Rabu, 29 Februari 2012

Starting Problems in the Ford Super Duty

A Ford Super Duty may have starting issues for a number of reasons. These problems could be located in a few general areas within the engine.

Battery Issues

    If the Super Duty makes a clicking noise, the battery has likely lost its charge. The battery itself may be dead, but cables or battery components may also be to blame. Look at the positive and negative cables and ensure they are securely attached to the battery. White powder is often a sign of corroded battery terminals.

Wiring Issues

    A Super Duty may not start completely if the electrical wiring is wet. Wiring is also attached to all major components and could pose a problem if damaged, frayed, loose or detached. Damaged or dead relays can disrupt the electrical system. The easiest electrical issue is a fuse box; burnt-out fuses can easily be replaced.

Fuel Issues

    The Super Duty cannot function without fuel. However, this goes beyond an empty tank. Any water in the Ford's system poses a problem, as do fully or partially flooded carburetors. Gas needs to be able to reach the Ford's fuel injectors and pumps. Problems with the fuel system's filter can also immobilize the vehicle.

Other Issues

    If the Ford overheats and is hard to start while hot, check and then change the air filter. Also, investigate the starter motor and pinion and service as needed. A malfunctioning alternator may need to be repaired or replaced.

What Would Cause My 1978 Caprice Classic Not to Start?

In the late 1970s, Chevrolet began installing HEI ignition into its cars; the 1978 Caprice Classic is one that used this system. This electronic ignition required everything to be in top working order for the Caprice to start.

Failed Coil

    The ignition coil is contained within the distributor on the 1978 Caprice. This coil takes the 12-volt charge from the battery and converts it to the high voltage needed to start the vehicle. When the coil fails, causing a weak spark, the Caprice will not start.

Weak Battery

    The battery is part of the primary ignition system. When the battery becomes weak, the coil cannot provide a spark intense enough to start the Caprice. An extremely weak battery will not even turn the engine over.

Spark Plug Wires

    The spark plug wires transfer the high voltage from the coil and distributor to the spark plugs, The Caprice has six to eight of these wires, depending on the number of cylinders the engine has. When one or more of these wires fails, the spark is interrupted and the vehicle may not start.

Firing Order

    If you recently did a tune up on the Caprice and inadvertently put the spark plug wires on in the wrong order, this also would cause the Caprice to fail to start.

What Effect Does a Bad Coil Have on Engine Performance?

What Effect Does a Bad Coil Have on Engine Performance?

Ignition coils come in a variety of configurations, depending upon the make, model and year of the vehicle. Single coils, popular on the older distributor ignition systems, and coil packs that furnish voltage to sets of cylinders or individual cylinders represent the different design types. Coils can also be located inside the spark plug, on top of it or near it. Whatever configuration, coils basically function the same by acting as step-up transformers; they increase 12-volt battery voltage through electromagnetic conduction and a switching device that produces anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 volts. This high voltage arcs across the electrode in a spark plug, causing ignition. Bad or defective coils can adversely affect engine performance in a number of ways.

Idle Performance

    A weak coil that has lost its ability to supply enough voltage to fire all of the spark plugs in a consistent manner can show itself in a rough or stumbling idle. A single coil system can affect all of the spark plugs but will particularly manifest itself with a plug that has a worn electrode and widened gap. The worn plug requires more voltage to jump an arc between the electrodes. Failing individual coils, as in one coil per cylinder, or coils for cylinder sets, will affect a specific single or set of cylinders.

Decreased Fuel Economy

    A failing coil, unable to provide a high-voltage ignition spark, will cause one or several cylinders to miss intermediately or completely, providing less power and rpm normally seen with maximum cylinder combustion. The reduced engine power will give fewer miles per gallon. The decreased gas mileage might be accompanied by a noticeable miss or general lack of power through all driving ranges.

Stalling and No-Start

    A failing coil can cause a stalling condition during idle or low-speed operation. If the coil or coil pack can not recharge fast enough to delivery the voltage demands to the plug, the engine can cut out when the accelerator pedal is applied. A totally failed coil that produces no spark, or multiple coils that have failed completely, can cause a no-start condition. The starter motor may turn, but the voltage required to fire the spark plugs is missing. With no ignition for combustion, the engine will not start. The no-start condition can be more prevalent when the temperature is cold and the humidity is high.

Catalytic Converter Performance

    A weak-enough spark will cause a spark plug misfire, which allows raw fuel to pass through the exhaust manifold and into the catalytic converter. Raw fuel can saturate the interior catalysts of the converter, halting the oxidation and afterburner process. This creates a carbon buildup, overheating conditions and clogged flow. A clogged catalytic converter will create exhaust system back-pressure, disallowing engine "breathing." Clogged catalytic converters will give off a rotten egg smell, cause hard starting, no starting or cause very sluggish engine performance.

High Speed and Under-Load Performance

    A coil that produces a weak spark can cause a high-speed miss when the voltage demands are greatest for spark plug ignition. A miss can also occur when the power demand is greatest under a load, like climbing a hill with a trailer. Unburned fuel that ignites in the exhaust system can cause an audible backfire, which can create a jerking or hesitation miss. One of two individual coils that fail can cause a persistent miss in one or multiple cylinders, making the engine run poorly all the time during all driving ranges.

Selasa, 28 Februari 2012

What Are the Symptoms of a Failed Track Bar?

What Are the Symptoms of a Failed Track Bar?

The track bar controls the ride of the vehicle as well as the tightness of the steering. The components of the track bar include bushings and bearing along with a long rod. When the track bar begins to fail or has failed, certain symptoms develop.

Hard Turning

    A symptom of a failing track bar is when the automobile becomes hard to turn in one direction. Once one side of the track bar becomes worn, the torque on the steering assembly increases. As the torque increases, the operator will have to apply more pressure when turning in one direction.

Play

    The opposite of hard steering is when there is a lot of play in the steering wheel. The operator turns the steering wheel in one direction, but the steering wheel turns slightly before engaging the tires. The track bar assembly is worn and causing the steering wheel to have excessive play before turning the vehicle.

Pulls

    A failing track bar causes the vehicle to pull to one side while driving is a sign that the track bar has failed. The track bar bushings or bearings on one side of the vehicle has worn more that the other side track bar bushings or bearings. If the vehicle begins to pull to one side, it can damage other components. Tires tread can wear prematurely, brake pad will wear excessively or the axle can break when the track bar causes the vehicle to pull to one side.

Shudder

    A track bar that is failing or failed will cause the tires to shudder as the vehicle is being driven. The symptoms feels like a problem with front end alignment or tire wear, but worn or damaged track bar causes the same symptoms. Too much space has developed between the track bar bushings and steering gears. As you increase the speed of the vehicle, the front wheels begin to shimmy or wobble back-and-forth. The vehicle will be hard to steer in this condition.

How to Find a Differential Gear Ratio

How to Find a Differential Gear Ratio

You can determine the differential gear ratio of any axle yourself. Axles are equipped with different gears for several reasons. If you want to upgrade your differential with a locker, or need any service done, you will need to know the differential gear ratio. Most axles come with a small metal tag attached to the differential cover that displays the gear ratio. However, it is often hard to read and the gears may have been changed in the past.

Instructions

    1

    Loosen and remove the straps that secure the drive-shaft u-joint to the pinion yoke on the axle. The pinion yoke is the yoke that attaches to the drive-shaft u-joint. Remove the drive-shaft from the axle.

    2

    Place a jack under the axle and lift the vehicle high enough so that the tires can spin freely.

    3

    Place a jack stand at each end of the axle to support the weight.

    4

    Slowly rotate one tire exactly one revolution with your hand while watching the pinion yoke on the axle. Count the number of times the pinion yoke makes a revolution. The amount of times the pinion yoke turns represents your gear ratio.

    5

    Reinstall the drive-shaft and tighten the bolts with a ratchet and socket.

    6

    Lower the vehicle to the ground after removing the jack stands.

Senin, 27 Februari 2012

1990 Chevy Silverado Troubleshooting

1990 Chevy Silverado Troubleshooting

The 1990 Chevy Silverado was manufactured in several different sizes. The pickup truck was made with a 4.3 liter V6, 5 liter V8 and a 7.4 liter V8. The truck was also manufactured in a diesel model with a V8 engine. The majority of the production models were four wheel drive vehicles but several two wheel drive versions were released. Troubleshooting the pickup is not complicated and basic mechanical knowledge is sufficient for most common problems.

Instructions

    1

    Test the electricity by running the stereo and lights. If the current flutters or the electricity is not available, the battery must be charged. Attach a trickle charger to the battery until it is completely charged and start the vehicle. Replace the battery if the problem persists.

    2

    Use a voltage meter to test the starter if the vehicle does not have power and the battery is good. Replace the alternator if it experiences a voltage drop and does not charge the starting battery. The failing unit will put the battery through regular charge-drain cycles and eventually you will be forced to buy a new battery.

    3

    Replace the starter if the electric is good and the truck will not start. The starter will make a distinct clicking sound if the teeth are locked. Hit the unit with a hammer as a temporary solution to unlocking the teeth and engaging the starter.

    4

    Drive the truck at different speeds to test the engine. If the engine sputters and stalls when you accelerate, the fuel pump must be replaced. If the truck is difficult to steer and turn, the power steering pump may be failing. Difficulty steering is also attributed to the transfer case being locked in four wheel drive.

