a three-year, 36,000 mile warranty.

Instructions

    1

    Check your engine for sufficient electrical power. Test the battery and alternator with a volt meter. Attach the positive and negative terminals of the volt meter to the positive and negative terminals of the battery while the engine is off to check the battery; then crank the engine to test the alternator. A good battery should read between 12.5 and 12.8 volts. A good alternator should read 13.6 and 14.3 volts.

    2

    Test your fuses. Pull each fuse in turn to check for a break in the fuse, or use a fuse tester. Ground the tester to a metal bolt or metal plate, then touch the tip of the tester to each end of the fuses. If the light bulb on the end of the tester fails to come on, the fuse is broken.

    3

    Crank the engine and take a look under the hood. Look for loose or broken belts, loose or disconnected wires and shuddering engine components. Identify any visibly malfunctioning part.

    4

    Pull diagnostic codes from the engine. Insert the ignition key and turn the engine on and off several times, ending with the engine on without cranking it. Watch the "check engine" light, as it will begin to flash codes that indicate problems with the engine. This method works specifically for older Chrysler vehicles. Record the codes and consult an owners manual for the meanings to the codes.

    5

    Troubleshoot an overheating problem by checking the fluid levels while the engine is cold. Check for sufficient oil and antifreeze levels. Check the radiator, fan and water pump for damage or corrosion as well.

A 2001 Dodge RAM 4-Wheel Drive Won't Engage

A 2001 Dodge RAM 4-Wheel Drive Won't Engage

Engagement of Chrysler's Dodge Ram four-wheel drive system is accomplished through a shift lever, or through push-buttons, depending on model. Shifting into four-wheel drive can be problematic because shifts require certain speeds to be maintained. The system also won't work under some conditions because of the complexity of the multiple drive-shafts functioning together.

Instructions

    1

    Verify that your tires are of equal size, type and circumference if shifting into 4-wheel drive is difficult. Replace any tires that don't match in order to use 4-wheel drive and avoid transfer case damage.

    2

    Stop spinning the wheels before trying to shift into four-wheel drive. The system can't handle the front and rear drive shafts moving at different speeds because, unlike regular gears, there's no synchronization. The speeds have to be equal for the shift to work.

    3

    Check for uneven tire pressure, tire wear or excessive loading if you continue to have problems engaging four-wheel drive. Weight limits and tire pressure are specified on a label on the driver's side door. Cold temperature can be particularly problematic and temperatures below freezing can delay the shift markedly. You may need to stop to shift into four-wheel drive in particularly cold temperatures.

    4

    Shift from "2H" into "4H," and back again at speeds below 55 mph. Remember that cold weather can reduce this speed considerably. Drop your shift speed significantly if the temperature is below freezing. Shift into "4LO" out of a running gear, and at speeds below or at 3 mph, and don't pause in the transfer case's "Neutral" position.

Why Is My Power Window Not Working?

Fixing a power window isn't complicated, claims Popular Mechanics. Most fixes, however, require the removal of door panels for access to the power window mechanism.

Both Windows Not Working

    A blown fuse is the likely culprit if both windows quit working, says Popular Mechanics. Check the owner's manual for help locating the fuse box and the fuse associated with the power window. It's also possible the power window relay is bad.

Windows Moving Slowly

    According to Popular Mechanics, the window mechanism is easily misaligned because of the constant friction with the window glass, causing the windows to move slowly. Try lubricating the tracks of the mechanism to decrease friction. If the window still moves slowly, check the voltage of the window motor at the plug while activating the power window button.

Only One Window Not Working

    The a1mechanics.com website claims the most common culprit if only one window isn't working is a bad switch. Test each switch with a meter while the ignition is on. Wiring may also cause one power window to stop working, which can be tested by visual inspection or replacement of wires.

1997 Pontiac Grand Am Brake Troubleshooting

1997 Pontiac Grand Am Brake Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting brake problems in your 1997 Pontiac Grand Am just takes a few minutes using a logical and repeatable method of diagnosis. Each step in the process will allow you to rapidly evaluate the various components and functions of the brake system so you can develop an understanding of the overall condition of the brake system. When the system is evaluated in this manner, malfunctions become easy to identify and repair.

Instructions

    1

    Sit in the driver's seat. Turn the ignition key to the "Off" position. Push the brake pedal several times to eliminate any residual power assist function in the power brake booster.

    2

    Push the brake pedal down hard with your foot and hold it for 30 seconds. During this test, the pistons in the brake master cylinder will be forced past the vent and replenish ports in the master cylinder, and the system is closed. If, during this test, the brake pedal begins to drop to the floor, there is a leak present in a brake line, wheel cylinder or caliper. Inspect each wheel visually for fluid residue to find the leak.

    3

    Ease up pressure slowly on the brake pedal, without removing your foot, until you are applying about the same pressure to the pedal as you would at a stop light. This test allows the master cylinder pistons to slide back into the bore and center between the vent and replenish ports in the master cylinder. If the pedal begins to drop during this test, the master cylinder is faulty and should be replaced.

