Rabu, 31 Oktober 2012

What Indicates a CV Joint Is Bad?

What Indicates a CV Joint Is Bad?

Constant velocity joints are fairly tough by nature, but even the best of them fail over time. CV joint-failure symptoms are fairly universal, and often progress rapidly from a mild clacking to total failure.

Clacking and Thumping

    Clacking and thumping are universal symptoms of CV joint failure: a slight tap on acceleration and deceleration that progresses to a hard thump. That slight initial tap is the sound of the CV joint's internals moving around and smacking against each other when you hit the gas or brake. That tap is like a slight hammer blow, and every time it hits, the clearances get a little bigger. Ultimately, you end up with a hard, metallic thunk as the CV joint hammers itself to bits.

Vibration

    Vibration is the final stage in CV joint failure and generally is a result of complete breakage inside the CV joint. Once the CV joint's internals break, the rubber dust boot connecting the CV joint base to the shaft is the only thing holding together the assembly. Any imbalance in the axle shaft as a result of the breakage causes it to flop around inside the dust boot and throw the assembly off balance. The result is very similar to that of an unbalanced wheel: a vibration that worsens with speed.

Total Failure Possibility Number One

    You're looking at two basic scenarios if the CV joint fails completely. The average "open" differential transfers power through the path of least resistance, meaning it'll always go to the shaft that spins the easiest. Once the dust boot loses its grip on the shaft or rips in half, power defaults to that CV joint and it spins without moving the car. The result: You're on the side of the road and going nowhere.

Total Failure Possibility Number Two

    Slightly less likely is the idea of "wrap-up." Wrap-up happens when the CV joint completely disintegrates but the dust boot doesn't lose its grip on the shaft or tear in two. When the differential sends power to the CV joint axle stub, it twists the rubber dust boot around on itself. This twisting shortens the boot, thus pulling the axle shaft out of the transmission. While the axle shaft may not fall completely out of the transmission, a half-engaged shaft can wreak all sorts of havoc on the differential assembly.

Inner vs. Outer CV Joints

    CV joint malfunctions are fairly simple to track down. Your axle shaft has two CV joints: one near the transmission and another behind the wheel. The outer CV joint does most of the work, since it must cope not only with up-and-down movement, but side-to-side movement when the wheel turns. An outer CV joint tends to pop and bind far more while turning than an inner joint. The acid test is to crawl under the car, wrap your hand around the axle shaft and try to rotate it and move it back and forth. If it rotates with an audible click or moves back and forth at all, then you've got excess bearing clearance and need to replace the joint.

How to Test a Horn Relay

How to Test a Horn Relay

One reason a vehicle's horn may not work is a failed horn relay. Testing a vehicle's horn relay is the place to begin when troubleshooting a horn that fails to honk. You can sometimes test a horn relay easily and without tools. A second, more exact method requires special instruments and a power source.

Instructions

Tool-Free Test

    1

    Determine where the relay box is mounted by referring to the owner's manual. Locate the horn relay inside the relay box.

    2

    Pull the horn relay from the relay box. In the same relay box, find a relay of equal size. Pull that relay from its seat and plug it in the horn relay's seat. If a comparable relay to the horn relay cannot be found, this method of testing can not be used.

    3

    Turn the car's ignition to the "On" position. Attempt to honk the horn. If the car honks, the relay originally seated in the horn relay seat does not function properly.

Specialized Test

    4

    Find the relay diagram illustrated in the vehicle owner's manual and learn where the relay box is mounted in the car. Find the relay box in the car.

    5

    Pull the horn relay from its seat in the relay box.

    6

    Adjust the multimeter to the resistance setting.

    7

    Identify the ground, voltage, battery and load prongs on the relay.

    8

    Fasten one of the multimeter's clamps to the load prong that goes to the horn and one to the battery prong.

    9

    Connect the ground terminal from the car's battery to the ground prong on the relay with a double jumper wire. Connect the jumper's other wire to the positive terminal on the car's battery.

    10

    Touch the other end of the jumper wire connected to the car battery's positive terminal to the relay's voltage or input prong.

    11

    Read the multimeter, check for continuity and listen to the relay for a clicking sound. Continuity and clicking indicate a good relay. No clicking and no continuity are symptoms of a failed relay.

Troubleshooting a 1993 Chevy Pickup Engine

Troubleshooting a 1993 Chevy Pickup Engine

There are ways to troubleshoot a 1993 Chevrolet pick-up's engine by sight, sound, and checking for symptoms while you drive, but sometimes that can be time consuming, especially if you are not sure of all the symptoms have presented themselves. In many cases, the truck's On-Board Diagnostic system can be of great assistance. It will direct you to where the Chevy's computer is detecting problems. Because 1993 Chevy trucks predate the current standardized diagnostics, you will have to rely on the old system, which is known as flash code. It is not difficult to do.

Instructions

    1

    Open the driver side door and locate the Assembly Line Data Link. It will be beneath the dash and near the fuse panel.

    2

    Unbend a paper clip until it's straight, and then bend it into a long, tight "U" shape.

    3

    Insert the "U" shaped paper clip into the ALDL port. The port features twelve slots, and the paper clip needs to connect two slots on the top row, to the far right. One will be at the end of the row, and the other will be to its immediate left.

    4

    Turn the Chevy pick-up's electrical system on. You do not need to crank the engine.

    5

    Count how many times the check engine light flashes. General Motors flash codes are two digit sequences. Numbers in the sequence will be separated by a short pause. For example, code 15 will consist of one flash, a pause, and five more flashes. A longer pause will separate the end of one code and the beginning of a new one. The first code relayed will always be "12." It is safe to ignore this. Write the code numbers down.

    6

    Turn the electrical system off once the codes have finished. Remove the paper clip from the ALDL.

    7

    Look up the codes online. While owning a Haynes repair manual for Chevy pick-ups is very useful, you can find the code descriptions online for free.

    8

    Open the Chevy's engine compartment, and start the troubleshooting process based on the flash codes and their definitions.

How to Test an Alternator With a Meter

How to Test an Alternator With a Meter

Testing your alternator with a voltmeter is the easiest and most effective way to find out if it has enough power to recharge the battery. You don't have to disconnect the battery cables to test the alternator; in fact, disconnecting the battery, while the engine is running, is dangerous. Not only do you risk shocking yourself, you risk damaging the alternator and other important engine components. Instead, let the battery be the window to the alternator's condition.

Instructions

    1

    Raise the hood and locate the battery, removing its cover if there is one. Identify the positive and negative posts on the battery. The positive post has a red connector and a "+" sign beside it; the negative post has a black connector and a "-" sign beside it.

    2

    Attach the positive wire of the voltmeter to the positive battery post and the negative wire to the negative battery post. Always connect the positives first then the negatives to avoid electric shock.

    3

    Start your vehicle's engine. Look at the reading on the screen of the voltmeter. It should be between 13.6 and 14.3 volts if the alternator is strong. If the reading is below 13.6 volts, the alternator is too weak. Take it to an auto parts retailer for further diagnosis. You may have to replace the alternator if nothing can be done to recharge it.

Selasa, 30 Oktober 2012

Normal Oil Pressure for My 2000 Jeep Cherokee

Normal Oil Pressure for My 2000 Jeep Cherokee

Oil pressure is plays an important role in understanding the condition of your motor. Excessively high and low oil pressure can lead to many other problems and can actually point to other possible engine issues.

Optimal Oil Pressure

    The optimal oil pressure for a 2000 Jeep Cherokee ranges from 40 and 60 lbs. per square inch (psi). It may fluctuate after starting and when you are increasing or decreasing speed, but it should always lie within this range.

Low Oil Pressure

    Low oil pressure can result from the use of an oil with too high of a viscosity in the winter. Another problem may result from a malfunctioning oil sending unit. Low pressure can also result from the galleys inside the engine filling with engine sludge.

High Oil Pressure

    High oil pressure can also damage your engine. It can also result from clogged injectors as well as using the wrong size oil filter. The increased pressure will cause undue strain on the gaskets and cause them to blow, creating even more expensive problems.

How to Know Whether to Replace Your Camshaft Position Sensor or Crankshaft Position Sensor

How to Know Whether to Replace Your Camshaft Position Sensor or Crankshaft Position Sensor

The camshaft sensor and the crankshaft sensor, although both hall effect sensors, serve different purposes. They both can be diagnosed using similar procedures. Neither sensor should have any glitches or dropouts in their respective sine waves when checked on an automotive oscilloscope. These sensors cannot be accurately diagnosed as to their function without this equipment. It checks the length of the signal, the strength, purity, fluctuations and dropouts.

Instructions

    1

    Pull the codes to check for any recognized failures stored in the computer by plugging the code scanner into the OBD (on board diagnostics) port. Nine times out of 10, it will be located to the left side of the steering column under the dash. If by chance it is not there, look behind the ashtray or cointray, such as in a Toyota. Turn the key to the "On" position without starting the engine. Press the key marked "Read," and the computer will interface with the computer and relinquish any stored failure codes. These codes will be displayed on the code scanner in a five-digit format, a letter followed by four numbers.

    2

    Cross-reference these codes with the code decipher sheet and an explanation of the code will be presented along with the particular sensor plus variables, such as the time of failure in engine starts since failure and type of failure. If a cam or crank sensor has failed, the check engine light should have illuminated and the computer should have set a code to that effect.