    5

    Vary the speed without breaking the speed limit to test the transmission. If the transmission skips, jolts and stalls while shifting, it must be serviced. The transmission is vital for driving and must receive regular maintenance.

How to Troubleshoot a Dodge Transmission

Dodge transmissions take the power created by the engine and redirect it to different gear selections. Problems with erratic and early shifting, shudder or vibration and overheating are signs that transmission problems have started. Dodge automatic transmissions use fluid to transfer power within the transmission and out to the drive shaft. Its manual transmissions have metal gears, which must be meshed and unmeshed in order for the vehicle to smoothly shift gears. To troubleshoot a Dodge transmission means to examine possible causes and seeking effective solutions.

Instructions

Automatic Transmissions

    1

    Check the floor of the garage for fluid leakage. Automatic transmission fluid looks like cherry syrup. If it's coming out of the oil filler tube, the problem may be caused by a clogged filter or breather vent causing the automatic transmission fluid to back up. There are two main seals in a transmission; the front seal and the back. Inspect both seals to determine the point of leakage.

    2

    Lift the hood of your Dodge, taking note of any unusual odors coming from the engine compartment. An overheated automatic transmission produces a strong burned odor. Overheating may be due to a low fluid level, clogged lines or internal slippage.

    3

    Listen to the transmission. Whirring noises or buzzing coming from the transmission may be caused by low fluid levels or a defective torque converter.

    4

    Take note of the Dodge's shifting pattern. Missed gears or erratic shifting patterns can sometimes be attributed to defective vacuum linkage control, band failure, broken lines or an internal malfunction such as an internal clutch failure.

Manual Transmissions

    5

    Watch the gear lever. A bad manual transmission will pop out of gear when shifting the gear lever into neutral.

    6

    Listen when you shift as all shifts should be quiet and smooth. The manual transmission has internal gears called synchronizers which move the main gear wheels into another gear smoothly. If you hear a grinding noise in any gear, the synchronizers are failing.

    7

    Notice the effort it takes to shift from one gear to another, especially if the effort changes from one gear to another. The clutch has some input into the muscle it takes to move the gear shift, but it tends to be equal across the range of gears. If it takes more effort to put the transmission into first than it does into third, the transmission may be failing.

    8

    Check the engine mounts. Worn or broken mounts can cause a manual transmission to jump out of gear.

    9

    Take the vehicle in for servicing and ask the mechanic to check for metal shavings or filings in the transmission fluid or clinging to the magnetized transmission drain plug.

Minggu, 26 Februari 2012

How to Diagnose a Vehicle That Won't Start

How to Diagnose a Vehicle That Won't Start

We depend on our vehicles every day to get us to work, school, and various other venues. It's a terrible feeling when you turn your ignition key and the vehicle will not start. Diagnosing the cause could save you an expensive tow or a trip to the garage. All of the tools and materials you need to complete the diagnostics are available at an automotive parts retailer.

Instructions

    1

    Check the battery cables and the battery's charge. Open the hood of the vehicle and make sure all of your battery cables are attached to the battery correctly. Attach jumper cables to the vehicle and attempt to jump-start the vehicle off of another. If the vehicle jump starts, remove the cables and take the vehicle to a service facility to have the battery completely charged or diagnosed on a tester.

    2

    Check the ignition switch by turning the ignition key to the "accessories" position. The indicator lights in the dashboard will come on if the switch is good. Assuming the battery is not dead, the lights on your dashboard should come on. If the lights do not come on, and you know the battery is good, the ignition switch is more than likely the root of your problem.

    3

    Check the fuel pump by turning the key to the "accessories" position and listening for a mechanical motor to sound. The motor will last one to two seconds as it primes the engine with fuel. Turn the key off and to the "accessories" position two to three times. If you do not hear the motor, then your fuel pump could likely be bad. If the motor sounds good, then slows or winds down, that's another sign that the pump could be bad.

    4

    Check your starter by attempting to start the vehicle. If you do not hear a clicking noise at all, or there is a click and the battery is good, then your starter is probably the root of your problem. You can attempt to move the starter's location by pressing a metal rod against the starter body and tapping it with a small hammer. If the vehicle starts after you tap the starter, then replace the starter immediately.

    5

    Check the airflow by attempting to start the vehicle. If the engine turns over, but will not fire up, turn the key off. Check your entire air intake system. One of the most overlooked reasons for a vehicle not starting is a bad air filter. If the vehicle cannot breathe properly, it won't start. Remove any debris from the air intake system that is visible to you.

    6

    Check the spark of the vehicle by removing one or two of the spark plugs. Use a ratchet and spark plug socket to remove these plugs. If the plugs are severely black or the white ceramic shows any sign of cracking, replace all of your plugs. Check the spark plug wires for dry rot, damage or cracking. Replace the wires if necessary.

What Are the Causes of an Oil-Saturated Auto Air Filter?

What Are the Causes of an Oil-Saturated Auto Air Filter?

Oil anywhere other than in the crankcase of an automobile is a cause for concern. In newer cars, the cause may be in the emission control system and cheap to fix. In older cars, the problem is likely more serious.

PVC Valve

    The pressure vent control (PVC) valve is part of the emission control system. It is normal for minute amounts of exhaust gas to enter the crankcase by seeping around the piston ring gaskets. If these gases have nowhere to go, pressure builds up, forcing oil out of the crankcase. For this reason, a channel exists through which excess gases can be expelled. This channel passes through a baffle into the PVC valve. When the PVC is plugged, oil escapes the system as a mist that winds up in the air filter. PVC valves are inexpensive and easy to replace.

Engine Wear

    As engines age, the pistons and rings become worn. The wear makes the parts less tight, meaning oil, fuel and exhaust gases escape the engine as mist. If this is the source of oil in an air filter, the engine needs, at a minimum, a ring job. It may also need to be rebuilt or replaced. A compression test will determine if this is the problem.

Excess Oil

    Overfilling the crankcase will cause excess blow-by, which will dirty the air filter with oil. Crankcases can become overfilled either in error (someone lost count of how many quarts they used while changing the oil) or when an unresolved engine problem is being managed by topping up the oil.

Why Does My Car Hesitate When Shifting?

Why Does My Car Hesitate When Shifting?

Modern automatic transmissions can be tricky. The problem can be computer related or mechanical. Simple checks can determine source of the problem.

Fluid level and condition

    Check fluid level and color
    Check fluid level and color

    First check fluid level. Even slightly low levels can cause transmission misbehavior. At the same time, check for proper fluid color. It should be red. If fluid is brown or cloudy red, or has a burnt smell, it should be changed immediately. Routine maintenance can eliminate costly repairs later.

The Computer

    Many modern transmissions are controlled by computer chips. If fluid levels and color are acceptable, a shop can run a simple diagnostic to determine if the computer chip is operating properly. This is often a simple and relatively inexpensive fix.

Replace or Rebuild

    Transmission Gears
    Transmission Gears

    If none of the above resolve this issue, there is an internal problem. A professional technician can determine if repairing, rebuilding or replacing the transmission is more economical. Some simpler problems can be repaired, while others require a complete rebuild.

Sabtu, 25 Februari 2012

1988 Ford Van Vacuum Leak Symptoms

The vacuum of an internal combustion engine is maintained by its gaskets, seals and hoses. A leak in any of these components will manifest itself through performance and driveability problems. Vacuum leaks can be difficult to detect--they are often misdiagnosed as other problems. A good way to pinpoint the leak is to lightly spray carburetor cleaner around the various vacuum fittings with the engine idling. Any change in engine speed indicates a leak in that area. Another quick method is to cup your hands over the carburetor opening of the idling engine. If the engine speed increases, there is a vacuum leak in the system.

Rough Idle

    A rough idle is the most common symptom of a vacuum leak. If the engine will not smooth out at idle, despite other tuning methods, you probably have a vacuum leak. Vacuum leaks are most noticeable at idle speeds, because this is when the engine is creating the most vacuum.

Idle Adjustments Have No Effect

    If you attempt to adjust the carburetor's idle speed adjustment screws and it has little or no effect on idle speed, there is a vacuum leak somewhere in the system. The vacuum leak is causing a lean condition, in which too much air is allowed into the engine.

Whistling Noises

    If the engine develops a whistling noise that changes in pitch or loudness, relative to engine speed, a vacuum leak is probable.

Failing Emission Tests

    If the vehicle will not pass an emission test, it is possible that an overly lean condition--caused by a vacuum leak--is the culprit.

Mixture Screws Have No Effect

    If, while attempting to adjust the air-to-fuel ratio using the carburetor mixture adjustment screws, you notice that it has little or no impact on idle quality, a vacuum leak can be suspected.

How to Tell if a Head Gasket Is Leaking

Green or brownish coolant leaking from hoses or other engine components onto the ground can be the first sign of a head gasket leak. However, when coolant is leaking internally, it can be harder to determine and may mean there is a blown head gasket. If your vehicle is exhibiting other symptoms, such as overheating and decreased coolant levels, there is a radiator cap test, or what is commonly referred to as a champagne test, you can perform. The champagne test can determine if the head gasket is leaking or blown.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the car's engine off and allow it to cool overnight. Open the hood and prop it up with the hood support rod in the engine bay.

    2

    Locate the radiator cap toward the front of the engine bay. There is typically a warning message imprinted on it such as, "Do not open when hot." Turn the cap counterclockwise to open it and set it aside.

