Rabu, 30 September 2009

Alternator Warning Light Troubleshooting

Alternator Warning Light Troubleshooting

An illuminated alternator warning light typically indicates a low electrical charge. An automobile may run for an hour or so with a failed alternator, but the car needs to be driven to a safe location as it is unlikely to restart.

Belt Problems

    Problems with the alternator drive belt will cause the alternator to not properly charge the electrical system. A worn belt may stretch or otherwise fail to grip the alternator pulley. Worn drive belts will show cracks, hard spots or have a glazed appearance, all of which will require the belt to be replaced.

Wiring Problems

    Loose or corroded wiring can cause the alternator charge delivered to the engine to be low. Alternator wiring should be checked to ensure that lock nuts are tight, and that the connections and wiring have not been damaged. Battery terminals and cables are prone to corrosion and should be inspected as well.

Bad Alternator

    A bad alternator will often begin to make grinding noises as the internal bearings wear. However, an alternator may also fail without creating noise. A voltmeter can be used to test the voltage output of the alternator, but auto parts stores will typically test alternators without charge.

Ford F-150 Code 556

Modern cars and trucks have computers that control the vehicle's major systems. These computers send diagnostic codes that inform mechanics of any problems. Ford F-150 codes range from 11 (system pass) to 998 (hard fault present).

Reading the Codes

    You can read codes in one of two ways: by attaching a vehicle specific code reader or by connecting a voltmeter to the self-test connector. The reader or meter will receive the codes as pulses and interpret them by the number of times a light flashes on the reader or the needle of the volt meter moves. Find the location of the self-test connector in the owner's manual.

Code 556

    This code indicates that the primary circuit powering the fuel pump has become faulty. The fuel pump on Ford F150s is an electronic pump located in the fuel tank. The code can indicate a faulty pump or a break in the electrical circuit.

Considerations

    Replacing the fuel pump requires special tools that will not generate sparks. These tools are rubberized or made of brass. Due to the complex nature of accessing the fuel pump, have it replaced by a skilled mechanic.

How to Test for Bad Wheel Bearings

How to Test for Bad Wheel Bearings

Fitted around the axle and attached to the wheel hub assembly, wheel bearings have two purposes: to support the weight of a vehicle and to allow the tires to spin smoothly. A bearing must be lubricated as it is in constant friction with the spinning axle. Over time, wheel bearings can deteriorate due to the heavy weight that they support. Common problems that occur after 100,000 miles are leaks, which cause the bearings to lose lubricant and increase the friction with the axle. Wheel bearings must be tested at the first signs of trouble to prevent more serious and even fatal failures.

Instructions

    1

    Drive your vehicle and note any signs of wobbling from the wheels while turning. Pay close attention to any unusual grinding or moaning sounds coming from a particular wheel.

    2

    Park your car and set the emergency brake.

    3

    Raise the end of the vehicle where you noticed noise with a jack and secure it on jack stands. Place wheel chocks behind each of the wheels on the ground to prevent the car from rolling. Examine the raised tires for any uneven signs of wear on the treads. Place both hands on one of the tires and grip it tightly, with one hand at the top and one hand at the bottom. Try to rock the wheel back and forth. While a small amount of movement is normal (it should not feel snug but it should slightly move), excessive movement means that the bearings are damaged and will need to be replaced.

    4

    Rotate each raised tire manually, noting any noise that it makes while turning. Any type of grinding noise or irregularity in the rotation could mean that the bearings need to be replaced.

    5

    Raise the vehicle with the jack, remove the stands then lower it to the ground. Perform the above inspection on the other end of the car if necessary.

How to Troubleshoot Problems on a Chevrolet S-10 2.2 Liter Engine

How to Troubleshoot Problems on a Chevrolet S-10 2.2 Liter Engine

If a Chevrolet S10 is experiencing engine problems, you will likely notice immediately. Symptoms can range for engine noises to how the light truck handles while being driven. Yet, for every symptom, there are a variety of likely causes. Some parts of the engine are relatively easy to access, while other areas may be in remote, hard to access areas. Before opening the hood and looking in, have some guidance can help. The On-Board Diagnostic system can be that help. How to use the system depends on when the S10 was manufactured.

Instructions

1996 to Present

    1

    Locate the diagnostic outlet under the S10's dashboard. You will find it in the vicinity of the steering column.

    2

    Connect the S10's diagnostic outlet to an OBD-II scanner. Your scanner comes with a cable for this purpose.

    3

    Press the power button on the scanner. If your specific brand of scanner is preprogrammed to self activate, it will do so once it senses a data stream coming from the diagnostic system.

    4

    Insert your key into the S10's ignition, and turn to "On." This is start the truck's electrical system. If your scanner requires the engine running, turn the key to start and crank the engine.

    5

    Enter a "read" command. Some scanner's do this without you telling it. Look up the codes in your scanner's handbook, once the codes have been retrieved and displayed on the scanner's screen. The scanner's handbook may have a list of generic codes and descriptions. If it does not, then you will need to find both the generic OBD-II codes online, along with General Motor's specific codes. The S10's manual will not have them.