    3

    Watch the performance on a sensor scan tool. Turn the scanner on, and insert the year, make, model and engine size to bring up the correct sheet. The next question the tool will ask is what type of test desired -- press "component test." Scroll down to "Camshaft Sensor" and press the button marked "Enter." A list of tests on the camshaft sensor will be displayed. Scroll down to "Waveform Viewer." The oscilloscope is operational once the connections are made. When the waveform viewer is picked, it will give a description of the location of the best place to tap into the wires and which wires are which by color code.

    4

    Connect the black lead on the scanner to a good ground, and attach the red lead to the wire on the harness connector as described by the scanner. Start the engine, and observe the screen. The spikes should be very straight with no raged edges, the distance between spikes unison, and it should not show any obvious dropouts (screen goes blank). If by chance the vehicle does not start at all, scroll to the "No start condition test." The scanner will tell you where to find the wire to test the sensor for a complete failure and the color of the wire. Since the engine will not start, there is no waveform. It will check the sensor in terms of frequency and duty cycle as the engine turns over unable to start. If the frequency is there, the problem is elsewhere. If the signal is not there, the sensor has failed. The same procedure applies for the crankshaft sensor.

    5

    Diagnose the problem through the process of elimination. Taking into consideration that the cam sensor has a direct effect on the operation of the fuel injectors and the crank sensor on the ignition, check for spark at the plugs. Pull one of the spark plug wires off one of the plugs. Install an extra spark plug in the plug wire and lay the plug on the engine so it will get a good ground.

    6

    Have a helper crank the engine over, and watch for a spark at the plug. If there is spark, the crank sensor is working well enough to start the vehicle. If there is no spark, then the sensor is bad. If the engine will start but with difficulty and the power is very sluggish and the engine runs rather uneven (cannot hold a steady rpm), the camshaft sensor is likely the culprit. This is the best that can be determined without the proper tools. To narrow this down further, check the plugs, wires and vacuum hoses. If there are no problems found, the odds are excellent that the sensor is bad.

What If a Voltage Regulator Goes Bad?

What If a Voltage Regulator Goes Bad?

Alternators are transducers, meaning that they're responsible for converting one kind of energy (kinetic energy from the crankshaft) into another (electrical energy). Since kinetic energy input varies with engine rpm, your vehicle's electrical system needs something to keep voltage output steady as alternator wattage rises and falls and as amperage requirements increase or decrease. While such voltage regulators are prone to going out over time, they're at least pretty simple to diagnose when they do.

Alternator Basics

    Alternators almost always put out a certain amount of wattage -- total power output -- roughly equivalent to the power going in. One horsepower is equal to about 750 watts, so if your alternator is taking 10 horsepower from the engine, it is putting out about 7,500 watts (not accounting for efficiency losses). In an electrical sense, you can get wattage by multiplying amps (total electrical flow through the wires) by volts (the "temperature" of the electricity). So, if your alternator always puts out 7,500 watts, increasing the amperage draw or requirement will drop its voltage output, and decreasing the amp draw will increase voltage output. The voltage regulator keeps voltage output constant, regardless of amperage output or requirements.

Fluctuating Voltage

    The most basic and obvious symptom of voltage regulator failure is (surprise, surprise) a lack of voltage regulation. Most regulators will hold voltage at between 14 and 14.7 volts. Low voltage readings don't necessarily indicate a bad voltage regulator, as numerous faults -- including a bad alternator, excessive current draw from the engine or chassis or a fault rectifier -- can drop output voltage. A high-voltage reading, however, will almost always indicate a faulty voltage regulator. The average alternator can easily run at over 16 volts at idle, particularly in cars that don't have electric fuel pumps, fuel injectors or electric cooling fans to siphon away the extra power output.

Dead or Damaged Battery

    The alternator and battery are peanut butter and jelly where your vehicle's electrical system is concerned, working hand-in-hand to provide the engine and chassis with all the power they need to keep things running. For the most part, your vehicle gets its power from the battery; the alternator exists primarily to keep the battery charged. As such, rise or drop in alternator voltage will either overcharge the battery -- probably the most dangerous and destructive thing you can do to the battery -- or undercharge it. Bad voltage regulators also tend to fuse together to some degree, acting as a short in the system that will constantly drain the battery, "killing" it overnight.

System Shutdown

    Most modern vehicles have some sort of over- or under-voltage protection. Over-voltage is damaging for a number of reasons. First, it increases the operating temperature of the affected wiring and circuits and may damage fine wires and circuitry, and secondly, it may cause electrical motors and actuators to run faster than they should. Amperage draw dictates how much torque an electric motor puts out, while voltage determines its rpm. Low voltage is just as bad, since the affected component may draw more amperage to compensate. If your voltage regulator has gone bad, you may experience a self-protection shut-down of any system utilizing a computer or integrated circuit board.

Symptoms of a Lockup Torque Converter Going Bad

Symptoms of a Lockup Torque Converter Going Bad

A lockup torque converter, also known as a torque converter clutch, is a part of the transmission mainly found in late-model automatic vehicles. Lockups serve to improve efficiency by setting the torque converter at certain levels of output. They are also designed to help improve fuel economy. Although they have their advantages, they can have their share of problems at times. There are many symptoms that indicate whether the torque converter lockup is going bad.

Slippage

    A sign that the torque converter lockup is failing is slippage between gears. The converter will be unable to hold its position, engaging in different driving ranges randomly. The vehicle will also tend to rev up and down as the torque converter engages or disengages, unable to keep the lockup clutch in place. This is often confused with low fluid levels and can cause permanent damage to the torque converter as a whole. Fuel economy drops as well when the lockup torque converter slips from one gear to another at random.

Shuddering Noises

    One of the main symptoms of a bad lockup torque converter is engine shuddering. This often happens when the lockup fails to release properly or on time when shifting, in which case the engine will shudder and die when the vehicle comes to a stop. In some cases, the lockup will fail to engage altogether. At this point, the car will no longer be drivable because of constant stalling.

Power Loss

    As the vehicle slows down, it will fail to downshift if the lockup converter is bad. The driver may notice that during acceleration, the revolutions per minute are low enough that the vehicle will have difficulty moving quickly. In some cases, the converter lockup will attempt to keep the vehicle moving until it comes to a stop, where it may stall and die.

Senin, 29 Oktober 2012

How to Troubleshoot an Alternator on a Dodge

The alternator on your Dodge, whether it's a car, truck or van, is an essential piece of its electrical system. In fact, if the alternator is not working perfectly, your Dodge will soon begin to experience serious problems. For example, with an improperly functioning alternator, the battery will quickly drain. Without a fully charged battery, the vehicle will not start. Thus, with a bad alternator, you face the risk of being stranded anywhere at any time. Thankfully, there are things you can do to troubleshoot your Dodge's alternator in your own garage.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood of your Dodge with the engine turned off. Also check to make certain that all other switches and/or electrical components have been turned off.

    2

    Locate the alternator. Depending on your model of Dodge, the location will vary. It will, though, have a belt running to it. Check this belt to make sure it is tight. If the belt is loose, you can try tightening it by adjusting the alternator on its mounting bracket. You will need a wrench or socket set to accomplish this. Also, while you have your tools and with the engine still turned off, you should remove any guards or covers from the battery.

    3

    Connect the digital voltmeter to your Dodge's battery terminals. Be sure to connect the positive clip on the 12-volt voltmeter to the positive post and the negative clip to your battery's negative post. The reading you receive will reflect the charge of the battery alone. A reading around 12.5 or 12.8 volts is normal. A reading below 12 volts may indicate your Dodge's battery is the culprit. Charge the battery and, without running the car in the meantime, test it again the next day. Another low reading would mean that your battery is bad or that you have a short circuit in the wiring.

    4

    Disconnect the voltmeter from the battery posts and ask a friend or family member to get behind the wheel and start the Dodge. Then reconnect the voltmeter to the battery exactly as you did before. Now ask your friend or family member to turn on the Dodge's headlights and trip them to high beam.

    5

    Look at the voltmeter. At this point, you should witness a reading anywhere from 13.8 to 14.2 volts. A variance of a few tenths of a volt is okay. Now ask your friend or family member to increase the RPM of the Dodge to approximately 1,500 or a fast idle. Read the voltmeter again. This time a reading between 14.2 and 14.6 volts is the norm. If you see anything below 14.2, your Dodge's alternator is not providing enough voltage to keep the battery fully charged.

    6

    Listen to the Dodge's alternator while the engine is running. The alternator should be quiet. If you hear squealing, rattling or grinding coming from the alternator, it will need repair or replacement.

2004 Chevy Suburban Spare Tire Carrier Problems

2004 Chevy Suburban Spare Tire Carrier Problems

The 2004 Chevrolet Suburban spare tire carrier problems can typically be traced back to range bolts breaking, and the spare tire being difficult to remove from the carrier. The spare tire on the Suburban is located under the back of the vehicle. It can be lowered down with a cable by unscrewing a bolt assembly.

Hoist Assembly Failure

    The spare tire carrier is controlled by a bolt located under the mat or carpet in the back of the Suburban. When turned with the lug wrench, it raises and lowers the hoisting device. The spare-tire hoisting device can become jammed, thus not allowing the spare tire to be lowered. This hoisting device is not working because the gears are not properly installed. The spare tire hoisting device needs to be replaced to correct this problem.

Cable Jams

    The hoisting cable that holds the spare tire on the 2004 Chevy Suburban can become jammed, preventing the spare tire from being raised or lowered. The cable can become jammed in the lowered position after the spare tire has been removed as well as in the raised position, preventing access to the spare tire. The cable is becoming crimped and gets caught up in the hoisting device, creating the problem. The cable needs to be replaced and the hoisting device needs to be inspected for damage.