    3

    Start the vehicle once the cap is off. You will see bubbles in the coolant, when you peer into the radiator filler neck, if the vehicle has a leaky or blown head gasket. If the test is positive for a leaky head gasket, you should take the vehicle in to be worked on by a qualified mechanic.

Jumat, 24 Februari 2012

Chrysler Code P2175

Chrysler Code P2175

Chrysler, an American auto manufacturer, began business in 1925. Despite the manufacturer's rich automotive tradition, Chrysler vehicles are not exempt from mechanical issues. Chrysler owners and professional mechanics can diagnose potential problems through the use of diagnostic trouble codes.

Accessing

    To access diagnostic trouble codes, you must use a car code reader, which you can use on any Chrysler model made in or after 1996. Simply connect the reader to the diagnostic link connector (DLC) located on the left or right of the steering column, and turn on the ignition.

Code P2175

    Code P2175 indicates a detection of low airflow or restriction, which usually refers to the throttle actuator control (TAC) system. Diagnostic trouble codes help you diagnose a potential problem but do not outline any specific repairs you should perform.

Solution

    Although code P2175 does not represent any specific problem, it does indicate a problem with your TAC system. Restricted TAC airflow most commonly results in an unclean throttle body -- an engine air valve. Performing a throttle body cleaning will increase airflow and increase your engine's performance.

Coolant Leak in a Chevrolet 4.3

The 4.3-liter V-6 engine is used in several Chevrolet vehicles through the 1990s and early 2000s, such as the S10, Silverado, C-Series and Astro Van. When a coolant leak surfaces, it is important to know how to test it and where to look for the leak.

Testing

    The testing process involves pouring a small amount of dye into the cooling system and pressurizing the cooling system. The user then searches for the dye using an ultraviolet light and UV-sensitive glasses.

Radiator

    The first place to check for a coolant leak is the radiator. The 4.3-liter's radiator has plastic tanks on either side connected to an aluminum core. Focus on the seal between the tanks and the core, and look for cracks in the plastic tanks.

Water Pump

    The water pump is located at the front of the 4.3-liter, directly behind the fan. This component can either leak from the seal between it and the engine or the small hole on the fan side of the pump. The latter is called a weep hole, and coolant will only leak from this as an indicator that the water pump bearing has failed.

Head Gaskets

    The 4.3-liter V-6 has two cylinder heads, one on each side of the engine below the valve cover. Check where the engine and the cylinder heads meet for a leak in the seal.

Kamis, 23 Februari 2012

2002 Grand Am Pontiac Won't Start

2002 Grand Am Pontiac Won't Start

Any number of reasons could cause your 2002 Pontiac Grand Am not to start. Since the ignition system has so many components, it is one of the most logical places to start troubleshooting the problem. If the battery, ignition switch, starter motor or starter solenoid fail, the Grand Am will not start. You can quickly determine if any of these parts are defective with a few simple tests.

Instructions

    1

    Place the red lead wire of a voltmeter onto the positive battery terminal and place the black lead wire of the voltmeter onto the negative battery terminal. If the voltmeter reads at least 12V, the battery is fine. If it reads less, charge the battery with a battery charger then repeat the test. If, after charging the battery, it still reads less than 12V, replace the battery and test the vehicle again. If the battery was fine or if the replacement battery does not start the vehicle, move on to the next step.

    2

    Turn on the headlights and then the ignition. If the headlights dim, this indicates the ignition is sending power to the starter solenoid. If the headlights do not dim, the ignition switch is defective.

    3

    Locate the starter motor bolted to the lower part of the transmission housing on the driver's side of the vehicle. Locate the solenoid on the starter. On the back of the solenoid are two metal posts. Short the posts out by touching both with the blade of a screwdriver then have a second person attempt to start the vehicle. If the starter motor turns on and hums, the starter motor is fine, and the solenoid is defective. If the motor does not turn on or runs rough, the starter motor is defective.

How to Troubleshoot a Jeep Heater Switch

How to Troubleshoot a Jeep Heater Switch

Jeep vehicles can include dual-zone heating and air-conditioning, wherein the driver and front passenger can adjust the temperature settings individually. The system can be automatic or manual. Additional heater controls enable defogging or defrost. To function properly, the heater switches depend on other elements of the heating system. You can investigate, identify and correct potential Jeep heater switch problems by following some specific steps.

Instructions

    1

    Check to ensure the airflow vents are clear if the heater switches don't appear to warm the vehicle. Jeeps depend upon a throughput of air to heat the passenger compartment. The heater switches will not work properly if the vents are blocked. Snow and leaves can cause blockages; keep the vents at the base of the windshield, along with the air condenser in front of the radiator, free of debris.

    2

    Rotate the temperature controls if the heater switches don't appear to work. Often, the driver and passenger will have separate controls. Rotating the dials to the right, into the red gradation, will increase heat.

    3

    Rotate the blower control to the right from the "0" position if the Jeep heater switches continue not to work. This action will force heated air through the passenger compartment.

    4

    Adjust the mode control if the heater switches still won't work. The mode selector adjusts air direction. Push the buttons to choose from several patterns of air distribution. Use the descriptive icons to guide you. For example, choose the icon with the arrow pointing at the figure's head for air to travel through the outlets in the dash.

Rabu, 22 Februari 2012

How to Troubleshoot a 1980 Chevrolet Silverado Ignition

The 1980 Chevy Silverado ignition consists of a distributor with a hall-effect sensor and a separate coil. The sensor is used for determining the location of the number one cylinder in respect to top dead center on the compression stroke. It also has an ignition control module used to vary the timing as instructed by the power train control module, or PCM. The engine is fuel injected and has all the common sensors including the oxygen sensors.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the air cleaner from the throttle body by turning the wing nut counterclockwise. Remove the distributor cap by turning the lock screws on the side of the cover with the screwdriver. Lift the cap off and lay it in front of the distributor base. Inspect the rotor for arcing marks or cracking. Check the distributor cap for arcing marks (white powder) at the terminals. Examine the terminals closely for wear and the cap for internal cracks. Replace both if any irregularities are found.

    2

    Check to see if the ignition control module is operating. Connect the voltmeter's black lead to a good ground on the engine and probe the second wire from the right (white with a purple stripe) while a helper cranks the engine. The voltmeter should show voltage spikes. The voltmeter will show five volts followed by zero and continue in a duty cycle. If no voltage spikes are witnessed, the ignition control module is bad. This is the most common problem with this particular vehicle. This wire conducts the signal from the ICM (ignition control module) to the PCM. When the PCM receives this signal it sends back a timing command on the far right wire (white) for timing control. If it showed good, continue to the next step.

    3

    Check the coil next. Pull the two wires off the coil: the positive wire on one side and the negative on the other. Place the voltmeter in the ohms mode. Attach the black ohmmeter lead to the coil-mounting bracket and probe the positive terminal on the coil. The reading should be infinite or no continuity. Probe the negative terminal and the reading should show less than one ohm. Move the black ohmmeter lead to the negative terminal on the coil and probe the coil tower with the red lead. The reading should be between 3,000 to 6,000 ohms. If the reading is anything other than described, replace the coil.

    4

    Check the coil primary wire by pulling the wire out of the distributor and the coil tower. Check the wire by touching the ohmmeter leads to both ends of the wire. There should be continuity. Replace the wire if it has infinite resistance.

    5

    Check each spark plug wire if the engine runs but misses. Pull a spark plug wire off one of the plugs. Insert the spare spark plug into the end of the wire. Lay it on the engine for a good ground. Start the engine and watch the spark. If it is irregular or there is no spark, the wire is bad.

Diesel Scan Tools

Diesel Scan Tools

A diesel engine uses the heat of compression to ignite the diesel fuel flowing to this type of engine in order for it to work properly. To check a diesel engine for any electrical faults or emission problems, a mechanic will use engine scan tools. These types of electronic devices can also be used on nondiesel engines but they all check for malfunctions occurring in automobile engines.

PocketScan Plus Code Reader

    Constructed out of a hard plastic and featuring a small display screen, the PocketScan Plus Code Reader displays a diesel engine's diagnostic trouble codes to car mechanics. By attaching the PocketScan Plus Code Reader to the car's electronic system via the reader's cable, this unit scans the engine for electrical failures as well as other diesel engine malfunctions.

EZ-SCAN 6000 Diagnostic Scan Tool Kit

    After the car mechanic hooks up the EZ-SCAN 6000 Diagnostic Scan Tool Kit to a car equipped with a diesel engine, this scanning tool will display trouble codes and other manufacturer-specific error codes to the mechanic. The main unit of this scanning tool kit is equipped with a large display screen that is easy to read and will work for a wide variety of car manufacturers, including GM, Ford, Chrysler and Toyota.

OBD II Auto Scanner Scan Tool

    The OBD II Auto Scanner Scan Tool displays freeze frame data to the mechanic who properly hooks up this unit to a diesel engine's electronic system. Car mechanics can choose to view the display screen's data in English, Spanish or French. The main unit is around 6 inches long and is made out of hard plastic. The display screen is 1 1/2 wide and can also be updated via the Internet.

Trilingual OBD II ABS Scan Tool

    Designed to scan for diesel automotive problems as well as nondiesel engines, the Trilingual OBD II ABS Scan Tool displays an engine's trouble code and also prioritizes automotive problems for the auto mechanic. This unit's CodeConnect hot key built into the electronic device connects with the Internet and highlights the most important problem code that the device is reading, thus alerting the car mechanic to specific diesel engine problems.