    4

    Start the engine while continuing to hold the pedal down. When the engine starts, the pedal should drop about 2 inches as the power assist is activated in the system. If it doesn't drop, check for a vacuum leak at the vacuum source on the power brake booster located behind the master cylinder. If no vacuum leak is found, replace the booster.

    5

    Release and press the brake pedal a few times with the engine running. If the engine stumbles or a steady hissing noise is heard, the vent valve in the booster is defective. Replace the booster.

    6

    Apply the parking brake and shift the Grand Am into gear. The parking brake should hold the vehicle under very light throttle. If the parking brake does not hold the vehicle, adjust the rear brake shoes and parking brake cable.

    7

    Test-drive the car at highway speed. Note how the brakes feel when decelerating. Grinding or vibration under braking indicates faulty brake rotors and brake pads. Replace the pads and rotors.

Kamis, 15 September 2011

Grinding Noise in the Front of My 2001 Grand Am

Grinding Noise in the Front of My 2001 Grand Am

The Grand Am's 1998 redesign didn't quite make it the American equivalent of BMW's 3-Series -- thank front-wheel-drive for that -- but it remains a stalwart offering that makes the best of what it was given. Most of the Grand Am's performance upgrades came as a boon to the car as a whole, but some put a bit too much stress on its Chevy Malibu underpinnings.

Performance Tire Problems

    Like many of its performance counterparts from Ford, Chrysler and BMW, the 2001 Grand Am GT came equipped with Goodyear Eagle tires. The Eagle is an older design that provided good grip in the wet and dry and reasonable road manners when it first came online in the early 1990s, but has begun to show its age in the twenty-first century. Eagles, particularly when worn, tend to emit quite a bit of road noise compared to more modern counterparts. This road noise often manifests as a thrumming or grinding that sounds something like a worn wheel bearing.

Wheel Bearings

    The Grand Am has four distinguishing characteristics above all else: front-wheel-drive, powerful for a front-driver, fairly heavy for a car of its type -- about 3,200 pounds with the driver -- and sport-suspended. Add all that together and you've got a car practically guaranteed to beat its front wheel bearings to death, which the Grand Am can and will do. Wheel bearing failure will typically begin as a grinding noise while turning, then a grind or grumble while going straight, vibration while turning and finally constant vibration that increases with speed.

Disc Brake Problems

    While this may be one of the nastiest and most disturbing noises you'll ever hear coming from your car, it may be one of the easiest to fix. While it may sound like a strange fault, rocks and sticks can easily get caught between the Grand Am's caliper anchor -- aka bracket -- and the disc. Obstacles wedged into the caliper both rub on the disc and emit a grinding noise, and they keep your sliding calipers from sliding. This wedges the pad against the disc and creates a grinding noise. It's also possible that the caliper sliding mechanism has jammed on its own, wedging the outside pad against the rotor.

Other Causes

    Warped, pitted or rusted brake rotors may easily cause grinding or other noises, but will typically exhibit them only under braking. Once the pads release, the grinding should cease, but the noise will eventually transition to brake pedal pulsation and possible steering wheel shake. Damaged or dry ball joints and steering end links will emit a grinding noise, particularly if the grease seal ruptures and allows water and dirt into the assembly. Ball joint problems will typically manifest over rough roads, at low speeds, while turning and when bouncing the car while parked.

My 1990 Chevy Z24 Won't Restart When It's Warm Until It Cools Down

Chevrolet car, such as the Chevy Z24, sometimes develop problems starting when hot, because of the location of the starter solenoid. Heat causes electrical resistance to increase in the wires and connections. When the starter picks up heat, from the engine block or exhaust manifold, the wiring often gets too hot to transfer the large amount of amps needed to engage the starter. Resolve the problem by getting a remote starter solenoid mounting kit. Mount it away from a place where high heat builds up.

Instructions

    1

    Choose a location to mount your remote solenoid, somewhere between the battery and the starter. If you mount it directly to metal, it is properly grounded. If you mount it on anything that is not metal, add a ground wire to it. Run a wire from the negative terminal on the solenoid to one of the screws you used to mount it.

    2

    Attach the positive cable from the battery to the large terminal on the remote solenoid. Attach any other wires that run from the positive terminal of the battery also. Depending on where you mount your remote solenoid, use a longer battery cable than what you currently have on the car.

    3

    Remove the wire from the small starter switch terminal on your factory solenoid. Attach it to the corresponding terminal on the remote solenoid. Connect a jumper wire from the large battery terminal on the factory solenoid, to the small starter switch terminal on the same solenoid.

    4

    Attach a battery cable, that has a 3/8-inch lug on each end, from the large terminal of the remote solenoid, to the large terminal of the factory solenoid.

Rabu, 14 September 2011

Can a Dirty Fuel Filter Make Your Car Not Start?