Bolt Threads Stripping

    Once the spare tire is lowered on the 2004 Chevy Suburban, a threaded bolt located on the end of the cable holds a carrier wing. The carrier wing is loosened so the spare tire can be removed. The carrier wing assembly can strip the threads of the bolt, thus not allowing the carrier wing to be reattached or screwed back into place. The stripping is attributed to a problem with the threading of the bolt and carrier wing not matching during manufacturing. Once the carrier wing is unscrewed from the bolt, it damages the bolt, stripping the bolt threads. The carrier wing and bolt need to be replaced.

Why Does Black Smoke Come Out of a Muffler?

Why Does Black Smoke Come Out of a Muffler?

To understand what is wrong with a vehicle's exhaust system, it is good to understand what it does. The exhaust system (complete with muffler) is in place to move the hot exhaust fumes away from the engine, muffle the engine noise, and reduce polluting emissions from that exhaust.

Misconceptions

    Black exhaust smoke often indicates a fuel mixture that has too much gasoline.
    Black exhaust smoke often indicates a fuel mixture that has too much gasoline.

    While the muffler is part of the exhaust system, as its name indicates, its primary purpose is to muffle sound from the engine. The smoke coming out of the exhaust system, although it travels through the muffler, is coming out of the exhaust pipe itself and not specifically the muffler.

Fuel-injected Engines

    For vehicles that run on gasoline, black exhaust generally indicates that there is too much gas in the mixture. This is called an over-rich mixture. When the accelerator is pressed, a mixture of gas and air reaches the spark plugs to ignite the engine, and when this mixture is too heavy on gas, black smoke is produced. It is a good idea to check with a mechanic and see why this is occurring.

Diesel Engines

    In diesel engines, there are several reasons why black exhaust might be produced. More simple reasons include low fuel pressure, a faulty diesel injector, restricted air intake, or problems with the high pressure pump. However, the presence of black smoke in and of itself does not narrow the possibilities very much for diesel engines; check with a trusted mechanic to diagnose the issue.

Trumpet Noise From MAF Sensors

Trumpet Noise From MAF Sensors

The purpose of the MAF sensor in your engine is to determine how much air is going into an internal combustion engine with fuel injection. The engine control unit (ECU) determines the proper fuel mass for the engine based on the mass air flow from the outside. Some MAF sensors are up the pipeline from a blowoff valve, that sends air out of the engine, and sometimes this process makes a sound like a trumpet.

Cause for the Sound

    Depending on the manufacturer, your blowoff valve may have a trumpet-shaped mount on the end of the pipe. When air comes out, you will hear a trumpet-like sound, as the air enters a more acoustically-promising pipe before leaving the car.

Motivation for the Trumpet Shape

    Some car enthusiasts, particularly those with turbocharged engines, enjoy the loud sound of trumpets when their engines are going. Some motor sport governing bodies have banned blowoff valves without mufflers because of this.

Drawbacks

    If the MAF comes before the blowoff valve, the ECU will make a mixture that is too rich, because the air that went out through the MAF sensor is not taken from the ECU's calculations. Each time the blowoff valve goes off, the car will run too rich, which can cause stalling.

Solution

    Cutting back on a hobby car's boost pressure can reduce the number of times the blowoff valve has to go off, which decreases the number of instances in which the ECU makes the fuel-air mixture too rich. Also, other DIY mechanics run the air back through to the intake manifold to solve this issue.

Problems With Pontiac Sunfire Transmission

Problems With Pontiac Sunfire Transmission

The Pontiac Sunfire was a compact car originally available in coupe, sedan and convertible; it was manufactured form 1995 to 2005. In its final model year, the Sunfire was only available in a two-door model. The Sunfire offered limited options, and was available in both automatic and manual transmission. Both models experienced frequent problems.

Automatic Transmission

    Pontiac technical service bulletins indicate that Sunfire automatic transmissions frequently experience leakage due to a faulty pass-thru connector. The automatic transmission sometimes experienced acceleration problems, due to torque-converter clutch failure. The 2000 and 2001 models exhibited the most problems.

Manual Transmission

    Technical service bulletins indicated several manual transmission problems. Sunfire owners reported hearing "grinding" noises from the transmission while shifting gears. Grinding noises are commonly resolved by repairing or replacing the clutch. Transmission noise was especially prevalent on the 2001 model.

Solution

    The cost of a torque-converter clutch -- in 2011 prices - is estimated at $326 for parts and labor. The cost to replace the pass-thru connector is approximately $62 for parts and labor. The cost to replace a clutch master-cylinder averages $195 to $228 for parts and labor.The estimated cost to install a new clutch in s Sunfire is $989 to $1489 for parts and labor.

Troubleshooting a Mercedes Benz the With Brake Light Staying on

Troubleshooting a Mercedes Benz the With Brake Light Staying on

If the brake light comes on in your Mercedes Benz, you might think you need new brakes. It's very possible that you might not need brakes at all. It might just be a simple fix to get the light to go out. You can troubleshoot your Mercedes with a few steps and maybe save a trip to the brake repair shop.

Instructions

    1

    Park your vehicle and set the emergency brake.

    2

    Turn the key to the "on" position where you will see all the lights come on the dashboard. Release the emergency brake and see if the light goes out. Repeat setting the brake and releasing the brake a few times. Sometimes the switch on the emergency brake will get stuck and cause the brake light to stay on.

    3

    Lift the hood on your Mercedes and locate the brake fluid container. The brake fluid container will be near the driver's side rear firewall. The container will be labeled "brake fluid."

    4

    Remove the cap on the brake fluid container and look at the level. Make sure that the brake fluid is full. If you have low brake fluid, the brake light will stay on.

    5

    Look at all the electrical connections around the brake fluid container. Make sure that a wire has not fallen off or a connection unhooked. If you have an electrical wire that has fallen off, it will cause the light to stay on.

Minggu, 28 Oktober 2012

How to Read the Check Engine Light on a 2001 Toyota 4Runner

Beginning with the 1996 model year, vehicles sold in the United States are required to have an on-board diagnostic computer, or OBD. The 2001 Toyota 4Runner is one such vehicle. An OBD monitors an array of sensors that monitor the efficiency of the vehicle's engine and other components. When a sensor reading falls outside a set range, the OBD computer captures the information and turns on a light on the vehicle's instrument panel warning the driver to "check engine." The computer stores a five-character code that can be read with an electronic scanner to diagnose possible problems.

Instructions

    1

    Obtain an OBD-II code scanner that includes Toyota vehicle codes. Scanners are sold at auto-parts and hardware stores. Some stores will rent or loan a scanner to customers.

    2

    Turn the vehicle's ignition off. Plug the scanner into the OBD-II diagnostic interface. This plug is approximately 2 inches long, 1/2-inch wide with a black plastic housing. The plug can be found underneath a vehicle's dashboard, on the driver's side, within 2 feet of the steering column. Turn on the scanner.

    3

    Turn on the vehicle's ignition. Follow the scanner's instructions to read the code, typically in an LCD screen. Note the code or codes reported by the scanner. Many scanners will also reset the OBD computer, which turns off the check engine light.

    4

    Consult published lists of OBD-II codes to determine the cause and possible fixes for the problem that caused the light to come on.

Sabtu, 27 Oktober 2012

How to Troubleshoot a 1998 Jeep Laredo

How to Troubleshoot a 1998 Jeep Laredo

The 1998 Jeep Laredo is an offshoot of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It's a midsized sport utility vehicle with room for five passengers and comes in either a V6 or V8, though Edmunds.com recommends splurging on the V8 if you can because the performance and power are superior. When your Laredo exhibits signs of problems, troubleshoot the symptoms with a process of elimination. Start with the dash gauges and move on to the sources of power in the engine.

Instructions

    1

    Test the alternator and battery for sufficient voltage output. Connect the positive and negative voltmeter leads to the positive and negative battery posts while the engine is off. The reading on the voltmeter is an indication of the voltage in the battery. It should read between 12.5 and 12.8 volts. Crank the engine and check the reading again, this time for the alternator. The reading should be between 13.6 and 14.3 volts.

    2

    Check the fuses for breaks. The fuse panel is in the dash on the driver's side. Pull each fuse to inspect visually, or use a test light by grounding the wire to a metal bolt, turning the ignition key on and pressing the tip of the test light to both ends of each fuse. Remove and replace any fuse that fails to make the test light come on.

    3

    Pull the trouble codes. Hook a diagnostic scanner to the test port under the dash, turn the key "On," and follow the prompts on the screen of the scanner to pull the codes. Write the codes down and look up their meanings in a repair manual, or look online for a list of Chrysler codes.

    4

    Look under the hood with the engine running. Check for loose belts, loose or disconnected wires and obvious signs of damage. Rust, corrosion and spilled battery acid are all signs of failing parts. Identify the source and troubleshoot the part.

    5

    Test the thermostat, radiator fan and coolant levels if the Jeep is overheating. Crank the engine and let it idle to operating temperature. Lift the hood and touch the upper radiator hose. If the thermostat is working properly, it has opened to release the heat from the running engine to the radiator, thereby making the upper radiator hose very warm to the touch. Check that the fan comes on when the engine is hot, and make sure your coolant is clean and filled properly.