How to Tell if a Timing Chain is Broken

A key component of your vehicle's engine is the timing chain or belt. The function of the chain is essentially to keep the engine running by allowing the the exhaust and intake valves to open and close in rhythm with the pistons. If your chain is broken, then your engine will not run as it should and may possibly endure some very serious damage. Luckily, several telling signs of a broken timing chain will allow you to easily address and fix the problem, hopefully without any engine damage.

Instructions

    1

    Notice if your engine is running rough. This may include poor acceleration, the ability to maintain your speed or just generally not acting like normal. Since the timing chain controls such a vital component of the engine, it is likely that any of these problems may stem from a broken belt.

    2

    Check to see if you are getting your normal fuel economy. If you notice that you are burning through fuel much quicker than your vehicle normally would, then there is a good chance that the timing chain is broken. When not operating at 100 percent, the chain forces the engine to work harder.

    3

    Perform a variety of tests to see if the timing belt is working or not. You can remove the distributor cap and crank the engine. If the rotor does not turn, then the belt is broken. Another test you can easily perform is to pull the valve cover while cranking the engine and watch for any motion from the valves. If you don't see any, then your belt is likely broken. A good warning sign for you timing chain going bad is a loud, unusual screeching noise emanating from your engine. This is a sign of a loose chain.

    4

    Check to see if the engine still runs. If your car fails to start and yet the internal electronics still work (stereo, lights and etc.) then your timing chain is more than likely broken. Chances are that the belt broke and caused serious damage to your vehicle as well, though there is the possibility that the engine did not sustain any damage.

How to Diagnose Engine Trouble in a 1997 Jeep 4.0

How to Diagnose Engine Trouble in a 1997 Jeep 4.0

You can diagnose 1997 Jeep engine trouble with an eye and ear for detail. Sometimes, that is not enough, and troubleshooting by trial and error can be time consuming. Since the Jeep was manufactured after 1996, the On-Board Diagnostics system can be of great assistance. The Jeep's computer constantly monitors the engine and problems are assigned codes. Initially, these codes are deemed "pending," and if they happen enough, they turn into "trouble codes." Then, your service engine light becomes active. You can retrieve both types of codes with an OBD-II scanner.

Instructions

    1

    Consult your manual for the exact steps on how to use your scanner. The process is similar in spirit, but there are variations. Some differences are minimal, like button configurations. Other differences are operational, like whether or not the scanner self-activates and retrieves codes without a command being keyed in. Also, make note of where the OBD-II code descriptions are, as you will need to reference them later.

    2

    Open your driver-side door and look beneath the dashboard. Locate the diagnostic data link outlet. It contains 16 pin-receiving slots. This outlet will be uncovered, and it will be to the left of the steering column.

    3

    Hook your OBD-II scanner up to the data link outlet.

    4

    Turn the electrical system or the engine on. Which one depends on the scanner you own. Also, switch your scanner on if it does not switch itself on, and key in any needed "read" commands.

    5

    Look up the codes that appear on the scanner's read-out. You will need the scanner's manual for this. The scanner will differentiate between trouble codes and pending ones. Look up the trouble codes first, as they have occurred more often. Should your scanner not contain code definitions, you will need to locate that information online. Also, Chrysler has supplemental OBD-II codes that Jeep vehicles use. You will likely not find those codes in your manual.

    6

    Turn the Jeep off. Turn the scanner off and unhook it from the data link outlet. Pop the Jeep's hood, and use the trouble and pending codes as a launching point for further investigation.

Selasa, 21 Februari 2012

Nissan Electrical Alert Issues

Nissan Electrical Alert Issues

Nissan issues global recalls if there are dangerous electrical or other malfunctions in its cars. Concerned Nissan owners can browse the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website for specific information about any Nissan model, or check the Auto Recalls for Consumers website for consumer complaints about Nissan cars. If your Nissan is experiencing electrical issues, contact a Nissan dealer to find out if your car is under recall or eligible for service or repair at no charge.

2011 Nissan Sentra

    Nissan is recalling about 13,737 Sentra models manufactured from May 2010 through July 2010 for battery cable irregularities. Owners may have issues starting their cars which can cause damage to the engine control module. The engine may stop running if the car is moving at a slow speed, increasing the possibility of crashing.

December 2010 Nissan Electrical Issue Recalls

    In December 2010, Nissan put out an alert to recall 2.14 million vehicles because of electrical problems that cause the engine to stall. The vehicles include the Nissan Armada, Titan and Frontier pickup trucks, Nissan Pathfinder and Xterra SUV's and the Infiniti QX56. A list of all of the recalled pickup trucks and SUV's is on the MotorTrend website, the Nissan website and the Auto Recalls For Consumers website.

Nissan Versa

    The 2007 and 2009 Nissan Versa have multiple electrical issues. The 2007 Versa has problems with the Intelligent Key locking and unlocking the car. Also, the wiring in the engine system causes the engine to shut down or catch fire. The 2009 Versa recall estimates that 7,948 vehicles have electrical issues with the navigational system. The batteries in the Garmin GPS units overheat and cause a fire.

2008 Electrical and Air Conditioning Issues

    The 2008 Nissan Rogue, Pathfinder and 350Z have air conditioning that will stop working, or warm air will come through the vents, even after all fuses and sensors have checked out. Car owners have also complained the windows will stay down or not go down at all. Nissan reported that the window motor on these vehicles is faulty.

Senin, 20 Februari 2012

Signs of a Bad Fuel Sending Unit

Signs of a Bad Fuel Sending Unit

Fuel gauges provide valuable information to a driver. Incorrect fuel level indications can be annoying, or downright dangerous. Unexpectedly running out of fuel at the wrong time could place a vehicle in peril. Inaccurate readings can stifle attempts to economize consumption. Compound or digital gauges, as well as mileage computers all rely on the performance of the fuel sending unit.

Erratic Displays

    A fuel gauge that hangs up in one position before returning to normal operation, may be a direct representation of a float in the fuel tank. If the float sticks in one position due to mechanical deficiencies, a bump in the road may jar it loose, and normal function returns. A sending unit suffering from this condition can repeat the malfunction whenever the float reaches the sticking point due to fuel level changes.

Running on Empty

    A fuel gauge needle that is resting on empty when the vehicle has fuel, may be due to total failure of the sending unit parts. This condition can also be caused by a defect in the wiring between the sending unit and gauge, or a fuse in the circuit. Some circuits employ constant voltage regulators or resistor coils to counter reactions to fuel movement in the tank. Proper operation of such devices should be confirmed before replacing a sending unit.

Full Up

    Steady false indications of a full tank may signify a shorted sending unit. It is as likely that shorted wiring or the gauge itself may be at fault. Full tank indications that seem to linger after fuel consumption occurs can be normal operation, inherent to the vehicle. A certain brand of vehicle is notorious for this harmless inaccuracy. Low fuel level warning lights that are illuminated prematurely are usually not related to the sending unit.

Meters

    Complete testing of related components is the logical approach to avoid unnecessary and dangerous handling of the tank. Some vehicles have access panels to ease sending unit or fuel pump replacement, but most do not. Special testing equipment used by professionals eliminates wiring and gauges as possible faults before lowering the tank out of the vehicle. Fuel tank removal is a difficult task even with proper tools and equipment and should not be attempted by the uninitiated.

How to Troubleshoot the TCS Light on a 2003 Honda Accord

The traction control system, or TCS, on a 2003 Honda Accord has several functions relative to maintaining constant tire speed and traction. It works in unison with the anti-lock braking system and the transmission to maintain this control. It receives signals from the wheel sensors, the transmission -- or its vehicle speed sensor -- and the ignition system to formulate its strategy. The strategy is to slow engine speed to reduce tire spin, reduce transmission gearing and apply the brake to the fastest spinning tire, or a combination of these.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood and check to see if there are any fluid-related issues causing the TCS light to come on. Check the master brake cylinder fluid level and add brake fluid as needed. The master cylinder is located on the driver's side bulkhead (or firewall) and has a large circular tank behind it. Also check the transmission fluid level and add transmission fluid as necessary.

    2

    Check the connections on the ABS brake modulator and module located directly in front of the master cylinder. The module is the computer portion of the ABS system. It is the notebook size component with a wiring harness connected to it in the immediate proximity of the modulator. It is easy to find the modulator by just following the brake lines from the master cylinder down to the modulator. Look for any corroded or disconnected wires.

    3

    Look over the electrical connectors on the radiator side of the transmission for corrosion and disconnected or loose connectors. Check all the fuses in the fuse and relay box on the driver's side fender well and replace as necessary. Test-drive the vehicle and note any irregularities in the engine and transmission operation. Correct all problems with the engine and transmission for the TCS to work properly. If both the engine and transmission work properly, continue to the next step.

    4

    Start the engine and check the dash lights for a check engine light. If the check engine light is on, the computer has set a code. Pull the codes to see if any of them are relevant to the TCS or ABS by plugging the diagnostic tool connector into the onboard diagnostics port under the driver's side of the dash.