Can a Dirty Fuel Filter Make Your Car Not Start?

Engines get hungry too, and they don't particularly react well when you starve them of needed fuel. Above all else, clogged filters act as a restrictor, dropping fuel pressure to well below what the engine needs to function. If you suspect a clogged filter, it's best to address it right away -- it's not going to get better on its own.

Filter Locations

    Your car likely has multiple fuel filters, particularly if it's fuel injected. The first and primary "sock" filter wraps around the fuel pickup on an intake pump; the second or second and third in-line filters catch smaller particles and varnish that make it past the sock. The last filter or filters sit either in your carburetor -- where the fuel line attaches -- or inside the fuel injectors right before the injector nozzle.

Clogged Socks

    A lot of rust scale and debris settles at the bottom of your fuel tank, and the fuel sock's job is to keep the largest particles out of the pump. Clogged fuel socks aren't uncommon, particularly on vehicles that have been consistently run with less than a quarter-tank of fuel. A clogged fuel sock can easily stall a car or keep it from starting, primarily because the fuel pump is a lot better at pushing fluid through the lines than it is at pulling it from the tank.

In-line Filters

    A clogged in-line fuel filter can also starve the engine of fuel, albeit under slightly different circumstances. The in-line fuel filter is on the pressure side of the pump, which means when clogged, it will allow line pressure to drop if the engine's using more than the filter can provide. A clogged in-line filter will initially make the car difficult to start and may cause bogging or power loss under acceleration. In later stages, it will cause severe power loss, stalling on acceleration and ultimately a no-start condition.

Carburetor or Injector Filters

    A carburetor filter is essentially just the last in a series of in-line fuel filters, so clogging here will typically result in the same symptoms as a clogged in-line filter. A clogged carb filter will generally exhibit more severe and rapidly worsening symptoms because the carb maintains zero pressure in the fuel bowl once the filter clogs. A clogged injector filter will typically result in a cylinder misfire and a check-engine light on multi-port fuel injection systems. Throttle-body-injected systems will typically act the same as a carburetor when one or more of the injectors clogs, but with far more noticeable and immediate results.

How to Diagnose a 1988 Ford Taurus

How to Diagnose a 1988 Ford Taurus

A 1988 Ford Taurus predates the standardization of On-Board Diagnostic coding. The '88 Taurus works under Electronic Engine Control, fourth generation. EEC-IV diagnostics issues fault codes i the same manner as OBD-II systems; but, you do not need a code scanner, only a jumper wire. Retrieving the fault codes will help you pinpoint the problem within an engine, and it will inform your decision to either fix the Taurus yourself or take the vehicle to a mechanic.

Instructions

    1

    Stick your key into the Taurus ignition, and start the vehicle. Run the engine at 2,000 rpm for two to three minutes. The engine must be at the regular running temperature.

    2

    Turn the engine off; but, leave the key in the ignition. You will return to this key, and use it later.

    3

    Open the hood of the Taurus. You are looking for two specific outlets. One is trapezoidal and features six ports. This hub is the self-test outlet. Nearby, you will find another outlet with only one slot, which is the self-test input.

    4

    Place one end of the jumper wire into the self-test outlet grounding port. This slot is on the lower row of four slots. It is the second one in from the left side. Place the other end of the jumper wire into the self-test input.

    5

    Return to the driver's seat. Have your pen and paper ready. Turn the key in the ignition, but do not crank the engine. You want the electrical system on.

    6

    Count how many times the "Check Engine" light flashes. EEC-IV codes are either two or three-digit sequences. Once the check engine light finishes one number of the code, there will be a slight pause, signaling a new number. For example, EEC-IV code 44 will entail the Check Engine light flashing four times, pausing, and flashing four more times. Longer gaps between flashes indicate the beginning of a new fault code.

    7

    Switch the electrical system off. Return to the engine compartment; remove the jumper wire, and close the hood.

    8

    Find the code descriptions for the numbers you wrote down. This will involve searching the Internet. OBD-II code definitions are more widely listed, but there are a few resources for EEC-IV codes. Knowing a fault code definition will help you decide whether you have the experience to attempt a fix or to take the Taurus to professional mechanic.

Buick Repair Information

Late model Buick vehicles from 2006 and later experienced few mechanical problems; although of course the older any car gets, the more prone it is to needing standard repairs. Common mechanical problems in these Buicks were few and limited to a handful of factory faults.

Steering

    Some 2006 Buick LaCrosse models had steering knuckle problems due to defective aftermarket replacement parts. The steering knuckle had the potential to break and cause the driver to lose control of the car. Replacing it is a relatively simple task, but it requires removing it from the steering arm.

Hoses

    Buick owners should routinely check radiator, steering and fuel hoses for poor crimping, leaks and cracking. Leaks may occur because someone replaced the hose in the wrong position. Cracking occurs due to age. Improper crimping may occur because of improper factory installation. The 2006 Buick Lucerne, for example, had power steering hose connectors that were improperly crimped. The hose could become loose and touch the hot engine. This problem will require proper replacement of the hose in the crimp holder.