How to Troubleshoot a Rail Engine

How to Troubleshoot a Rail Engine

Rail buggies are exciting go-anywhere machines that rarely find themselves in a position they can't get out of, which is somewhat surprising given their size relative to other off-road vehicles such as four-wheelers. Typically these vehicles use small Volkswagen engines, though practically any engine that can be rear mounted can be used to power these off-road vehicles. Troubleshooting an engine that has lost power, is hesitating or won't start is a relatively simple process because most, if not all, of the engine is exposed and allows you to easily inspect for most damage without even touching the engine.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the engine for any visual signs of damage. A damaged or punctured radiator or a ruptured hose could account for any number of problems with the engine, including overheating and seizing of the engine. Check for excessive amounts of oil puddling up underneath the engine, which could indicate a blown head gasket. In addition, check for puddles of fuel or coolant under the engine, which could be caused by damaged fuel lines or a cracked block.

    2

    Listen to the engine to determine potential problems with the engine's internal components. A heavy knocking sound could indicate a broken rod, while a tinny slapping sound can mean your engine valves are not opening and closing correctly. If these problem sounds are present, shut down the rail buggy engine immediately and repair the problem. Running an engine with poor valve timing or a broken rod can irreparably damage the engine block, necessitating its replacement.

    3

    Remove the air filter from the rail engine with a screwdriver or a socket set if the problem appears to be a hesitating idle or a loss of power. Because rail buggies are often used in extremely dusty conditions, the air filter may be clogged up and not allowing enough air into the combustion chamber. Depending on how long and how hard you've run the rail buggy, it may also be wise to check the fuel filter, which can become gummed up with sediment filtered out of the fuel tank.

    4

    Change the rail buggy engine's oil, and then inspect the oil carefully. If you find there are small shards of metal in the oil, then the oiling system of the engine is clogged and somewhere within the engine, metal is rubbing on metal to produce the shavings. If this is the case, it's a good idea to have the engine completely rebuilt from the ground up, as it is only a matter of time before the engine freezes up.

    5

    Inspect the radiator if the rail buggy has overheating problems. Just like in a regular car, radiator fluid can corrode the internal cooling fins of the rail engine's radiator. If you see chunks of brown rust in the coolant tank or inside the radiator when the radiator cap is open, drain and flush the radiator and refill it with fresh fluid.

What Would Cause a Manual Transmission to Pop Out of Gear?

A problem with some manual transmission cars is that they can pop out of gear. The vehicle will simply drop into neutral unexpectedly, causing the engine to rev without actually turning your wheels at all.

Mounting

    Over time, transmission mounts can become worn. This makes the entire transmission vibrate as the car moves over bumps and uneven surfaces, which can disconnect the engine from the transmission, thus putting you out of gear. The way to fix this is to replace the mounting.

Linkage

    The linkage rods themselves can also start to come loose over time. These are the rods that connect the gear shifter to the transmission. If they are loose, the gear shifter will not stay locked into whichever gear you choose. The way to fix this is to replace the linkage rods.

Bearings

    The bearings that keep the gears pressed together can become worn. As this happens, they stop pressing the gears as efficiently as before, which means the gears can slip apart more easily -- thus dropping your car into neutral. Again, the way to fix this is to replace the bearings.

Signs of Needing New Wheel Bearings

Signs of Needing New Wheel Bearings

A car's wheel bearings are what keep the wheels turning, so it's a good idea to keep them in top shape. With good maintenance and regular oiling, bearings should only need to be replaced every 30,000 miles, but when a problem occurs with them it is important to identify and fix the problem as quickly as possible so no lasting damage is done to the wheels, tires and brake system.

Signs When Driving

    There are various symptoms of worn wheel bearings evident when you are simply driving along. A persistent squeaking noise could indicate the wheel bearings have dried up and are not assisting the tires. Poor handling is another indicator, as the worn out bearings cause increased wear on the tires. This may also be felt through braking, with the tires locking up. The most obvious symptom while driving is reduced coasting distances. When you take your foot off the accelerator but do not apply the brake the car will stop quicker than before, as the wheels cannot turn as freely.

Tire Wear

    Inspect the tires on a regular basis -- especially when you suspect a worn out bearing. There will be signs of increased wear and tear on the contact area of the tire, usually indicated by reduced wheel tread. There may also be strain marks, such as cracking, on the tire wall as it tries to take up the slack left by the wheel bearings.

Wheel Play

    Jack up the car and properly inspect the wheels. Rock the wheel in and out; if there is any play. this is a good indication of bearing damage. In this situation, you could try tightening up the wheel nuts to see if this relieves the problem.

    This is also a good time to check if the squeaking was coming from your wheels. Simply spin the wheel and listen.

    Remember to jack up the car on all four corners to test all wheel bearings.

Log Book

    If your car is used, it may be worth checking the service history to see when it last underwent a wheel bearing change. Most car manufacturers recommend they are changed every 30,000 miles. If the car has not been serviced for a while, is not used regularly or is coming up to the 30,000 mile mark, the bearings may need to be changed.

Jumat, 26 Oktober 2012

1993 Jaguar XJ6 Troubleshooting

1993 Jaguar XJ6 Troubleshooting

The XJ was Jaguar's longest running production model, lasting from 1968 through 1993. Troubleshooting a 1993 XJ6 is common due to the poor reliability history of Jaguars. The sleek lines of the 1993 XJ6 are aesthetically appealing and can be found fairly inexpensively but be prepared to pay for repairs. Parts are still readily available but can be pricey.

Instructions

Engine Doesn't Start or Idles

    1

    Pull out the ignition coils and inspect them to make sure that they are not burnt out. Test the connection of the distributor to the wire that leads to the spark plug by placing a spark plug meter on the wire and grounding it to the engine block. If there is no spark, replace the spark plug. If it still does not spark, replace the wire. If this doesn't work, replace the distributor.

    2

    Test the battery with a voltage meter. Batteries have a general life span of three to five years. If the battery tests between 12.5 and 12.8 volts, troubleshoot the fuel pump. Crank the engine and listen for a subtle hissing sound, indicating that the spinner is moving. If you hear the hiss, check the fuel filter to see if it is clogged. Clean it with a small amount of gas.

    3

    Look behind the kick trim panel on the driver's side for the fuel cut-off inertia switch if the battery and engine components are working. You could have hit the switch with the nozzle of the hose when vacuuming the car and activated it.

    4

    Change the oil for engines that idle and run loud. Use a quart of 20-W50 Valvoline motor oil and add Lucas oil an eighth of a pint at a time until the engine starts to purr.

Faulty Interior Electrical System

    5

    Check the main fuse box under the dash and the auxiliary one under the glove box for blown fuses. Faulty electrical components, such as non-working interior lights, indicate blown fuses more so than a wiring problem. Replacing a blown fuse costs much less than replacing parts of the car and is one of the more common problems in a Jaguar. Run a total systems check on the vehicle to avoid serious electrical issues.

    6

    Inspect the cooling fan control module located on the other side of the engine compartment from the battery. Use a fine wire brush to remove any corrosion in the control module formed by water leaking in through the wire insulation. Seal the connectors, before replacing them, to stop any further corrosion.

    7

    Replace the transmission relay if the transmission light stays on and does not shut off.

Why Does My Corvette Lean to One Side?

Why Does My Corvette Lean to One Side?

Chevrolet designed the Corvette as a sports car. Corvettes operate on race tracks, which puts a strain on suspension components including the tires. When suspension fails, a Corvette may lean to the side of the failure and handle differently. Managing cross-weight with suspension upgrades is one way to increase handling.

Tire Pressure

    Check for a flat tire first if you notice your Corvette leaning to one side. All Corvettes after 2003 included a tire pressure monitoring system, which illuminates in the instrument cluster in the event of a flat tire.

Driving Style & Conditions

    Harsh road conditions and race-styled driving can compromise Corvette suspension components such as shock absorbers, control arms or bushings. A blown right side shock would make the Corvette lean to the right because the shock would no longer be able to rebound into position. Bumpy roads promote tire pressure loss and puncture as well. Warm weather also promotes a reduction in tire pressure.

Managing Cross-Weight

    In a corner, a vehicle's weight moves. A cross-weight defines how weight distributes in a corner. An unbalanced vehicle will experience under- or over-steer. Coilover suspension and sway bars help balance weight and unify cross-weight, which improves handling.

Squeaking Noise When the Engine Turns On

Squeaking Noise When the Engine Turns On

When something is not working properly within a vehicle, one of the first signs of failure is an abnormal sound made by the car. If you hear a squeak from your engine, you need to know what is causing it.

Finding the Noise

    Check which criteria have to be met in order to create the sound. Determine if the noise only happens upon start up, or if it is also present in other situations. Also, check to see if the sound happens only when you start the vehicle from a cold temperature, or if it happens on a warm start as well. Have an assistant start the car. Stand in front of the car with the hood open. Make sure the car is in neutral with the park brake on, or in parking gear before starting the car. Listen carefully to see if you can pinpoint the general section where the noise is coming from.

Serpentine belts and Alternators

    If the sound is an actual "squeak" it will usually come from the alternator region, or the belt that drives it. This the top cause of a squeak when an engine starts. A squeak coming from the alternator can be caused by three primary problems. The alternator belt or serpentine belt can be worn out, the pulley is not working correctly or the internal bearings are worn out. The belt can be serviced by a competent do-it-yourself mechanic. Inspect the belt for cracks and fraying, and see if it is loose. If the belt is damaged, replace it. Pulleys can also be replaced if you can get a replacement part and feel confident taking apart a car.

Non-Alternator Squeaks

    Any sound that is a "squeak" is usually related to a belt somewhere in the engine. It is a good idea to check all the other belts that you have in your car if you hear this type of noise when you start the engine. While modern cars drive most accessories and the alternator from a single serpentine belt, older cars often used a series of V-belts. In addition, the timing belt can be a cause of a squeak or squeal. A squeaking noise is an indication that a belt is worn, or that the tension applied to it is not set correctly. Adjust the tension on any belt that you feel is squeaking, or replace it if it appears cracked or worn in any way. If cannot isolate the squeak to a belt or alternator you should have a mechanic take a look at your vehicle.