    5

    Turn the ignition key on (engine off). Turn the diagnostics scanner on. Follow the directions as the scanner prompts you for the description of the vehicle. Comply by inserting the information into the tool. After input of the initial information, the scanner displays several options from which to withdraw codes -- select the appropriate engine as listed. Press the "Read" button and the scanner begins to interrogate the onboard computer for codes in the designated area and display them on the screen. It will also provide a description of the problem and a method of monitoring it in operation for verification.

    6

    Verify the fault code validity. The scanner, upon displaying a code, will give several options. It provides the method of operation, location on the vehicle, description and best test location of the connector, method of monitoring and what the signal should look like versus the defective one and finally, a way to check the item if there is no signal at all. Correct all coded problems before continuing.

    7

    Set the scanner by selecting "Transmission" and press the "Read" button. Correct any problems found before continuing. Even if there is no code displayed concerning the vehicle speed sensor, it is still a good idea to monitor it in action to see if the signal may be present but irregular. Test-drive the car with the scanner connected and watch the VSS speed to see if it is consistent. If you find any irregularities, replace the VSS. If the signal from the VSS does not agree with the rear wheel sensors, all the signals are considered erroneous and not reliable so the computer rejects the signal.

    8

    Verify the synchronization and signal existence in all four-wheel sensors. Place the scanner in the "ABS" mode. Select wheel sensor monitoring. Drive the car and watch the correlation among all four wheels. It will display a picture of each wheel and a speed beneath it. If one or more sensors appear to be malfunctioning, this is the problem. Replace any malfunctioning wheel sensors.

Minggu, 19 Februari 2012

How to Check Worn Front Ball Joints

Ball joints are a rather complex component of the front suspension and steering systems of your vehicle. A lot is asked of them; they allow your suspension to flex when going over bumps, allow the front tires to turn, and hold the suspension together. Worn ball joints can result in poor handling of the vehicle, and if they fail, the suspension will come apart, resulting in loss of control. Checking ball joints for wear, then, is important to maintaining a safe vehicle.

Instructions

Determine Kind of Ball Joint

    1

    Examine the suspension type. If you have a strut assembly, your vehicle has one lower A-arm and only one ball joint. If your vehicle has a spring and shock, you have both an upper and lower A-arm, with two ball joints, one in each A-arm.

    2

    Look under the front of your vehicle and determine what kind of ball joints you have. Inspect each ball joint closely. It is the round bushing located at the point of the "A" shape of the A-arm, closest to the tire, connected to the steering spindle.

    3

    Look closely to see if your ball joints have a wear indicator. The wear indicator will be either a sleeve surrounding the grease fitting or a pin extending from the bottom of the ball joint. Some ball joints will not have a wear indicator.

Check for Worn Ball Joints on Vehicles with Two A-arms

    4

    Inspect the wear indicator. If the sleeve or pin has retracted fully into the ball joint, the unit is worn and should be replaced. If either are still protruding, the ball joint is fine and you are done. If there is no wear indicator, move to the next step.

    5

    Look at your suspension and determine if the spring rests on the top A-arm or the bottom A-arm. If the spring rests on the top A-arm, place a piece of wood between the A-arm and the vehicle frame.

    6

    Place the car jack underneath the front of the vehicle, and using a safe jack point as indicated in your owner's manual, raise the front of the vehicle. Place the jack stands under the vehicle and position them so they will sit under the car frame. Lower the weight of the car onto the jack stands.

    7

    Place the jack under the A-arm, for vehicles with the spring on the lower A-arm. Raise the jack high enough to put the weight of the A-arm assembly on the jack. Have your helper grab the tire from the side at the top and bottom and rock the tire back and forth. Watch the ball joints while your helper rocks the tire. If you detect any looseness in the joint, it should be replaced. If your vehicle has the spring resting on the upper A-arm, move to the next step.

    8

    Have your helper rock the tire back and forth as described in Step 4. The jack is not needed here, as the piece of wood you placed earlier relieves the tension on this type of vehicle. Watch the ball joint for looseness, and if there is slop in the joint, have it replaced.

Checking for Worn Ball Joints on Vehicles with One A-arm

    9

    Raise the front of the vehicle off the ground and secure safely with the jack stands.

    10

    Check the ball joint for wear indicators. If the wear indicators are fully retracted, you should replace them.

    11

    Have your helper wiggle the tire back and forth while you watch the ball joint for looseness. On this vehicle you only have one ball joint, on the bottom. If any slop is noticed, have the ball joint replaced.

How to Troubleshoot a Leaking Oil Pan Gasket

How to Troubleshoot a Leaking Oil Pan Gasket

The oil pan contains all of the engine oil. Sometimes seals and gaskets give way and leak. The oil pan gasket can be one such leak point, especially due to the large size of the gasket and its location. The oil pan gasket gets frequently blamed for leaks, when in reality, other engine parts can be the culprits. Narrowing down the oil pan gasket as a source of leaks can be performed through a process of elimination by the vehicle owner.

Instructions

Diagnosing the Oil Pan Gasket

    1

    Place the vehicle in park or neutral with the emergency brake set. Raise the hood. Use strips of plastic to cover sensitive engine areas, like the coil or coil pack, distributor and any open cold air intake nozzles. Wrap masking tape around the plastic to seal off sensitive and open areas. Use old sheets to drape over the fenders, front bumper and grille area. Spray a can of carburetor cleaner on the top and sides of the engine, particularly around the valve covers, rear of the engine block and in between the exhaust and intake manifolds. Let it soak.

    2

    Use the floor jack to raise the vehicle high enough to place two jack stands under the front frame near each wheel. Place additional jack stands under the rear wheels for added clearance and to level the vehicle, if applicable. Spray a second can of carburetor cleaner on the undercarriage parts. Concentrate the spray on the top of the cross-member frame, the splash shield, the front of the bell housing and in and around the oil pan cover. Let it soak. Use any extra carburetor cleaner to apply to the top and bottom of the engine and suspension parts.

    Spray the top and bottom of the engine and undercarriage parts with a high pressure water nozzle. Rinse all oil residue and dirt from the engine top and bottom. Let it air-dry.

    3

    Remove all the plastic and tape from the engine. Wipe down the accessible engine areas with clean rags. Slide under the vehicle. If equipped with a splash shield that covers the bottom of the engine, remove it with the appropriate socket and wrench. If the vehicle has a cross-member support frame that covers the oil pan, unscrew the bolts with a socket and lay it down out of the way. Wipe down the oil pan if you have missed any dirt or oily spots.

    4

    Place a large sheet of clean cardboard underneath the engine. Center it directly under the oil pan. Start the engine and let it run until it reaches a normal operating temperature, or as long as it takes to produce any leaking drops on the cardboard. Once you have spotted a small or prominent leak, shut the engine off.

    5

    Slide under the vehicle with a shop light. Look directly up from the source of the oil puddle or drops. Hold the light up and see if you can detect an oil stream coming down from any source other than the oil pan. Check the base of the oil filler tube for a leak. Check the rear of the engine block where the valve cover joins it. Inspect the oil filter mount. If no oil can be seen from these sources you can rule them out.

    6

    Look at the oil pan very carefully. It will have many small bolts holding it up to the engine block. Any oil around the bolt heads indicates an oil pan gasket leak. Check the sides of the oil pan lip, the location where the gasket seats with the block. Check the seam around its perimeter for any drops or dribbles. The outer gasket seal area of the pan is a very common area for leaks. Inspect the oil pan drain plug for an O-ring or gasket seal leak. Any leak coming from the oil pan gasket seal or a mounting bolt will require an oil pan gasket replacement.

Why Is There Excessive Road Noise for a 1998 Escort?

The third-generation Escort and Escort ZX2 are just as susceptible to the several different types of road noise as any other car out there; more in many ways. The Escort is an economy car by definition, and as such lacks a lot of little things that help to kill noise in more expensive vehicles. Time can also take its toll on the car's noise-controlling features, particularly the one around the Escort's biggest noise-maker.

Fundamental Problems

    There are three major problems where road noise is concerned in the Escort. The first is a lack of thick structural metals and sound-deadening materials from the factory, at least compared to more luxurious offerings. The effects of time and the Escort's unibody chassis design are the other two factors involved here. As of 2012, the newest Ford Escort is over 10 years old, and 1998 models are 14 years old. Over time and miles, tiny vibrations snaking through the chassis will weaken its welds, allowing the body to flex. This allows road vibrations to pound through the chassis like hammer-blows and causes weatherstripping to leak.

Tires

    It's a pretty safe bet that you, like many Escort owners, choose your tires for the same reasons you chose the car: economy and versatility. All-season tires, particularly those on the lower end of the price spectrum, tend to contain tread "blocks" instead of circumferential "ribs." This allows the tire to offer a reasonable amount of grip on wet roads and compromised surfaces, but also traps air under the tire and causes it to drone. Given an old Escort's inherent noisiness, the drumming from all-season tires can easily work through the chassis and into the car, utterly ruining your Best of Stone Temple Pilots experience.

Frameless Windows

    Many Escorts produced during this generation came with frameless windows. Frameless windows look good and offer a bit more ease in terms of ingress and egress, but they also allow a huge amount of wind noise to enter the car when the weatherstripping degrades even slightly. If you're thinking that chassis flex resulting from broken welds and metal fatigue might contribute to noise here, then you're dead-on. The Escort's side glass is curved and the weatherstripping carefully curves to contour to it. Hard, dry, misaligned weatherstripping and chassis flex conspire together to increase interior wind noise dramatically.