    6

    Order the list in the following way. At the top, place all the trouble codes. Below that, list all the codes labelled as "pending." You should pay closer attention to the trouble codes first. Those malfunctions have occurred frequently and recently. Codes labeled as "pending" have occurred with less frequency, but they could be trending towards a "trouble" classification.

    7

    Turn the S10 off. Turn the scanner off and disconnect it from the diagnostic outlet. Open the engine compartment for further investigation and trouble shooting. Consult your list of trouble and pending codes and cross them off one by one, until you've located the problem.

Chevy S10s Before 1996

    8

    Locate the Assembly Line Diagnostic Link. This outlet will be beneath the steering wheel.

    9

    Look at the outlet and locate two slots. The both will be on the top row, and far to the right, at the end of the row. They will be right next to each other. Connect them with a jumper wire.

    10

    Turn the S10's electrical system to "On." Watch the service engine soon light. It will start flashing code at you. Chevrolet's pre-OBD-II diagnostic code consists of two numbers. In service engine light code, the first number will be relayed on long flashes. The second number will be shorter flashes. There will be a pause between trouble codes. For example, code 15 will be one long flash and five shorter ones. Write all the codes down on a piece of paper.

    11

    Turn the S10 off, remove the jumper wire from the ALDL and sit behind a computer. You will have to find Chevrolet's flash codes and their meanings online. Add the code meanings to your list of numbers.

    12

    Return to your S10 and open the engine compartment. Using your list codes meanings, begin a more focused investigation of the engine and its components.

Sources of Rack & Pinion Steering Leaks

Sources of Rack & Pinion Steering Leaks

Rack and pinion systems are the most common steering arrangement in modern automobiles and most of them "boost" your steering input to make it easier to turn the wheels. Steering systems cans supply this boost via hydraulic fluid or through an electrical system, with the former more common in older cars, but still popular in never models. Sitting under high pressure, the hydraulic fluid could leak from a number of spots in the steering system.

High Pressure Power Steering Hose

    As its name implies, the high-pressure hose is under the greatest strain and, despite its robust construction, it is a common place for leaks to develop. This hose carries hydraulic fluid from the pump to the steering rack. The fluid is at considerably higher pressure as it leaves the pump and enters this hose and can therefore damage this particular portion of the steering system with time. Locate the steering pump in the vehicle and find the hose that exits the pump to identify this hose.

Low Pressure Hoses

    There are two hoses in the system that are under less pressure, but can still develop leaks. The first one is the hose connecting the reservoir to the pump: the supply hose. The fluid is not yet pressurized as it just enters the pump, but loose fits and wear and tear on this hose can lead to leaks. The second low pressure hose is the return hose. This carries excess fluid back to the reservoir to avoid overflow and is also prone to leaks over time due the same reason as the supply hose.

Power Rack

    The power rack, which is the assembly surrounding the front axle, can also develop leaks. If the seals are worn, hydraulic fluid can leak from the fluid lines that reach the end portion of the axle into the end bellows on the rack. The end bellows are at the end of the axle, very close to the wheels and have a plastic protective sleeve where the fluid could collect and mushroom if a leak is untreated. This can result in burst and the resulting release of slippery hydraulic fluid can lead to loss of control at high speeds.

Pinion Shaft

    The pinion is at the bottom of the rod that extends from the steering column towards the front wheels. The pinion features valves that open and close as you turn the steering wheel, which then send hydraulic fluid to either side and make it easier to turn the front wheels. Leakage around these valves is a possibility and is unfortunately difficult to detect at first. The mechanism is enclosed and hydraulic fluid may not necessarily seep out in the beginning.Specialized tools are often needed to identify and seal a leak around the pinion shaft.

Selasa, 29 September 2009

How to Test a 1990 Chevy S10 Ignition Module or Coil

The 1990 S-10 pickup and Blazer -- as well as its cousins from GMC -- used one of three different engines: a 2.5-liter inline-four, as well as the 2.8-liter and 4.3-liter V-6s. Ignition module and coil testing are fairly basic procedures once you know how to do them, and can save you big bucks compared to simply making assumptions and throwing parts at the thing.

Instructions

Testing the Module

    1

    Identify the wiring harnesses going into your distributor. You'll see two of them; a smaller one with two wires that supplies power to the ignition module, and a larger one with four wires that acts as the coil's input/output. Identify the wires. From the lefthand -- black wire -- to right, they are "ground," "bypass," "reference," and "EST," or Electronic Spark Timing.

    2

    Turn your ignition key to the "on" position, but do not start the truck. Poke the needle probes from your DMM into the two power wires in the smaller harness; you should get a constant reading of between about 5 volts. If voltage is significantly lower or nonexistent, then your coil module isn't getting power from the chassis.

    3

    Stick your black sensor probe into the "ground" wire on the larger harness, and your red probe into the "bypass" wire; these are the two left-hand wires on the harness. You should see a constant voltage in the bypass wire when the engine is off or running at under 400 rpm. Start the truck, if possible, and re-check the bypass wire. You should see no voltage in the bypass. If you do, then power isn't flowing through the module, and the module is likely bad.