Belt Adjustment and Replacement

    You can try to adjust the tension on the belt if it seems loose. Locate the tensioner. It is a small pulley that is spring loaded so that it can apply variable amounts of tension to the belt. (See References 5) If you want to adjust the tension, simply loosen the nut with a ratchet so that you can tighten the belt as required. If you want to remove the belt, you may also want to install a new tensioner in order to help maintain its life longer. A belt with a poor tensioner will wear out quickly. (See References 4) A worn tensioner can also cause the squeal. Install your new tensioner, and route your belt through the pulleys in the same direction that it was previously routed. On a serpentine belt where routing can be complex, be sure you look at the diagram under your hood that shows belt routing. If you cannot find one there, check your owners manual for belt diagrams.

How to Troubleshoot a 1995 Plymouth Neon

The base model 1995 Plymouth Neon is equipped with a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine. This model includes many different standard features including bucket seats, power brakes, 13-inch wheels, cloth seating, driver and passenger front air bags and a 5-speed manual transmission. Because the Neon has so many different systems, parts and components, it can be difficult to locate the source of a problem when you are troubleshooting your vehicle.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the steering column coupler when you find it difficult to turn the Neon's steering wheel. The steering column coupler can become disconnected from the steering column when the bottom of your Neon comes into contact with the ground while you are driving. Replace the steering column coupler with a new coupler designed to collapse when the Neon impacts the ground.

    2

    Inspect the fuel and rear brake tubes for corrosion or damage when you see fuel or brake fluid leaking underneath your Neon. If the fuel and brake tubes have begun leaking the Neon may fail to stop when you press the brake pedal or a fire may ignite when the leaking gasoline comes into contact with an ignition source. If corrosion or damage is evident, then replace the affected brake tube, fuel line or fuel vapor tube.

    3

    Examine the power train control module if the Neon is stalling frequently or is otherwise driving erratically. Confirm whether moisture has seeped into the control module. If so, the module may have malfunctioned contributing to stalling and driving problems. Replace the entire power train control module if that unit is faulty.

    4

    Check the Neon's brake master cylinder if you see brake fluid leaking underneath your car or if an instrument panel warning light indicates a system impairment with the vehicle. The master cylinder may be leaking brake fluid and cause your brakes to malfunction. Replace the entire brake master cylinder piston assembly to resolve this problem.

Kamis, 25 Oktober 2012

How to Perform Diagnostics Tests Using a Scanner on a Vehicle's Engine

How to Perform Diagnostics Tests Using a Scanner on a Vehicle's Engine

An on-board diagnostics scanner saves time when troubleshooting problems with a vehicle's engine. The vehicle's computer runs a series of routine tests and checks on the engine. Once a problem crops up, the computer issues a code and classifies the problem as "pending." If that occurs more times, the status changes to "trouble code" and the service engine light will come on. You do not have to have an active service engine light to use an on-board diagnostics system. A good scanner not only retrieves trouble codes, but identifies pending ones too.

Instructions

    1

    Some scanners power up by themselves and automatically retrieve codes, while others must be manually switched on with a "retrieve" command entered. Some only display codes, while others can interact with a computer through a USB cable. Also, while acquainting yourself with a scanner and its manual, bookmark the lists of OBD-II code definitions. You will need to reference them.

    2

    Find the diagnostic data link connection in your vehicle. For most vehicles, this is found beneath the dashboard and between the gas pedal and left panel. In some vehicles, this outlet is exposed, while others are not. You are looking for a 16-pin receptor port usually molded out of black plastic.

    3

    Hook your scanner up to the diagnostic data connection. Slight variations in performing tests will start here because of differences in OBD-II scanners. The following are general steps to complete a test.

    4

    Turn on your vehicle. Some scanners will require only power, but others might need the engine cranked. If you are using a scanner that does not feature an "auto-on," switch it on and key in a "retrieve" command. It will take a second for codes to appear on the scanner.

    5

    Scroll through the codes and differentiate between what is "trouble" and what is "pending." Always attend to trouble codes first. Consult the scanner's manual for coding definitions. Many scanners' manuals, however, only have generic codes that apply to all OBD-II vehicles. Manufacturers have supplemental codes particular to their vehicles. If you cannot find the code description in a manual, you might need to search for the definitions online.

    6

    Turn off the scanner and vehicle. Open the hood and look into the engine compartment to examine areas that need further scrutiny. However, if the scanner reported something unfamiliar, take the vehicle to a mechanic.

Selasa, 23 Oktober 2012

How to Test the Front Speed Sensor on a 2006 Saturn Vue

2006 Saturn Vue SUVs contain two front speed sensorsone at each wheel. These sensors are bolted to the rear side of the steering knuckle. The PCM and ABS computers monitor data from these sensors about the rotational speed of the front wheels, which is used to determine when to engage the anti-lock braking and traction control systems. When one of these sensors fails, the PCM will deactivate the traction control and anti-lock brakes until the sensor is replaced.

Instructions

    1

    Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels of the vehicle and engage the parking brake. Lift the front of the vehicle with an automotive jack and support it with jack stands so both wheels are off the ground.

    2

    Turn the ignition on and connect a scan tool to the vehicles communications port. Navigate through the scan tools menu structure to the ABS menu. Select the option that allows you to view the wheel speed sensor data in real time. This option should be labeled Live Data, Sensor Data, or something similar.

    3

    Hold your foot on the brake and start the engine. Release the brake and allow the front wheels to spin freely. Depress the accelerator slightly and glance at the screen on the scan tool. The tool should show a reading, in miles-per-hour, for each front wheel sensor. If the scan tool shows a zero for any speed that does not match the reading on the speedometer, the PCM is not properly receiving a signal from that sensor.

    4

    Turn off the engine and inspect the wiring underneath the vehicle for the sensor showing the faulty reading on the scan tool. Look for cuts, frays, or any other visible damage to the wiring. If you dont see any visible damage that would indicate a wiring problem, then the wheel sensor is faulty and must be replaced.

How to Troubleshoot Failing Water Pumps

The water pump is essential for circulating coolant throughout the engine. Over time, the water pump may fail due to a bad bearing, a broken or worn impeller blade or a failed water pump seal. Not replacing the water pump in time can cause the engine to overheat which can, in turn, cause tremendous amounts of damage to the engine and other components that rely on the water pump for cooling. Check for signs of water pump failure to help avert disaster and keep your vehicle in top shape.

Instructions

    1

    Check for coolant leaking around the water pump area at the very front of the engine behind the fan pulley. A large puddle on the ground near the front of the vehicle just behind the radiator or a stream of hot coolant pouring out of this area, after turning the engine off, may be signs of water pump failure.

    2

    Open the hood and inspect the water pump. The water pump is a flat component and has several water hoses connected to it, one leading to the radiator and a two others to the engine itself. Locate the pulley connected to the water pump and move it back and forth. Bad bearings will cause the water pump pulley to wobble.

    3

    Check the fluid level in the coolant reservoir. Wait for the engine to cool down, then open the hood and locate the coolant reservoir tank. Check the amount of fluid inside the coolant reservoir tank and fill the tank if necessary. If the amount of fluid continues to drop, this may indicate a leak in the water pump.

    4

    Turn the engine on and listen for grinding from the water pump area. A water pump with bad bearings will make a low-pitched, metallic grinding noise.

    5

    Watch the temperature gauge for overheating. If the gauge is constantly hitting the red zone, it may indicate a cooling problem due to a failing water pump.

Senin, 22 Oktober 2012

Can a Faulty Alternator Cause My Car Battery to Discharge When Parked Overnight?

Can a Faulty Alternator Cause My Car Battery to Discharge When Parked Overnight?

Alternators essentially are miniaturized versions of the generators used at hydro, coal or nuclear power plants. While the alternator's underlying principles are fairly simple, its construction offers plenty of opportunity for failure -- including short circuits and subsequent battery discharge.

Alternator Basics

    An alternator basically is a set of alternating north-south-north magnets sitting on a shaft and spinning inside of a large coil of wire. The alternating magnets essentially "vibrate" the electrons in the wire, causing an alternating current that constantly switches in polarity. The appliances in your house run on a similar alternating current, but a car's alternator directs "one way" current to the battery. The alternator uses a set of one-way diodes or "valves" in the input-output lines to allow energy to flow in through the ground and out through the positive wire, but never the other way around. Electrical energy trapped in the diodes, the energy that attempts to flow against them, turns into heat.

Alternator Wiring

    The alternator body is both a ground and a heat sink. If you place your hand on an alternator bracket, you'll probably notice it feels warmer than other accessory brackets; heat from the diodes flows through the alternator body and into the bracket, which helps to absorb and dissipate the heat like a radiator. In the same way, electrical current from the battery flows through the engine block into the bracket and, thus, into the alternator. The positive output wire from the rectifiers connects to the battery's positive terminal, closing the circuit and keeping it charged.

Alternator Faults

    Alternators typically fail in one of two ways. Most often, heat trapped in the diodes end up frying them, reducing alternator output and forcing other diodes to flow more current to compensate. Ultimately, all of the diodes overheat and the alternator fails to put out power of any sort. The second basic failure happens when the copper coils inside the alternator case arc to each other or to the case. When this happens, the arcing components "weld" together and create a short circuit inside the alternator.