What You Can Do

    Apart from changing tires, there's not much you can do to address some of the aging Escort's fundamental problems. You can coat the bottom of the chassis with a spray-on soundproofing, you can also install mat-style sound-deadening material in the doors, inside the interior panels and on the underside of the hood. If you want to take it a step further, you can inject sound-deadening foam in between less-accessible panels. You can try regularly conditioning the existing weatherstripping to help it soften, expand and seal a bit better -- but new weatherstripping is a more effective solution, and is inexpensive enough to seriously consider.

How to Tell a Good Kayak From a Bad One

How to Tell a Good Kayak From a Bad One

Most kayaks have very sturdy construction, built to take a literal beating. Unfortunately many owners can abuse this durability factor by pushing the limits of their kayak's specifications and tolerances. Abused kayaks show some very obvious warning signs when it comes to their hull integrity and mechanical controls. Age, weathering, hull cracks, salt, paint and other factors play into the factors of knowing which kayak can be best for you and which ones to avoid. Kayak integrity equals safety, when so much can be at risk, whether racing, white-water exploring or leisure paddling. Certain signs will announce themselves when considering using or purchasing a kayak.

Instructions

    1

    Determine your exact weight and height before renting or purchasing a kayak, by using a scale and measuring tape. Kayaks have weight determinations, according to their buoyancy, width and size. Fit your body in the seat and work the adjusting controls, to make sure you have plenty of leg room and clearance -- a smaller, racier model might look good on the lake or river, but it will be a bad choice for your weight and size if you exceed its limitations.

    2

    Examine any fading on the exterior paint for ultraviolet (UV) sun damage. Find the original primary color by looking inside the interior or behind a structural panel. Severe sun fading denotes a structural integrity flaw that the plastic or fiberglass surface has dried out. Pull back on a plastic lip with a pair of pliers to a 90-degree angle. If the plastic snaps, it indicates the material has lost its elasticity and structural strength. Pick a kayak with a deep, lustrous color.

    3

    Look for white sun hazing on the exterior, fiberglass or plastic surface. Such a surface will be more prone to permanent impact damage if struck hard. Push down on the fore and aft deck panel, looking for flex. Flex will indicate good elasticity. Know that sun-faded, dry plastic will not take a plastic weld, because the weld will not adhere to the damaged surface. Good kayaks have clean, brightly painted surfaces.

    4

    Test a solid wooden kayak by lifting it up from either end, noting if it appears overly heavy. Deep gouges in the wood, or cracks in the seam, even under fiberglass, could be a sign that the kayak has become water-logged. Test the wooden kayak by placing it in a still pool of water, like a swimming pool or calm lake. It should not lean either way side to side, or should not dip forward at the bow or dip down from the stern to any significant degree. Good kayaks have light weight and sit on an even keel in the water.

    5

    Turn the kayak over and examine the bottom scupper or drain holes. They should have no cracks or welded repairs. Look for streaks that appear as stretch marks -- these indicate interior stress cracks that have not broken to the surface yet. Interior stress cracks happen when people stand inside the kayak while it sits on a hard surface. On fiberglass shell kayaks, look for spider-webbing cracks in the sides and hull. These indicate impacts with boulders or stones, and will result in a structurally weak hull. Gook kayaks have no cracks or splintering.

    6

    Look for drag holes or severe scuffing on the bottom on the stern piece. Such wear indicates that the kayak has been inappropriately dragged across cement or gravel, which has removed hull material. Use your thumb to press down hard on various parts of the hull bottom. There should be some flex, but not enough to shove a section of the plastic or fiberglass too far inward. Good kayaks have no scuffing on the keel or stern.

    7

    Look for uneven wear or chips along the keel, if it has a keel line. Unusual wear on the keel indicates dragging and continuous grounding. Place the kayak in a dark room, tilted on its side. Run a flashlight inside the kayak seat compartment, up to the bow and back to the stern. Look for excess bright light coming through the hull area. More light showing through one area of the hull material will indicate hull thinning or excessive wear. A light will shine with even brightness through the hull of a good kayak.

    8

    Examine all the metal parts of the kayak, including the deck hatches, cockpit seat mounts, shock cord deck rigging and carrying handle for oxidation, saltwater rust and corrosion. Any hinges, screws, nuts or bolts with have to be replaced. Pull on the carrying handle to make sure it does not wiggle or flex. Good kayaks have rust and corrosion-free mechanics and fasteners.

Jumat, 17 Februari 2012

Problems With Maxima Parking Lights

Problems With Maxima Parking Lights

Purchasing or owning a Nissan Maxima is exciting for any Nissan owner who enjoys the power and comfort of driving. The Nissan Corporation, which has operations in the United States and worldwide, was founded in 1914 under the original name of Datsun. Though the corporation offers an excellent warranty period, problems may arise with exterior parking lights if proper maintenance and recalls aren't adhered to.

Fuse Issues

    Maxima owners who have had other aftermarket electronics installed, such as alarms or other fuse-related options, may experience circuitry issues with their parking lights. These options can cause light bulbs in the parking light to work extra hard to produce the require wattage to light brightly. Replacing the light bulb in the parking light and the shorted fuse usually remedies the situation. To avoid the problem, it's best to only install electronics that are able to circumvent the area where the parking light fuse is located.

Replacement Lights

    When replacing the parking lights on the Nissan Maxima, it's imperative to purchase the correct bulb for your car. Searching for the SKU number on the box and matching it to the original light ensures a better driving experience. Purchasing any light bulb that fits may cause electrical issues --- the wattage could be different even though the fit is correct.

Exterior Damage

    Parking lights have a protective plastic shell covering to keep away extraneous damage from the elements and accidents. Damage to the bulb covering of a Maxima, especially the 2010 Maxima, which has a different light bulb covering or fuse than earlier models, could cause light shortages. The lighter plastic coverings of the more recent Maximas are more susceptible to these problems.

Clutch Slip Diagnosis

Clutch Slip Diagnosis

A slipping clutch not only robs your car of performance, it can also leave you stranded if any part of the mechanism fails entirely. But replacing the clutch is a difficult and pricey repair, requiring removal of the transmission to access the inner components. You should diagnose the problem causing slipping issues before attempting repairs. Since different parts of the clutch system exhibit unique symptoms and performance problems when malfunctioning, diagnosis can be performed through a few simple driving tests.

Instructions

    1

    Park your car on a flat surface with plenty of clear room in front of and behind to allow for safe diagnosis. A long driveway or empty parking lot is ideal.

    2

    Start the engine with the shifter set in "neutral." Press the clutch pedal in and out several times, noting any inconsistency in the pedal pressure. Inconsistent pressure may indicate a faulty clutch hydraulic system, which can lead to improper clutch activation while driving. If you experience inconsistent pedal pressure, inspect the clutch master and slave cylinders for signs of fluid leaks. If there are no leaks, try flushing and replacing the fluid; air bubbles in the system can also lead to hydraulic issues.

    3

    Engage the parking brake. Push in the clutch pedal and move the shifter into the highest gear setting. Slowly release the clutch pedal while observing the engine rpm. A severely slipping clutch will allow the engine to remain running when the pedal is fully released. If the clutch is only slipping moderately, the engine rpm will slow as the pedal is fully released. A healthy clutch will grab and stall the engine before the pedal is released all the way.

    4

    Release the parking brake and drive from a stop as you would in a normal driving scenario, in first gear. If the clutch is slipping, the engine will rev excessively as you release the pedal and increase the throttle. Also note the presence of clutch chatter, which causes the vehicle to sporadically jerk forward when the pedal is released. Clutch chatter can be caused by numerous malfunctions, including excessive heat generated by friction that can lead to a warped clutch disc or flywheel.

    5

    Find a long, empty roadway on which to test the clutch in driving situations. While driving, shift into the highest gear at low speed, with the engine is running at approximately 1,500 rpm. Then press the throttle pedal all the way to the floor. A slipping clutch will allow the engine to quickly rev up while the vehicle speed remains the same. With a healthy clutch, the engine will slowly accelerate with the vehicle speed.

    6

    Note any burning smells after normal driving. When a clutch slips, the friction generated will continually burn away the clutch disc material, creating a strong odor similar to burnt plastic. If no smell is present in the cabin, stop the vehicle and open the hood after driving. Because the clutch connects to the rear of the engine, the smell will be much stronger in the engine bay.

What Happens When Your Car Battery Dies?

What Happens When Your Car Battery Dies?

If you've left your car headlights on overnight, you'll probably wake up to a dead battery. A loose or corroded connector can also cause a battery to stop working. The age of the battery can also play a role.

Function

    A car battery has three main parts: the anode and cathode (the two connectors) and the battery solution, which is sulfuric acid. A chemical reaction occurs between the anode and the solution, which forms electrons. The electrons flow through the circuit to the cathode, where they re-enter the battery and are incorporated into another chemical reaction between the cathode and the solution. When the battery is chemically dead, one (or more) of these reactants has been used up.

Identification

    Check for power to tell if your battery has died. When you turn the key to the number two position, you should hear a bell or buzzer, and signals and lights will brighten on the dashboard panel. If these indicators are dimly lit, or if there is only a "click" sound when the ignition is engaged, the battery is only drained. If nothing happens when the ignition is turned, the battery is either dead or disconnected.

Prevention/Solution

    A jump box is a portable battery booster.
    A jump box is a portable battery booster.