Short Circuit

    Some 2006 Buick Lucernes also experienced a defect in the control circuit ground wire that regulates the heated windshield wiper washer fluid system. The circuit wire could overheat and cause a fire. A Buick mechanic should perform this and any repairs, unless the Buick's driver is highly experienced in auto maintenance and repair.

Selasa, 13 September 2011

How to Know When Your Fan Belt Needs to Be Replaced

How to Know When Your Fan Belt Needs to Be Replaced

Fan belts, also known as drive or serpentine belts, connect various aspects of a vehicle's engine and help power components such as the water pump, air conditioning and power steering. Damaged belts are a hazard to the vehicle and driver.

Appearance

    Large, deep cracks in the belt's surface are signs the part must be replaced. Smaller cracks do not warrant immediate replacement but signal a replacement will be needed in the near future.

Noise

    Fan belts in need of replacement produce a squealing or squeaking sound when the car is in use. The louder and more sustained the noise, the more vital it is to replace the belt.

Fit

    Overly stretched fan belts must be replaced. Test whether the belt is too loose by lightly pushing on it when the engine is off and cooled. If the belt is slack or does not spring back into place quickly and firmly, it should be replaced.

Scheduled Maintenance

    Belts without any visible problems still could be in need of replacement. Check the vehicle's manual for a replacement schedule, and follow it to avoid any sudden fan belt issues.

Senin, 12 September 2011

Wheel Vibration in a 2007 Jeep Cheokee

A vibration coming from the wheels on a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee can be caused by several things: improper wheel balance, brake problems or even a bad tire. While these problems are not severe in the early stages, they must be taken care of quickly to avoid more serious problems.

Wheel Balancing

    The wheel and tire combination on the 2007 Grand Cherokee has natural heavy and light spots. Wheel balancing puts weights on the rim to counter these variances in the weight. When one of these weights falls off, you will feel a vibration in the wheels.

Rotor

    The brake rotor, or disc, on the 2007 Grand Cherokee is clamped and stopped by the friction material on the brake pads. When the heat between the pads and rotors becomes excessive, some of the friction material sticks to the rotor. This causes a high rotor run-out -- often mistaken for warping -- that in turn creates a vibration from the wheel, mostly when braking.

Tire Failure

    Modern radial tires have steel and nylon bands to reinforce the rubber. An incorrectly manufactured tire's bands can separate, causing a large bubble. This will cause you to feel a vibration from the wheels in your 2007 Grand Cherokee.

Code PO740 on My 1997 BMW E39

The modern automatic transmission is something of a hybrid unit, combining the convenience or the traditional automatic/torque converter arrangement with the efficiency of the manual's solid clutch. The BMW 5-Series, like many other cars on the road today, does this using a small clutch contained inside the torque converter. The lockup clutch engages using a solenoid, and locks the crankshaft to the transmission input shaft in third or fourth gear. Solenoid failure will trigger code P0740, but so will a few other things.

Instructions

    1

    Take the car to someone with an OBD-II scanner -- a mechanic or an auto parts store -- and have them both check the computer for additional codes and clear the existing codes. Code P0740 may be accompanied by several other codes that can help you to track down the specific mode of failure. Clearing the code and taking the car for a test drive will allow you to assess the severity of the problem and give you some idea as to the cause. If the check engine light illuminates immediately once you hit third or fourth gear, then you likely have a solenoid problem. Otherwise, you may be looking at something mechanical in nature.

    2

    Check the transmission fluid. The clutch in your torque converter is much like the clutches inside your transmission; it's a "wet" clutch, meaning that it's constantly immersed in fluid. The car's transmission fluid contains friction modifiers that help the clutch to work as it should. If the transmission fluid is low, old or burned, the lockup clutch may be the first to suffer. If the fluid is low, brown or smells burned, then change the fluid. Do not have the transmission flushed -- just perform a standard drain-and-fill and filter change. Otherwise, you risk frying what's left of your lockup clutch by mixing new fluid with the worn-out fluid impregnated into your clutches.

    3

    Locate the converter lockup solenoid on the side of your transmission; it's plugged into the case and has a simple two-terminal electrical connector. This is the simplest kind of circuit -- a simple on/off switch. Unplug the solenoid and set your digital multimeter to read ohms of resistance. Touch the sensor probes to the solenoid terminals; with the transmission and solenoid cold, you should get a reading of between 14 and 22 ohms. If you get a reading far outside of this range -- either zero ohms or 10,000 ohms -- replace the converter lockup solenoid.

Crankshaft Position Sensor Failure Signs

Crankshaft Position Sensor Failure Signs

Early automotive engines were simple; add air, fuel and spark at a specific time and you have internal combustion. As vehicles became more complex and electronically controlled, more electronic sensors were needed to make them run correctly without emitting excessive tailpipe emissions. The crankshaft position sensor is just one of these electronic sensors, and its failure can produce four telltale signs.