Battery Drainage

    Once a short circuit happens in the alternator, the circuit between ground and positive battery terminal -- via the output wire -- closes and starts drawing power. This short circuit can drain the battery completely within a few hours, and almost certainly will if left overnight. There are two basic ways to test for a fault in the alternator. The magnets on the shaft armature aren't magnets at all -- they're actually electromagnets that only magnetize when there's current going to the alternator. With the car off, hold a hacksaw blade to the alternator housing; if it sticks, you've got a constant magnetic field and an internal short. Otherwise, shut the car off, disconnect the positive wire, and use a digital multimeter to test for current draw between it and the battery's positive terminal.

Problems With 2008 Maximas

Problems With 2008 Maximas

The 2008 Nissan Maxima has not been recalled from the manufacturer and has very few problem complaints, according to the Repair Pal and Edmunds websites. Some owners of the Maxima encounter problems with the brakes, air-conditioning and automobile sensors. Edmunds gave the Maxima a 7.4 editors rating and an 8.6 consumers rating.

Camshaft Problems

    Repair Pal reported that some 2008 Maximas have camshaft problems. The sensor located on the camshaft can leak oil onto a connector that makes the check engine light illuminate. This oil leak can cause the Maxima to stall because of the defective sensor. Replace the camshaft sensor to correct this problem. It cost about $70 to fix as of 2010.

Rattling Noise

    Edmunds listed a complaint about a rattling noise coming from the passenger window in the front of the 2008 Maxima. The rattling noise is extremely prominent when the Maxima is in motion. The most likely culprit is a loose retaining screw or window component on the front passenger side window. The Maxima owner needs to take the vehicle to the dealership to fix this problem.

Air-Conditioning Problems

    Some owners report problems with the 2008 Maxima's air-conditioning, according to Repair Pal. The pressure hose on the A/C unit or compressor has a leak at the connection that can cause the A/C unit to quit working or leak water into the cab of the Maxima. The only correction for this problem is to have the hose and crimped connection replaced by the dealership. It needs to be taken care of as soon as the symptoms occur because the continuing leak can cause the A/C compressor to fail.

How to Troubleshoot a 2002 Dodge Neon Radiator

Engines run upwards of 120 degrees. Coolant systems circulate engine coolant through various tubes pulling the heat off the engine to allow it to remain at ideal operating temperatures. In 2002, Dodge used a sealed radiator behind the grill and an expansion tank located between the engine and firewall as the reservoir for coolant. Troubleshooting the radiator requires mostly visual inspection of the different elements. The process involves checking for leaks, checking the lines, and checking the fan.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood and check the reservoir tank. Verify the fluid is between the low and high marks. Refill the reservoir with 50/50 premixed coolant if necessary and make sure the cap is tight when replacing it. Visually inspect the radiator, the reservoir and water pump (located on the passenger side of the engine towards the front and near the radiator). Look for signs of leaks including puddles beneath the vehicle after it has been parked for a while. Coolant smells bittersweet and is yellowish or greenish in color.

    2

    Clean the engine with a water hose and allow it to dry. Once dry, drive the vehicle for about fifteen minutes or until it reaches operating temperature and then park the vehicle on vehicle ramps to elevate the front. Allow the engine to cool off and look for signs of leaks beneath the vehicle (a puddle or spot). If you notice a puddle at this point, trace the leak to locate the defective part and replace.

    3

    Trace the coolant hoses coming from the radiator. You have feed lines on top and bottom that vary in size. Look at where they connect to the radiator and look for signs of swelling, cracks, or damaged retainer clips. Replace any damaged parts. Beneath the vehicle, trace the transmission coolant line (located on the bottom corner of the radiator) to the transmission. Make sure this has no signs of leaks.

    4

    Check the oil cap. Look for yellowish slime around the cap. The slime indicates a coolant leak into the engine directly. The intake manifold gasket may be damaged or you might have a failed cylinder head.

    5

    Verify the fan operates properly. Start the vehicle and allow it to idle with the air-conditioner turned on until the engine reaches operating temperature. The 2002 Neon uses an electric fan that turns on within five minutes of the air-conditioner activation. If the fan does not come on, you have a damaged fan motor or faulty connection. Always check the fuses first for any potential electrical issue.

Minggu, 21 Oktober 2012

03 GMC Chevy Sonoma Engine Code P0446

Of all the things that can malfunction on your truck, its evaporative emissions system is probably both the most infuriating and the most insidious. Gasoline is an extremely unstable liquid, especially when it's warm -- without some way to seal the system, gas would quickly evaporate out of the tank and cost you big bucks at the pump. Code P0446 indicates a problem with one of the solenoids in this system and may be warning you of a problem that only your wallet is going to notice.

Instructions

    1

    Check for all system malfunction codes that can help to track down the specific problem. This code translates as "Evaporative Emission Control System Vent Control Circuit Malfunction," which itself means that the solenoid or the circuit (meaning the solenoid and the air tube system) that allows air to flow into your charcoal canister has malfunctioned. You may find other related codes like P0447, P0448 or P0449 that can help you to figure out exactly what's malfunctioned in the system.

    2

    Locate the EVAP vent valve solenoid. The EVAP vent valve allows air to flow into your charcoal canister. If the vent solenoid sticks open, the system will fail to pressurize and send fuel vapors back to the tank through the purge line. This solenoid has a two-prong connector; the pink wire supplies constant positive current from the battery and the white wire supplies a ground signal from the control computer. You can find the vent solenoid in one of the rubber lines exiting from the charcoal canister at the front of your truck. Locations vary depending upon the engine option, so follow each line to its terminus until you locate the vent solenoid.

    3

    Check the vent solenoid line for cracks or kinks and check to ensure that the ends of the vent hose connect securely to the solenoid and to the charcoal canister. Check the harness connector at the vent solenoid and make sure that it's tightly connected to the solenoid. Loose, corroded or missing connector terminals will break the circuit to the solenoid and trigger a failure code.

    4

    Turn your ignition key to the "on" position, and unplug the vent solenoid harness. Connect one end of your 12-volt test light to the battery's negative terminal and touch the sensor probe to the chassis-side terminal corresponding to the pink wire. This wire gets a constant supply of power, so the light should illuminate then you touch it to the terminal. If it illuminates and the vent system passes all other check, replace the vent solenoid. If it doesn't illuminate, then your problem is in the computer or a sensor in the EVAP system.

How to Turn Off the Check Engine Light on a 1999 Ford Windstar

The check engine light on a 1999 Ford Windstar is illuminated when the power train control module detects a malfunction in any of the Windstar's monitored systems. These malfunctions generate diagnostic trouble codes that correspond to pinpoint tests necessary to find the actual problem. If you've read the codes, done your troubleshooting and repaired the problem, you can turn off the check engine light. Anyone with a little mechanical or computer-related skill can perform this task.

Instructions

    1

    Sit in the Windstar's driver seat and pull the dust cap off the diagnostic port. The port is located under the dashboard, near the steering column, and has a black plastic cap with the letters "DTC" embossed on it.

    2

    Plug the scan tool's datalink cable into the port. You can buy a scan tool at most automotive parts retailers or through your local tool salesman. Make sure the scan tool you purchase works with Ford OBD-II software.

    3

    Turn the ignition key to the run position. Follow the scan tool's specific instruction manual to perform a self test on the Windstar.

    4

    Clear the codes when prompted to do so by the scan tool. Complete the self test. Shut off the ignition.

    5

    Disconnect the datalink cable. Place the dust cap back over the port.

Steel Wheel Runout Specs

Steel Wheel Runout Specs

A car exhibits bad characteristics when the wheels are bent --- it will shake at highway speeds, the steering wheel may shimmy or the car may "buck," like a bucking bronco. How far off-center the wheel is bent is called runout. All these symptoms point to one of two types of runout, or a combination of both. By understanding both types of runout for wheels, you will understand the specifications as well.

Understanding Lateral Runout

    If you hit a curb sideways violently, the wheel more than likely will become bent. According to professional technicians at AA 1 Car, the side bending is called lateral runout. The chief symptom of lateral runout is that the car shimmies or shakes. The shaking becomes more violent as the car goes faster.

Lateral Runout Specifications

    Theoretically, wheels should have no lateral runout. Professional technicians at Vibrate Software state that the lateral runout should be no more than .045 inches. Professional Technicians at the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair state that most manufacturers specify a lateral runout of no more than .1 inches. To put these numbers into perspective, the wheel cannot be bent sideways more than the thickness of a pencil lead.

Understanding Radial Runout

    If you hit a pothole, more than likely radial runout will occur. Instead of the wheel being perfectly round, it acquires an oval shape. The chief symptom of radial runout is the car "bucks," like a horse bucking. This is because the wheel has low and high spots. The bucking becomes more violent the faster the car goes.

Radial Runout Specifications

    Theoretically, the wheel should be a perfect circle, with no high or low spots. Technicians at Vibrate Software specify a radial runout of no more than .04 inches. However, the technicians at the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair state a radial runout of no more than .06 inches. These numbers are very small. In essence, the wheel cannot be out of round by more than the thickness of a thin pencil lead.

Curing Runout

    The only real cure for steel wheels is to replace it with a new wheel. High dollar aluminum or custom wheels are usually repaired by a facility specifically designed to unbend wheels. The cost to repair a wheel, however, is prohibitive. For a high dollar wheel, the repair cost is less than buying a new wheel. For a steel wheel, however, it's often cheaper to just buy a new wheel, with has no runout.

Sabtu, 20 Oktober 2012

How to Tell If a Tensioner Is Bad?

How to Tell If a Tensioner Is Bad?