    If your battery isn't working, make sure all the connections are tight. If the battery is drained, a boost from another car or a jump box will get your car started. If the battery is three years old (or older), it may be chemically dead and will need to be replaced.

How to Pressure-Test a Radiator

How to Pressure-Test a Radiator

A coolant pressure test of your vehicle's radiator helps you determine problems when you experience internal coolant loss, external coolant loss, coolant rising in the expansion tank with a brownish color, loss of oil, oil levels rising, the color of oil changing, and when the engine's temperature rises. This test will allow you to narrow the problem to one specific area of the engine so you can fix it.

Instructions

    1

    Lift the hood of the vehicle, and remove the cap from the engine's radiator.

    2

    Insert the coolant system pressure tester into the radiator until it is sealed onto the radiator's opening.

    3

    Pump the coolant pressure tester up to 10 pounds. If the pressure is decreasing on the pressure tester's gauge, check the hoses, water pump and rear heater for leaks.

How to Check Fuel Injectors With a Node Light

How to Check Fuel Injectors With a Node Light

Noid test lights provide a quick way to check the feed circuits that connect to each electronic fuel injector in your vehicle. They tell you whether voltage is reaching each injector and help you determine whether a particular fuel injector harness requires further inspection for loose connectors, disconnected wires or broken circuits. They even indicate problems with the vehicles computer or control module. You can safely perform this diagnostic right in your garage, and save repair costs.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood and remove the air cleaner assembly from the top of the engine for better access to each fuel injector, if necessary. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver.

    2

    Remove any other component, if necessary, to gain access to the injectors harness connectors using a ratchet, short ratchet extension and socket. Label the components electrical connectors, to avoid confusion during the reassembly process.

    3

    Unplug the electrical connector from the first fuel injector. These connectors come with a locking tab, to prevent engine vibration from disconnecting the injector. Keep this in mind to avoid breaking the locks.

    4

    Connect the noid light to the electrical harness connector you just unplugged.

    5

    Start the engine and check the noid light. If the injectors feed circuit is working properly, you should see the noid light flashing. Otherwise, you need to troubleshoot this particular circuit, the vehicles computer or module.

    6

    Turn off the engine. Remove the noid light from the electrical harness connector, and plug in the connector to its fuel injector.

    7

    Check the rest of the fuel injector circuits following Steps 3 to 6.

    8

    Replace any components, including the air cleaner assembly, if you had to remove them.

How to Troubleshoot a Cummins Diesel Engine

How to Troubleshoot a Cummins Diesel Engine

Cummins Incorporated, one of the world's largest manufacturers of diesel engines, produces many types of diesel engines for a wide variety of uses. There are many details involved in troubleshooting a Cummins motor, but learning a few fundamentals is very helpful. For instance, if the engine is sluggish, check the fuel and air systems, and if the engine won't start, inspect the battery and starter circuit.

Instructions

Fuel System

    1
    Keep your truck running with systematic engine inspection.
    Keep your truck running with systematic engine inspection.

    Check fuel quality first, since all diesel engines are subject to fuel system problems. Contaminated fuel can slow or stop the motor. Was your truck running fine right up until the last time you fueled it? If so, you should suspect fuel contamination.

    2

    Add No. 1 diesel fuel or an anti-gel additive if the engine is losing power in extremely cold weather. Regular diesel fuel tends to gel at temperatures below 10 degrees F. and can make the engine sluggish and hard to start.

    3

    Check the injection system. The injectors must be clean in order to supply each cylinder with the correct amount of fuel. Visually inspect the individual injector lines for damage and check the tightness of each injector at the cylinder head.

    4

    Check the fuel pump if your truck starts normally, but has low power. Look for loose wires going to it. If it the cause is not an external wire or blown fuse, you will need to have the fuel pump output tested by a professional.

Air and Starting Systems

    5

    Check the air delivery system. Cummins diesels must have a good supply of air at all times. If the engine has had low power over a period of time, check the air intake system and filter for excessive dirt or debris.

    6

    Check the turbocharger while the engine is running. If you hear sporadic hissing or metallic noises coming from the turbocharger and also note a corresponding drop in engine power, it is likely the turbocharger is failing.

    7

    Check the battery if your diesel won't start If don't hear the starter cranking when you turn the ignition key to "Start," or hear just clicking sounds, you probably have a dead battery.

Kamis, 16 Februari 2012

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Camshaft Position Sensor?

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Camshaft Position Sensor?

A camshaft position sensor is used on automobiles that do not have distributors. The camshaft position sensor tells the computer on the vehicle which cylinder is firing and times the firing of each cylinder to ensure the automobile engine operates efficiently. When the camshaft position sensor fails or is bad, the automobile develops symptoms such as not starting, misfiring or hesitating during acceleration.

Engine Does Not Start

    The engine of the automobile will not start when the camshaft position sensor is bad or fails. The engine does turn over, but does not fire because of the bad camshaft position sensor. The automobile owner must determine that no other problem is causing the engine not to start such as an issue with the starter, solenoid, battery, terminals or spark plugs. The sensor wiring harness can also be loose or faulty, which shows the same symptoms as a bad camshaft position sensor. The position sensor is used for the timing of the automobile and when this timing is not controlled, the engine will not run smoothly.

Engine Hesitates

    A bad camshaft position sensor will make the engine hesitate while idling or accelerating. As the gas pedal is pressed, the engine will begin to accelerate, but hesitate or stall during this process. This hesitation is a symptom of a bad camshaft position sensor because the cylinders are not being fired in the proper order and the computer is not registering the correct information in order for the cylinders to fire properly. The vehicle owner must take the automobile in to a mechanic and have vehicle placed on a diagnostic computer to determine if the camshaft position sensor is bad when this symptom occurs.

Engine Misfires

    The engine begins to misfire when the camshaft position sensor is bad. The automobile engine cylinders are blowing combustion through the exhaust, causing a loud sound to be heard and the automobile to act as though it is going to die. This misfiring happens because the cylinders are out of time owing to the bad camshaft position sensor. Each cylinder must fire in the correct order for the engine to run efficiently and smoothly.

How to Test the Pontiac Power Window Relay

How to Test the Pontiac Power Window Relay

The power windows in your Pontiac operate when the relay contacts close to make a connection from the battery to the window motor. The button you press only operates the relay. If you suspect a bad power window relay, you can test it fairly easily. But you have to find it first. Your owner's manual could show it, depending on the year and model. But if you can't find it there, look in the fuse and relay panel inside the car or under the hood.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the key to the "Accessories" position and instruct an assistant to put his finger on the power window relay while you try to open a window. The relay should click, and your friend should feel it. If he can't, the relay is no good.

    2

    Pull the relay out of its socket once the ignition is turned off. Look at the relay diagram to locate the contacts that close when the relay operates.

    3

    Push the ends of a short piece of wire stripped at both ends into the two connecting points in the socket that correspond to the relay contacts.

    4

    Turn the ignition on and press one of the window buttons. If the window works, the relay is bad, and you should replace it. If the window still doesn't operate, you have another problem.

How to Check a Head Gasket

The head gasket is a thin sheet of relatively pliable material that sits between the cylinder head and the engine block of an internal combustion engine. Because of its position in the engine, this gasket must seal the top part of all of the cylinders while also sealing the flow passages for engine oil and coolant. Gaskets are often made from steel or composites of mineral fibers and polymers. Occasional head gasket failures can still occur despite their durable material, and savvy vehicle owners should learn how to recognize the associated signs and symptoms.

Instructions

    1

    Analyze the vehicle's performance over time. A leaking head gasket can result in oil or coolant leaking into the engine cylinders which, in turn, can cause spark plug fouling and poor engine performance. A blown head gasket can also lead to low compression in one or more of the cylinders, which can cause rough engine operation. If the vehicle is running hotter than usual, has recently lost power or is running rough, this can be symptomatic of a leaking head gasket.

    2

    Remove the spark plugs individually and check for fouling. If all the spark plugs are fouled, this is likely the result of poor engine tuning; however, if only one or two are fouled, this may indicate a leaking head gasket.

    3

    Open the hood and locate the joint between the engine block and the cylinder head. On newer model cars, you may have to remove the engine cover in order to see the complete cylinder head. Examine the joint for signs of leaking engine oil or coolant, both of which denote a leaking head gasket. Start the engine and examine the joint for signs of escaping engine exhaust gases. Note that minor leaks at the head gasket joint can also be the result of improper tightening of the engine cylinder head.

    4

    Park the vehicle and wait for the engine to cool down. Open the hood, remove the radiator cap and examine the cooling fluid inside. The coolant should be greenish in color and have a clean appearance. If the coolant is brownish, or if you see oily scum or foam floating on the surface, this is a sign that engine oil is leaking through the head gasket and mixing with the coolant. With the radiator cap removed, start the engine and allow it to warm up until the thermostat opens and the coolant begins to circulate through the radiator. Examine the circulating coolant for bubbles of exhaust gases. If you see bubbles mixed in with the coolant, have an assistant rev the engine a few times and watch to see if the bubbles increase. These bubbles are a sign that exhaust gases are leaking through the head gasket and mixing with the coolant.

    5

    Turn off the engine, pop the hood and pull out the oil dipstick. Examine the oil on the end of the dipstick to see if there is light-colored froth or foam. This foam, if present, is a result of cooling fluid leaking through the head gasket and mixing with the oil.