Crankshaft Position Sensor's Function

    The crankshaft position sensor measures the speed of the engine -- rpm -- and the rotational position of the crankshaft. It then relays a signal to the vehicle's computer and the computer adjusts injector sequence and ignition timing accordingly. This sensor also controls the firing of the ignition coils, if applicable.

    The crankshaft position sensor generates this signal via a magnetic field created between the crankshaft and the sensor.

Rough Idle and Acceleration

    If the crankshaft sensor is not functioning correctly, and sends inaccurate information to the vehicle's computer, it can cause severe ignition timing advancement or retardation. This causes the spark, fuel and cylinder stroke to lose synchronicity, and this results in a severe rough idle or choppy acceleration.

No Start

    On some vehicles, the crankshaft position sensor has direct control over the firing of the coil packs. Manufacturers give this sensor a high responsibility, as an incorrectly positioned crankshaft, relative to the fuel, air and spark can result in catastrophic engine damage. For this reason, if the crankshaft position sensor reads incorrectly or not at all, the vehicle will neither start nor run, to prevent this potential damage.

Poor Fuel Economy

    While the crankshaft sensor's impact on fuel economy may be slight, it may still be noticeable. When the crankshaft sensor sends its signal to the computer, the computer may then adjust the vehicle's timing. If the computer has to severely advance or retard the ignition timing due to an inaccurate crankshaft reading, this can cause a slight drop in fuel economy.

"Check Engine" Light

    The crankshaft position sensor is a part of your vehicle's emissions control system, and all post-1996 vehicles use the OBD-II system, which triggers a "Check Engine" light when an emissions component fails.

    To find out if a failed crankshaft position sensor triggered your vehicle's "Check Engine" light, use a diagnostic scanner to view the stored codes in the computer. If the scanner displays a crankshaft position sensor code, chances are it has failed.

    Keep in mind; this is only a general guideline, as failures besides the crankshaft position sensor may cause this code. You must perform a full diagnostic to be 100 percent certain this is the problem.

Minggu, 11 September 2011

How to Diagnose a Head Gasket Leak

How to Diagnose a Head Gasket Leak

A failed head gasket is like a heart attack for your car; it can mean the death of your engine if it is not diagnosed in time. The symptoms of a failed head gasket are not always the same since the gasket can fail to the inside, outside or both. Identifying the symptoms of a head gasket leak can help prevent an engine repair from becoming an engine replacement.

Instructions

    1

    Look for white smoke billowing from the exhaust pipe, the most common sign of a head gasket failing to the inside of the engine. Find the quickest place to stop the car when this happens to help minimize engine damage. Check your oil. If coolant is leaking, it the oil will look like light brown sludge. It may be foamy. Your oil level will be high on the dipstick. Do not drive the car any farther.

    2

    Look for coolant levels that drop with no spraying liquid or steam under the hood. If only small amounts of liquid are passing through the leak at a time, other symptoms may not appear. An overheating car for no apparent cause is a suspect for head gasket failure.

    3

    Watch for a lack of power and an engine that is running rough. The loss of compression at the point of the gasket failure will rob your engine of power. The coolant will foul the spark plugs and keep the cylinder from firing correctly. This can occur before other more severe signs are manifested.

    4

    Look for a fluid leak where there should not be a leak. Coolant pouring from the side or back of the engine means a bad head gasket. You may see no coolant in the oil because the internal portion of the gasket is still holding. The fluid loss to the outside can be quite significant.

    5

    Pull your spark plugs and look for traces of antifreeze on the plug and in the cylinder. By removing the plugs one at a time, you can turn the engine over and watch for a spray of coolant from the spark plug opening. If it happens, you need a new head gasket.

    6

    Have the cooling system and the cylinders put through pressure checks if any other signs of head gasket failure are evident. If one or both fail, it is probably a head gasket issue. On older cars, bad valves and rings can give a false reading. The other symptoms will help point you toward the head gasket failure.

Sabtu, 10 September 2011

Automatic Transaxle Concerns

An automatic transaxle is a vehicle's transmission and drive axle combined into one component and bolted onto the engine. The result is a component with much more durability than conventional transmissions. This durability does come at the expense of more sophisticated construction, however, which presents concerns for drivers that may experience drive problems that are difficult to detect and repair.

Complicated Problem Diagnosis

    According to automotive diagnostic website Auto Repair Help, problems in an automatic transaxle are difficult to diagnose and equally challenging to repair due to the complicated configuration of the component. The complicated nature of repairs can lead to a high cost of labor and replacement part,s which translates into an expensive repair bill. This is also not a quick process as components must be tested once installed to ensure that each part of the system is functioning properly. Auto Repair Help recommends that only a certified master mechanic attempt to repair an automatic transaxle.