Many car engine components are driven from the rotating forces of the engine via a belt. In older cars, several belts were used. Most modern cars use a single, serpentine belt to drive all the necessary parts of the engine. Usually this consists of the power steering motor, alternator, water-cooling pump and air-conditioning unit. The belt requires consistent tension in order for it to efficiently drive all the components. Most cars use a spring-loaded belt tensioner to keep the serpentine belt pulled tight. If this goes bad, it can lead to many car problems.

Instructions

    1

    Listen for squealing noises within the engine when it is running. While there are many causes for squealing sounds within an engine, a bad belt tensioner is a likely culprit. Usually you will hear the squealing when the engine is idling at a low speed, and it will fade away as the engine revs up.

    2

    Watch the belt and belt tensioner while the engine is running. A bad belt tensioner spring will often cause the tension arm to bounce up and down with the cycling of the motor. This makes the belt wobble as the engine runs. These are definite signs that the tensioner needs replaced.

    3

    Turn off the engine. Examine the serpentine belt for unusual damage. If your engine's belt has broken or cracked grooves, is worn smooth or is fraying then the belt will need to be replaced. A bad belt tensioner is a likely cause of belt damage. However, if your belt is old and has not been replaced in several years, it might just be normal wear and tear.

    4

    Push down on the middle of the belt while the engine is off and the components are cool enough to touch. If you are able to push the belt down more than about an inch, the tensioner probably needs to be replaced. A good tensioner should be holding the belt snugly in place with enough resistance not to allow you to push it down that far.

Problems With Chrome Plated Piston Rings

Problems With Chrome Plated Piston Rings

Steel piston rings are efficient and long lasting, but because steel is not compatible with cast iron piston walls, steel piston rings can become scuffed and damage the cylinder. To protect the piston rings and the cylinder from damage, chrome is often used to coat steel piston rings. Over time, chrome plating can also lead to engine problems.

Scuffing

    Over long periods of time, the chrome plating on the steel piston rings is prone to scuffing. Scuffing causes friction to develop between the piston ring and the cylinder and can eventually lead to pistons seizing up.

Flaking

    If the engine is used at high pressure in short bursts, such as for drag racing, the chrome coating has a tendency to flake. Flakes of chrome in an engine's cylinder will ruin the cylinder, piston and ring.

Accelerated Cylinder Wear

    Chrome is very hard and can accelerate the amount of wear on the cylinders. Chrome will rub against the cylinders and can shorten their lifespan, especially if dirt or debris somehow gets into the lubricant.

Melting

    Under extreme high temperatures, chrome plating can melt and cause the piston ring to malfunction.

How to Troubleshoot a 2002 Saturn L300

The 2002 Saturn L300 came equipped with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. It was manufactured with many different standard features, including cruise control, remote trunk release, front door pockets, power steering, tilt-adjust steering wheel, front and rear cupholders, a rear defogger and 15-inch alloy wheels. Because the L300 is made up of so many different parts, systems and components it can be difficult to determine what is causing a particular problem with your vehicle. One way to troubleshoot your Saturn is to notice how the car feels as you drive it.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the Saturn's coil springs when it feels like the vehicle is riding too soft. The springs may be too weak or may have become broken.

    2

    Find the power steering belt if the steering wheel is difficult to turn. The belt may be broken. If the belt is functioning properly, look also at the other components of the steering system, including the power steering pump, tie rod end and power steering hose. These parts may be worn, damaged or, in the case of the power steering hose, clogged. Finally, check to see how much power steering fluid you currently have and make sure that fluid is not leaking from the fluid container.

    3

    Check the power brake booster when your Saturn's brakes are difficult to use. The booster may be faulty. If the booster is working, check the brake caliper to see if it has become stuck, which would cause the brake to drag. The brake system's master cylinder, wheel cylinder and proportioning valve may also be faulty, worn or damaged. Look at the brake hose to see if it has become clogged or kinked in any way and review the brake pads, shoes, rotors and drums to ensure that none of these parts have become warped or damaged. You will also want to make sure that you have the proper amount of brake fluid and the correct fluid type.

    4

    Locate the transmission modulator if your vehicle has an automatic transmission when the car delays shifting gears. The modulator could be misadjusted, disconnected or faulty. If you have a manual transmission check the transmission shift linkage to see if any of its parts are damaged or improperly adjusted. You should also check the transmission fluid to ensure that it is at the proper level and inspect the remaining transmission components for any leaks or damage.

Jumat, 19 Oktober 2012

2005 Amanti KIA Light Problems

2005 Amanti KIA Light Problems

There are no reported recalls on the 2005 Kia Amanti, but the manufacturer has published fourteen technical service bulletins (TSB) on the Amanti, according to Edmunds. Three of the TSBs concern the lighting problems some Amanti owners have experienced with the 2005 Kia.

Headlight Problems

    The headlight bulbs on the 2005 Kia Amanti have been found to prematurely blow out, preventing one or both the headlights from illuminating. These headlight bulbs are blowing because of a defect on the glass of the bulbs. This defect can be from fingerprints or other debris left on the glass during installation. The only way to prevent this lighting problem from occurring is to ensure that no debris or fingerprints are on the bulbs during installation of the new bulb.

Brake Light Problems

    The brake lights on some 2005 Kia Amantis work only intermittently because of a wiring harness defect. The wiring harness has not been tightened properly into the brake lights and causes the brake lights to work intermittently or even blow. Access to the wiring harness is gained through the trunk of the Amanti. The Kia owner should check the wiring harness to ensure it is seated into the brake light assembly.

Dashboard Light Problems

    Some 2005 Kia Amantis have problems with the dashboard lights going out and preventing the driver from viewing the gauges in poor light. No specific reason is known for this dashboard lighting problem. In some cases, a fuse has been found to cause the problem, as well as a blown bulb and loose wire, but none of these defects are widespread. If this problem is occurring, the Amanti owner should take the vehicle into the dealership to have for repair because the problem can develop for a number of different reasons.

The Location of the Speed Sensor on a Mini Cooper

The Location of the Speed Sensor on a Mini Cooper

Critical to the proper operation of a vehicle's anti-lock braking system, the speed sensor also plays a role in the cruise control system and the Mini Cooper's flat-tire monitor. The Mini Cooper has four speed sensors, one for each wheel.

Function

    Monitoring the speed of each wheel, the speed sensor electrically informs the Mini's computer how fast each is rotating -- the reason the sensor is also known as a "pulse generator." The ABS system employs this information to maintain even braking pressure under adverse conditions, such as wet or icy roads.

Malfunction

    The onboard diagnostic system, required on all automobiles sold in the U.S., should alert the driver to a faulty speed sensor. In addition to causing the ABS light to display, a malfunctioning or dirty sensor will produce abnormal braking at low speeds.

Location

    The speed sensors on the Mini Cooper are located on the hub of each of the wheels. If replacing the speed sensor yourself, clean off its mounting bolts and holes before installation and torque the bolts to 6 foot-pounds on both front and rear wheels.

Can a Bad Fuel Pump Put Air in Lines?

Can a Bad Fuel Pump Put Air in Lines?

Mechanical fuel pumps, like those normally found on carbureted vehicles, are capable of developing pressures of about 5 to 10 pounds per square inch. Fuel-injected vehicles typically have an electric pump mounted inside the fuel tank, which are capable of generating much higher pressures. Neither style fuel pump is designed for, or capable of, compressing air. Therefore, no means exist for a fuel pump to inject air into liquid-filled lines or hoses. However, there are instances when this may seem to happen. These symptoms can become exaggerated, if the fuel pump is not functioning correctly.

Mechanical Maladies

    Mechanical fuel pumps consist of a diaphragm that is actuated by a pump lever. The lever extends into the engine block, where it is moved through its stroke by a camshaft lobe, or other provision, in the engine. A check valve in the pump prevents drain-back, when the engine is stopped. Defective diaphragms or check valves in the pump body can allow the fuel line between the carburetor and pump to evacuate. Leaks in the pump suction line may introduce small amounts of air when fuel is being drawn through the line. Either malady usually results in a noticeable fuel leak. Inspect the complete fuel system any time fuel, or its odor, is detected near the vehicle.

Ghostly Gases

    There are instances when fuel vapors displace the liquid in a particular space. This condition, known as "vapor-lock", blocks the flow of fuel to the injectors or carburetor. The vapors may collect at a high point in the fuel system or anywhere excess heat acts on liquid fuel. An exhaust leak, or cooling system malfunction, can heat fuel to the boiling point in lines or reservoirs. The overheated vapors can expand and pressurize certain spots in the fuel system. The newly-formed bubble can not be compressed by incoming fuel and will stall the engines. The engine may start and run normally, after cooling, but the problem will return if the heat source is not eliminated.

A Pair Of Pumps

    Outward signs of failure are usually obvious on a mechanical fuel pump. Liquid fuel may exit the pump body at a seam, or pressure and volume may fall off sharply. Internal seal failure with this style pump can introduce fuel into the engine crankcase. This symptom is revealed on the dipstick, as an excessively high oil level accompanied by the odor of fuel in the oil. Electric fuel pumps might weaken over time, but more commonly suffer more profound problems. Total failure of an electric pump closely mimics the symptoms of running out of fuel. The pump may die suddenly and quietly or it might display some audible forewarning, like a high-pitched whine, some time before succumbing. In any case, fuel pump failure can result in your shoes, instead of tires, hitting the road.