    6

    Examine the vehicle tailpipe exhaust while the engine is running and look for signs of smoke. Do not confuse smoke with the normal water vapor that is visible in the exhaust while the engine is warming up. Bluish smoke, accompanied by an oily smell, indicates that engine oil is leaking into the engine cylinders. This can be due to a head gasket leak, or possibly leaks associated with valve seats or other internal engine parts. A whitish smoke is caused by cooling fluid leaking into the cylinders and is almost certainly caused by a leaking head gasket.

Rabu, 15 Februari 2012

How Does a Two Stroke Power Reed Valve Work?

How Does a Two Stroke Power Reed Valve Work?

A reed valve in a two-stroke engine works by allowing the fuel flow to go easily in one direction but not backwards. In doing so, reed valves help prevent backflow of fuel and air from returning to the carburetor, which could cause inefficient combustion.

Design

    The two-stroke engine reed valve gets installed after the fuel line and carburetor and before the engine intake port. The assembly involves a frame to which the reed petals are attached; the frame is then bolted above the engine intake port. As the engine pulls fuel and air by vacuum, the valve petals open.

Signs of Failure

    Reed valves are only as good as the valve petals used. If the petals get bent or damaged, they cannot close properly to form a good seal. Performance then gets shoddy as the engine starts to flood with too much fuel. With a certain amount of flooding, the spark plug will foul.

Compatibility

    Reed valve assemblies are fairly straightforward and can work with a variety of carburetor designs, as long as the carburetor clamps to an intake hose. Bolt-on carburetors that attach to the engine case or a carburetor box, such as on vintage Vespa scooters, cannot use reed valves without serious modification.

How to Eliminate Jeep Wandering

How to Eliminate Jeep Wandering

When driving down the road, you sometimes take both hands off of the steering wheel. This can cause your Jeep to steer itself, or veer to either side of the road. This self steering is called wandering. Wandering can be caused by a single problematic source in your Jeep's steering, suspension, tires, or brakes. Locating and eliminating the source or sources of the wandering will keep the Jeep from wandering. Some vehicles can wander so bad that it actually causes a pulling sensation to the left or right when you have your hands on the steering wheel.

Instructions

    1

    Take the Jeep out for a test drive. Test driving the Jeep can give you some clue as to the source of the wandering problem. Accelerate to approximately 35-miles per hour, and let go of the wheel. If the vehicle makes a sudden veer in either direction, then you probably have an alignment problem. Just to be sure though, accelerate to the same speed again and gently press the brakes. If the vehicle veers more rapidly or harder then your front brakes are not stopping the vehicle evenly. Return to the Jeep to your inspection area or workspace.

    2

    Raise the front of the Jeep, using a 2-ton jack or jack with greater capacity. Place jack stands just inside of either front lower control arm, underneath the front frame rails. Allow the suspension to hang freely for this portion of the inspection process.

    3

    Lay beneath the front end of the Jeep just inside the front wheel area, on either side of the vehicle. Place your hand physically onto the tie rod, which connects the steering knuckles to the steering rack or steering arm.

    4

    Ask an assistant to wiggle the wheel and tire on the same side of the vehicle as you are positioned. Ask him/her to wiggle the wheel from side to side, placing his/her hands on the front and rear treads of the tires. If you feel a knocking in the tie rod, move your hand toward the wheel end of the tie rod, whereas if it gets weaker, then your inner tie rod is the culprit.

    5

    Ask your assistant to wiggle the tire in the same position that your are seated from top to bottom. Visually inspect for any movement in the lower and upper ball joints of the Jeep. Any play or knocking feeling from top to bottom indicates a bad ball joint, which will need to be replaced. Bad ball joints will cause a vehicle to become out of alignment and cause a wandering in the steering. Ball joints are the main link between the steering and suspension. Use a flashlight to see if necessary.

    6

    Inspect the tire pressure on the vehicle, using a tire pressure gauge. All four tires should be at equal pressure. One low pressure tire can create enough increased friction on the road, that it will literally slow down one side of the car. This pulling from the low pressure tire can cause wandering.

    7

    Remove the front wheel from the Jeep and visually inspect the front brake assembly. The front pads should wear evenly, or close to it. If you notice that one pad (usually rear side) is wearing faster than the other, then your caliper may be sticking. In the event that your caliper is sticking, you can perform a self caliper slide lubrication service which should clear up the problem. If the caliper slides are too damaged, then chances are your caliper will need to be replaced as well.

    8

    Repeat Steps 3 through 7 to repeat this entire inspection on the second front side of the vehicle. Do not assume just because the vehicle is wandering to the right, that the source of the problem is on the right. A bad tie rod that is maladjusted toe inward, can push the vehicle to the opposite side of the road.

    9

    Visually inspect your front and rear stabilizer or sway bars. A bent stabilizer bar can cause a vehicle to lean or wander to one side or another. In the event that you find a bent or damaged sway bar or links, replacement of the faulty parts will be necessary.

    10

    Have the Jeep aligned professionally. Whether you choose to replace broken or bad parts on your own, or have them replaced in a shop is completely your choice. Having the vehicle aligned after replacement of the part or parts that are causing the wandering, is essential to keeping the entire vehicle rolling straight. Performing this entire inspection on your jeep, replacing faulty suspension steering or brake parts, and aligning the vehicle, will eliminate your wandering problem.

Selasa, 14 Februari 2012

Signs of a Defective Heat Modulator in a 1998 Ford Ranger

Signs of a Defective Heat Modulator in a 1998 Ford Ranger

The heat modulator in the 1998 Ford Ranger controls the thermostat, blower motor and temperature of the truck. A defective heat modulator prevents the heat from being adjusted inside the cab of the Ranger. Certain signs show up during the operation of the heater unit when the heat modulator is defective.

Heater Does Not Work

    Ford has issued 13 recall notices on the 1998 Ford Ranger. One recall deals with a heater problem that some Ranger owners have experienced. This recall involves the electrical wire that runs to the heater module. The wire connection, which goes to one of the elements, has a crimp in the connection, causing the heater modulator not to work the Ranger's heating system. The wire, connection and element need to be replaced in order to correct this defective heater modulator problem.

Heater Sticks

    The controls of the heating system can get stuck so that even though the operator can turn the controls, the heating system stays in the same position. This condition is a strong indication that the heater modulator is defective in the 1998 Ford Ranger. The heater modulator is not operating the thermostat controls because the modulator is getting stuck in one position and the heater inside the cab continues to blow heat. The heater modulator must be replaced before the blower and elements burn out.

No Heat

    Another sign that the heater modulator is defective on the 1998 Ford Ranger is when the blower works but no heat is blowing through the vents of the truck. The heater modulator is not signaling the thermostat that the heat needs to be adjusted. The heater modulator controls the adjustment of the thermostat, but, because of the defect, it fails to communicate with the thermostat. This defect can cause the thermostat and blower to burn up, because either the wiring connections are loose or the transformer is failing. The Ranger owner must take the vehicle in to the dealership to have the modulator replaced before major damage is done to the thermostat and blower motor.

Senin, 13 Februari 2012

My Jetta Won't Shift Out of Park

The Volkswagen Jetta has come with dozens of different engines and transmissions over the years. Diagnostic procedures when your Jetta won't shift out of Park vary from model to model, but a few basics apply to most of them. Some procedures rely on the car having government-mandated equipment like a reverse lock-out, while others will work only with Jettas of certain years and drivetrain configurations. Just take your time--there are only a few things that can cause this problem.

Instructions

    1

    Check the reverse lockout button on the shifter. The reverse-lockout mechanism prevents accidental reverse/park engagement by forcing the driver to depress a button in order to engage those gears. The spring-loaded button pushes a small "dead-bolt" out of a locking hole in the shifter base. If the button will not depress or the shifter refuses to budge, the odds are that you have a malfunction in the reverse lockout mechanism. If you don't have a repair guide and don't want to take it apart to fix it yourself, any shop with import-auto experience should be able to help.

    2

    Inspect the shift linkage under the Jetta's hood for missing, bent or broken components. Aside from the reverse lockout mechanism, a malfunctioning shifter mechanism is one of the few things that will physically lock the shifter into park. If your Jetta uses a hard linkage (one that uses levers and rods instead of a cable), check the articulation joints for worn bushings, bearings or holes that will cause the pivots to go cockeyed and lock the mechanism together. If it uses a cable linkage, check to ensure that the cable-to-body, cable-to-shifter and cable-to transmission brackets aren't loose and flopping around.

    3

    Crawl under the Jetta and inspect the shift lever on the transmission itself. Lever locations vary by model year; follow the shifter linkage from the firewall to where it connects to the shift lever on the transmission. If the lever moves but the transmission won't shift out of park, then your problem is inside the transmission itself. At this point, you'll want to get some professional help from a transmission shop to further troubleshoot and repair the transmission. A general repair garage probably won't have the equipment to diagnose the transmission internals.

    4

    Have the Jetta towed to a transmission shop to have the transmission checked for internal damage related to the first and reverse gear fluid passages/servos/actuators. Almost all automatic transmissions go into park by engaging the first and reverse gears at the same time. A failure in either of these circuits can cause failure of parking gear engagement or disengagement. Possible causes of failure include blocked fluid passages, broken or worn modulator springs, and broken gear-sets and transmission input/output shafts. Electronic transmissions use a computer to engage the first/reverse gear servos, so the problem may also lay in a malfunctioning transmission control computer.