Electrical Component Failures

    Many functions of the automatic transaxle, including transmission shifting, are controlled by the vehicle's electronic control module or ECM. When an electronic component such as the ECM or positional sensor fails or becomes damaged, your vehicle's transmission function may be inhibited. Drivers might experience difficulty accelerating, unusual revs per minute at lower speeds and problems with gears sticking. Since the automatic transaxle incorporates so many components it is not unusual to see other systems such as fluid pressure sensors malfunction.

Fluid Leaks and Component Fouling

    An automatic transaxle is still a transmission in every sense of the word and as such is prone to the same problems other systems encounter. This includes fluid leaks from the component as well as leaks from fluid reservoirs, driveshaft seals and delivery tubes. Automotive repair website AA1 Car recommends checking transmission fluid levels and the condition of the fluid every 30,000 miles or every two years depending on the vehicle model. Transmission fluid can leak onto other components causing them to become fouled, which will inhibit functionality and cause additional problems.

How to Troubleshoot Geo Prizm Wipers

How to Troubleshoot Geo Prizm Wipers

Windshield wipers are an excellent example of the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But prevention isn't always enough; even the newest Geo Prizm, an American version of the Toyota Corolla that was last built in 2002, is getting to the age where parts start to break down. And few things are as critical to a car's performance in poor weather as working windshield wipers.

Instructions

    1

    Start with the simplest explanation. Use your owner's manual to find the location of the windshield wiper fuse on your Geo Prizm. Pull out the fuse and inspect it. If it's broken, replace it with a new fuse. Test the wipers to see if they work.

    2

    Inspect as much of the wiring as you can. Frayed or broken wiring can prevent the wiper motor from receiving power from the battery. Replace broken wires or re-connect them if possible, using electrical tape to replace lost insulation.

    3

    Use a voltometer to see if electricity is reaching the motor. If it's not, the problem may lie with the windshield wiper switch. If the motor is receiving electricity, you may need to have the wiper motor replaced. Either part may be difficult to find at auto parts stores; try a salvage yard or auto parts website to save some money.

    4

    Inspect the wiper linkage to make sure the windshield wiper arms can operate. If current is reaching the motor and the motor is running, you may need to have the rods that move the wipers back and forth replaced.

My Ford Focus Won't Go Into Overdrive

Vehicles with an automatic transmission are easier to drive but require frequent maintenance and care to keep functioning properly. Most modern automatic cars have a final gear known as "Overdrive." When Overdrive is engaged for highway driving, it helps the car to coast at a constant speed when the accelerator is released. If you're having issues with your Overdrive, it is likely that your vehicle needs some sort of transmission maintenance.

Instructions

    1

    Look for the Overdrive button on your car. This button is often found on the shifter or on the steering column. If you have Overdrive turned off, your vehicle will not kick into Overdrive until you turn it back on.

    2

    Check your transmission fluid. Low or dirty transmission fluid can cause a variety of problems with an automatic transmission. Drive your car for a few minutes, then park and open the hood. On a Focus, the transmission dipstick is located near the rear of the engine. Pull it out and look to see if the fluid is dirty or brown. Transmission fluid should be a clear, red color. Wipe the dipstick off, put it back into the engine, and then remove it again. Check the fill indicator and make sure your fluid is not low.

    3

    Check your oil. If your oil pressure is too low, you will experience a myriad of problems including Overdrive either not engaging or activating and shutting off repeatedly while driving. The process for checking oil is the same as transmission fluid, but the oil dipstick is near the front of the engine and your oil should be clean and yellowish instead of red.

    4

    Take your Focus to a transmission repair shop and see if they can diagnose the problem. While fixing an automatic transmission is often a costly endeavor, if you have walked through the basic troubleshooting steps you will need to seek professional assistance to solve the problem.

Jumat, 09 September 2011

2003 Mercedes C240 AWD Wagon Repair Issues

The 2003 Mercedes Benz C240 all-wheel-drive (AWD) wagon has 26 technical service bulletins (TSBs) published by the manufacturer about repair issues found on the automobile. These TSBs cover the electrical issues, lighting issues, anti-locking braking system (ABS) issues, steering issues and many more repair issues on the C240.

Starter Assembly

    The 2003 Mercedes Benz C240 AWD wagon has a TSB published by the manufacturer about issues found with the camshaft adjustment solenoid. The solenoid seal settles into place, causing oil to leak into the wiring harness. This oil leak from the solenoid seal can damage the transmission control module, affecting the operation of the transmission. The Mercedes will begin to jerk, hesitate between gears or become hard to shift gears when the transmission control module is affected by the solenoid seal leak. The installation of an adapter harness and replacement of the camshaft adjustment solenoid prevents this solenoid leak and prevents oil from leaking into the transmission control module.