Fill-ups And Filters

    The most likely problems that lead to voids in fuel lines are rather basic in nature. Clogged fuel filters can restrict flow, and some vehicles use two filters. One is easily accessible and routinely replaced as a maintenance service. The other is attached to the suction port of the pump in the fuel tank. This internal filter is not normally serviced unless the pump is being replaced, but still may clog in a vehicle that has been in use for many years. Fuel levels low enough to allow the pump to aerate the liquid would also cause the engine to stall. The pump ceases to function when the engine is stopped and no significant aeration takes place. It should be noted that the fuel in the tank cools the electric motor that powers an electric fuel ump, making it another good reason to keep the fuel level above half a tank as much as possible.

Kamis, 18 Oktober 2012

Possible Causes to Draw a Car Battery Down

Possible Causes to Draw a Car Battery Down

A car's electrical system is like the Great Wall of China; intimidating to look at, but built one piece at a time using the simplest of components and principles. The battery sits at the heart of the electrical system, providing the energy that flows through it and serving as a repository for power from the alternator. Battery drain problems usually come down to one of two things: The battery is getting less power than it's putting out, or it's not storing the power it does get.

Failure to Charge

    The car's battery and alternator are two sides of the same system; the car gets its power from the battery, and the battery gets its power from the alternator. An alternator that fails to charge won't impact how the car runs, it just means the battery itself isn't getting juice as fast as it's putting it out. Possible causes for a failure to charge include a bad alternator, alternator rectifiers or voltage regulator, loose connections at the alternator or battery or a bad engine ground.

Alternator Charging Switch

    In order to charge the battery, an alternator must complete a circuit between itself and the chassis. The alternator has an rpm switch inside that energizes its magnetic coils; if that switch doesn't energize the field coils because it's malfunctioning or because it's never activated by engine rpm, it will fail to charge the battery. In fact, it's possible to kill the battery by just starting the car and allowing it to idle for 20 minutes or so without hitting the throttle to engage the alternator.

Shorts in the Alternator

    The alternator itself can draw power from the battery if it shorts internally. The coil wires in an alternator are very close to each other and the case, and they can and do short out. When a short circuit -- a circuit that closes inadvertently because a power wire comes in contact with the ground -- happens in the alternator, it will continuously suck juice from the battery in order to energize the magnets. Here's a quick test: With the engine and key off, hold a hacksaw blade against the alternator case. If it sticks, the alternator has shorted internally and the field coils are producing a constant magnetic field.

Shorts in the Chassis

    Short circuits can happen in the chassis, too, as a result of a power wire coming in contact with a ground or because a relay sticks shut. These kinds of faults aren't as common today as they used to be, primarily because most of the car's electrical system is connected to a power circuit that comes on only when you turn the key. Non-switched circuits like the headlights, interior lights and possibly the cooling fan are places you're likely to encounter battery discharge with the ignition off.

Battery Faults

    Short circuits can happen inside the battery just as in the chassis and alternator, though it's rare compared with the incidence of external shorting. All batteries will self-discharge over time; for a car battery, it's usually about 1 percent power loss per day. This means that, even if it's just sitting, the car's battery will die after about three months in storage. Higher storage temperatures accelerate the chemical reactions in the battery, quickening self-discharge. Low temperatures slow the chemical reactions, which slows self-discharge but also reduces the battery's cranking power.

Signs of a Bad Exhaust Valve

Signs of a Bad Exhaust Valve

The exhaust valve is a component on your car that transfers burned gases from the cylinder to the exhaust manifold. If this valve goes bad, there are certain symptoms to be aware of to diagnose the problem. These symptoms include a bad odor, misfiring and no compression on the cylinders.

Misfiring

    The first sign of a bad exhaust valve is misfiring at low engine speeds. Misfiring occurs when the engine loses its power, and the driver feels a jerking action as a result. This happens because of a leaky exhaust gasket, which causes the valve to burn at high speeds and temperatures.

No Compression on Cylinder

    Check the compression of each of your car's cylinders. If you don't have any compression on a cylinder, this means that you have a burnt-out or bad exhaust valve. If there is no compression on a cylinder, the car is running on less cylinders than it should, which can cause the engine to run slower and become damaged easier. Compression can be checked using a compression gauge or engine analyzer.

Irregular Exhaust

    Another symptom of a bad exhaust valve is smelly, black-colored smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. If this is the case, you may need to replace both of the manifold gaskets to resolve the issue. The smell coming from the exhaust pipe will be similar to that of rotten eggs. The O2 sensor, plugs and wires may need to be replaced as well.

Rabu, 17 Oktober 2012

How to Troubleshoot a 1988 Ford Ranger EEC

How to Troubleshoot a 1988 Ford Ranger EEC

Car and truck on-board diagnostics became standardized in 1996. Before then, manufacturers had their own systems. For Ford vehicles, this system is called Electronic Engine Control. A 1988 Ford Ranger falls into the fourth version of this diagnostic system, and accessing the fault codes does not require a code scanner. The Ford itself can be made to undergo a self diagnostic test, and the fault codes are relayed by the check-engine light flashing in a set sequence.

Instructions

    1

    Start the Ranger's engine and run it for two minutes at 2,000 rpm. Once the engine is warmed, switch the Ranger off.

    2

    Pop the Ranger's hood and look for self-test outlet and input ports. The outlet is a trapezoidal hub with six slots. The self-test input will be smaller and has only one slot.

    3

    Examine the trapezoidal self-test outlet. Note there are four slots on the bottom row. The second one in on the left is the "ground." Using jumper wire, connect that slot to the separate self-test input.

    4

    Climb into a driver's seat and have a pen and paper ready. Place the key in the ignition and turn the electrical system on but do not start the engine.

    5

    Look at the check-engine light and count the flashes. EEC-IV codes are either two- or three-digit sequences. The first group of flashes will represent the first number of the sequence. There will be a slight pause to indicate the next number of the code. So, for example, EEC code 22 will be represented by two flashes, a pause, and two more flashes. Longer pauses signal the beginning of a new code sequence. Write down the code number.

    6

    Look up the trouble code online. There are more resources available for OBD-II codes, but a number of non-Ford websites list EEC codes. Once you have found the code description, you can make an educated decision whether to attempt the fix it or to consult a professional mechanic.

How to Reset My Jeep Radio

How to Reset My Jeep Radio

Jeep has been developing vehicles since World War II. Developed at first to assist the Army, Jeep has become a household name in American transportation. Amenities on most Jeep vehicles include the factory sound system, which is not without its issues. A common problem is resetting the radio. With the right information, this can be resolved quickly.

Instructions

Radio Reset

    1

    Find the serial number located on the firewall under the hood on driver's side.

    2

    Find the VIN number located on the drivers side dash or the inside body panel by the floor near the parking-brake lever.

    3

    Locate the make and model number.

    4

    Locate the vehicle title.

    5

    Contact your local Jeep dealership with this information.

    6

    Retrieve the code for the radio from your dealer's service technician.

    7

    Enter code using the channel up and down buttons.

Selasa, 16 Oktober 2012

How to Troubleshoot Dodge Intrepid Engine Problems

How to Troubleshoot Dodge Intrepid Engine Problems

Troubleshooting a Dodge Intrepid's engine can be time consuming if you do not know exactly what you are looking for. The Intrepid's On-Board Diagnostic system can help streamline the process, but it is not a silver bullet. Computerized engine diagnostics will never solve the problem, but it can provide a concrete place to start. Plus, it can assist in putting together a list of targeted engine locations, each of which has had a recent history of malfunction. How to use the OBD system depends on the Intrepid's manufacturing year.

Instructions

1995 Dodge Intrepids and Earlier

    1

    Climb into the Intrepid's driver seat. Place a pencil and notepad on the dash above the steering wheel.

    2

    Insert the Intrepid's key into the ignition and turn to "On" and "Off" in the following sequence: ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON. This needs to be done in the span of 5 seconds.

    3

    Pick up the pencil and notepad you left on the dash and count how many times the check engine light flashes. The codes are two-digit numbers. The check engine light will flash the first number, and then it will pause slightly before flashing the second number. Longer pauses will mean the conclusion of one code and the beginning of a new one. Write these codes down.

    4

    Turn the Intrepid's electrical system off and exit the vehicle. Look up Chrysler's check engine flash codes online, and copy the appropriate definitions next to their corresponding numbers.

    5

    Return to the Intrepid and pop the hood. Start at the top of the list and investigate the engine. Scratch out code numbers and definitions once you have eliminated them from consideration.

1996 Intrepids and Later

    6

    Plug an OBD-II scanner into the Intrepid's diagnostic outlet. This data link connection will be under the dashboard on the driver's side. Turn the scanner on if it does not feature an auto-start. Scanners all operate slightly different by brand, so always give preference to the instructions listed in your scanner's handbook.

    7

    Turn the Intrepid's ignition key to "On" and start the electrical system. Your brand of scanner, however, might also require the engine running. If your scanner does not feature auto-retrieval, you will have to also key in a command to pull the codes from the system. How to do that depends solely on which scanner you own. You may have to press a button, or you may have to scroll through menus.

    8

    Consult your scanner's handbook for OBD-II coding descriptions. Most scanner's handbooks feature these towards the back. The handbook will likely only have the generic codes universal to all OBD-II compliant vehicles. Your Intrepid's manual will not have Chrysler's supplemental OBD-II codes, and you will have to find those online.

    9

    Generate a list of problems to troubleshoot. Place the trouble codes at the top, since they have happened enough to trigger the Intrepid's check engine light. Your scanner will also have access to "pending" codes. While these malfunctions have not had the frequency as trouble codes, they are still worth investigating. Place these codes on the lower part of the list.

    10

    Open the Intrepid's hood and investigate the engine. Once you have ruled out a code, cross the code and the definition off of your list.