ABS Issues

    The ABS flow pump is running without control on the 2003 Mercedes Benz C240 AWD wagon, as reported on the TSB. The return flow pump can burn out because of this continuous running issue, preventing brake fluid from entering into the calipers of the ABS brakes. When brake fluid is not running into the calipers, the Mercedes' brakes do not work and the operator cannot stop the vehicle. The only correction for this issue with the C240 AWD wagon is to have the flow pump replaced by the dealership.

Spark Plug Wires

    A TSB is published on the 2003 Mercedes Benz C240 AWD wagon about a slapping noise or ticking noise coming from the engine. This noise is attributed to the pistons and cylinders not firing properly because of the spark plug wires. The check engine light does illuminate, notifying the operator that the Mercedes has an engine problem. This indicates that spark plug wires are prematurely going bad because of a possible manufacturing defect. The engine begins to misfire or sputter during normal operating conditions of the C240 wagon. All of the spark plug wires need to be replaced to correct this issue and prevent further damage to the pistons and cylinders.

Kamis, 08 September 2011

What Problems Could Cause a Honda Civic to Run Hot?

What Problems Could Cause a Honda Civic to Run Hot?

Your Honda Civic's engine is designed to heat up to an operating temperature as quickly as possible. When the temperature is reached, coolant is allowed to flow into the engine block to keep the temperature constant.

Low Coolant

    A lack of coolant will make the vehicle overheat. Coolant absorbs the heat generated inside the engine block. It flows through the small metal tubes of the radiator, and is cooled by blowing air before it returns to absorb more heat. Leaks in the rubber hoses and radiator -- or internal engine problems -- can cause your vehicle to lose coolant. Check the coolant reservoir -- and open the radiator cap -- to make sure coolant is visible in the radiator.

Faulty Thermostat

    A small thermostat is located just inside the joint pipe of the radiator's rubber hoses. The thermostat blocks the flow of coolant until it reaches a certain temperature. When operating temperature is reached, the thermostat pops open and allows coolant to rush into the engine. The thermostat can stick closed at times; this will cause the engine to starve for coolant.

Faulty Water Pump

    The engine powers the water pump with a drive belt found on the face of the engine block. The belt powers a turbine on the inside of the pump. The turbine is responsible for making the coolant flow through your system. The bearing on the pulley to the water pump can sometimes fail, and the turbine can seize with old age. Without coolant flow, your engine will overheat.

Faulty Radiator Fan

    The radiator is just behind the grill of your Honda Civic. It is a series of small, metal tubes that the coolant is forced through before circulating back to the engine block. Air must flow through these metal tubes to take away the heat accumulated by the coolant. An electrical fan located behind the radiator ensures air flow when the vehicle is stationery. The vehicle will overheat in traffic if the fan fails.

Clogged Coolant Flow

    The radiator tubes can become clogged. Coolant can accumulate sediment during its flow, and clog narrow passage ways. The heater core is a smaller radiator inside the engine compartment near the front passenger seat. It is responsible for heating the interior of the vehicle, and can also clog. Restricted coolant flow will cause overheating.

Rabu, 07 September 2011

Signs of an Improperly Working Vent Solenoid

Signs of an Improperly Working Vent Solenoid

The vent solenoid electronically controls the Evaporator (EVAP) Emissions System by preventing gasoline fumes from being released into the atmosphere. The powertrain control module (PCM) monitors the build-up of gasoline fumes inside the fuel tank and throughout the fuel line. Once fumes build-up to a excessive level, the vent solenoid is engaged by the PCM.

Fault Code

    The most common sign of an improperly working vent solenoid is a fault code being displayed on the dashboard or instrument panel. Depending on the vehicle's manufacturer, the fault code P1451 or check engine warning light will be displayed. The vehicle's owner can only determine if the vent solenoid is causing the fault code or warning light by taking it to an authorized technician and having the vehicle placed on a diagnosing scanner.

High Emission Test

    A malfunctioning vent solenoid will emit unusually high emissions during testing. this is because gasoline fumes are not being sent through the vent solenoid. This build-up of fumes inside the fuel lines can also cause the vehicle to misfire or stall.

Leaking Vents

    A malfunctioning vent solenoid can also be traced back to a leak in the system. A leak can allow air to get into the fuel lines, creating air pockets throughout the fuel system. The vehicle will then stall momentarily. The leak can be trace back to one of the fuel line hoses; as a result of the vent solenoid remaining slightly open; or a improperly tightened gas cap.

Engine Coughing or Choking

    Another sign of a malfunctioning vent solenoid is when the vehicle's engine coughs or chokes during ignition. This ignition problem is caused by enough fuel entering the fuel lines. Gasoline fumes are typically stored and recycled in the EVAP canister. The vent solenoid then acts to prevent liquid fuel from entering the EVAP canister. A malfunctioning vent solenoid will allow liquid fuel into the EVAP canister, preventing a smooth flow of fuel into the engine during ignition.

How to Erase the PT Cruiser Engine Light

How to Erase the PT Cruiser Engine Light

The engine light warns the driver of potential errors with the vehicle. The following steps can be employed reset the light on a PT Cruiser. Also identified are some common problems that cause the engine light to come on.

Instructions

    1

    Check the gas cap on your PT Cruiser to ensure it is tightened properly. Shack the cap lid and listen for a rattle, if one is present, replace it. Remove the cap and screw back on, allowing the cap to click only once.

    2

    Reset the engine light manually by first opening the hood. Pull the release latch found underneath the the steering wheel column. Open the hood and locate the battery found in the front right, directly behind the passenger headlight assembly.

    3

    Remove the negative battery terminal cable by using an adjustable wrench to loosen the cable latch. Put on the leather gloves and grab the cable, twisting it back and forth until it's loose enough to remove. Pull the cable off and wrap the terminal in cloth.

    4

    Wait 30 seconds and reattach to cable to the negative battery terminal. Tighten the latch using the adjustable wrench. Make sure the cable is unable to be twisted. Close the hood and put the key in the ignition. Start the vehicle to ensure the engine light has been reset.

Senin, 05 September 2011

How to Read My 1995 Chevy Corvette Diagnostic Codes

How to Read My 1995 Chevy Corvette Diagnostic Codes

The 1995 Chevrolet Corvette was one of the first model years to include the OBD II, or onboard diagnostic system. The OBD II system provides additional data not available from the previous generation of diagnostic systems. Reading the diagnostic codes is a key step in the discovery and resolution of problems. The "Sys" light will flash in the digital dash component when serious diagnostic codes are stored in the brain box of the Corvette.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the OBD II connector on the driver side of the vehicle in the carpeted kick panel below the steering wheel and above the accelerator pedal.

    2

    Remove the cap from the OBD II connector and insert the connector attached to the code reader into the OBD II connector.

    3

    Insert the ignition key and turn it to the "On" position. Wait for the code reader to initialize and communicate with the OBD II system.

    4

    Select the retrieval option on the OBD II scanner tool.

    5

    Scroll through all of the stored codes using the "up" and "down" keys on the tool. Record each diagnostic code on a piece of paper to refer to while researching the meaning of each code.

    6

    Refer to a service manual for a description of each code retrieved in Step 5.

Why Does My 1989 S-10 Shift in and Out of Overdrive?

Since its introduction in 1982, the Chevrolet S-10 and its GMs S-15 have used some variant of GM's 700R4 automatic overdrive. The 700R4, renamed 4L60 in 1990, evolving to the electronically-controlled 4L60-E in 1992, is a descendant of the Turbo 350 and Turbo 400 three speeds in service since the 1960s; its issues are fairly well-known, and overdrive problems aren't are rare as you might think.

Transmission Basics

    But for its extra overdrive gear, the TH70R4 works like any other GM automatic. The engine drives a fluid coupling called a torque converter. The TC contains a turbine that pushes fluid through a matching turbine above a certain rpm. At about 35 mph, a clutch inside the TC locks the engine to the transmission. Fluid pressure inside the transmission travels through a labyrinthine series of channels called a valve body. The valve body contains a number of check balls, springs, governors and solenoids that send fluid pressure to the transmission's clutches and bands in order to engage or release a particular gear.

Worn Out Fluid

    GM calibrates the transmission's oil passages to work with fluid of a certain slipperiness and viscosity. When the fluid starts to break down and thin, pressure drops and the clutches fail to engage. While not a serious issue in and of itself, worn-out fluid can cause friction surfaces like clutches and bands to burn out.

Maladjusted Kick-Down Cable

    The throttle kick-down cable is responsible for telling the transmission where the throttle is in its arc of travel. When you depress the gas pedal, the kick-down cable activates a mechanism in the transmission that causes it to drop down a gear or two. Improper kick-down adjustment can cause the transmission to slip into and out of overdrive with little to no throttle input.

Bad Torque Converter

    A bad torque converter or failing converter lockup mechanism can cause overdrive failure through slippage. If pressure in the converter fluctuates enough, the transmission's valve body will assume that engine rpm has dropped and will pull the transmission out of overdrive. Once the truck is in third gear, the converter gets more mechanical advantage and begins to function properly again. Pressure builds up to normal -- engaging the overdrive -- then drops off again as the converter loses its mechanical advantage.

Pressure Leaks

    Overdrive puts more stress on the transmission's hydraulic system than any other gear, so it's going to fail before any other, if system pressure drops due to bad fluid or internal leaks. Worn out bushings and seals around the oil pump will kill pressure before it has a chance to reach the valve body, and worn out valve body check ball and governor bores will allow pressure to bleed off instead of going where it should.

Worn Out Components

    A bad 3-to-4 shift governor or 3-to-4 pressure switch will cause the transmission to slip out of overdrive. A worn-out throttle position sensor can also cause the transmission to act up, but will likely manifest as a check engine light and engine misfire before it affects the transmission. In some cases, an extremely worn out transmission mount can cause the tranny to jump into and out of gear, but it's unlikely in most cases.