    4

    Leave the black probe in the ground wire, and probe the "reference" wire -- the second one to the right. This wire supplies a constant 5 volts from the electronic control module. If you don't get a reading on this wire or the voltage is low, then you have a problem either in the computer or in the wiring between the computer and module.

    5

    Leave the engine running. Touch the black DMM probe to your negative battery terminal, and probe the EST wire on the far right. You should see a varying voltage that settles somewhere around 5 volts. No voltage output in this wire definitely indicates a bad ignition module.

Testing the Coil

    6

    Trace the thick wire coming from your distributor to the ignition coil, and unplug it from the coil output. Unplug the wiring harness that supplies your ignition coil with power.

    7

    Set your DMM to read in ohms of resistance, and touch the sensor probes to the power terminals on the coil, where the harness is plugged in; this is the "primary" circuit. You should get a reading of between 0.10 and 2.0 ohms. A reading of "0" or anything higher than 2.0 indicates a bad coil.

    8

    Lift one of the probes from your power terminals -- it doesn't matter which one -- and touch it to the coil output, where the distributor wire is plugged in. You should get a reading of between 6,000 and 30,000 ohms; any higher or lower than that and you've got a bad coil.

Senin, 28 September 2009

How to Test Fuel Sending Units

The fuel-sending unit in your vehicle is mounted inside the fuel tank. These units come equipped with a variable resistor connected to a float through a long wire. The float swings up and down depending on the amount of fuel inside your fuel tank, allowing the variable resistor to increase or decrease electrical current from the sending unit to the fuel gauge on your instrument panel.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the fuel pump fuse or relay from the vehicle and start the engine. Let it idle until it stalls. Crank the engine for about three seconds to finish relieving the fuel pressure from the system.

    2

    Siphon the fuel from the fuel tank through the fuel filler tube into an approved container using a hand pump. Bring the level down to 1/4 of a tank or less, if possible.

    3

    Disconnect the ground (black) battery cable with a wrench.

    4

    Raise the car rear wheels off the ground using a floor jack and support the vehicle with a couple of jack stands on each side. Block the front wheels with a couple of wooden blocks.

    5

    Support the fuel tank with the floor jack and unfasten the tank straps using a ratchet, long ratchet extension and socket.

    6

    Lower the fuel tank a few inches just enough to gain access to the fuel lines and electrical connector on top of the fuel pump and sending unit assembly. Inspect the electrical wires for a loose connection and damage that might prevent the sending unit from operating properly.

    7

    Unplug the electrical connector and disconnect the fuel hoses form the top of the fuel pump and sending unit assembly.

    8

    Rotate counterclockwise the lock ring on the fuel pump and sending unit assembly using a drift punch and a hammer. When the lock ring is released, remove the lock ring. Carefully lift the fuel pump and sending unit assembly and O-ring seal underneath out of the fuel tank.

    9

    Follow the sending unit electrical wires to the connector on top of the assembly. The sending unit is the component with the plastic float hooked to a long wire arm.

    10

    Connect the probes on a digital ohmmeter to the connectors of the two sending unit electrical wires using alligator clips on the ohmmeter probes.

    11

    Set your ohmmeter to 20,000 ohms and turn on the meter. Hold the fuel pump and sending unit assembly straight up and make a note of the resistance value on the meter's readout. Carefully swing the float arm up and hold it halfway between the lowest and highest point. Make a note of the resistance value on your meter readout. Finally, swing the arm all the way up and make a note the reading. Your first reading should have the highest resistance value, followed by the second and third. If the sending unit failed this test, replace it.

    12

    Swing the float arm up and down slowly. Make sure the resistance value changes smoothly as you move the float. If the resistance jumps, fluctuates erratically or goes to infinite, replace the sending unit.

    13

    Shake the float connected to the wire arm on the sending unit. If you can hear liquid splashing inside the float, replace the float or sending unit.

    14

    Replace the O-ring seal when reinstalling or replacing the fuel-sending unit.

Minggu, 27 September 2009

The Cause of Leaking Fuel Injectors

The Cause of Leaking Fuel Injectors

Fuel injection mixes fuel and air within an internal combustion engine. Fuel injectors appeared in the 1980s, replacing the carburetor. If a fuel injector is leaking, it causes problems, such as lower gas mileage and difficulty starting the vehicle.

Off-Center Pintle

    According to Deanna Sclar, author of "Auto Repair for Dummies," the primary cause of a leaking fuel injector is when the pintle is not sitting on the fuel injector's orifice correctly. The pintle is essentially a button that, when pressed into the fuel injector's orifice, releases fuel into the vehicle's system.

Additives

    When fuel additives do not burn evenly, they often settle on the pintle of the fuel injector and cause leakage. In addition, built-up fuel additives can cause oxygen sensor damage, affecting your vehicle's fuel level readings.

Repair or Replace

    No matter the cause of a leaking fuel injector, the best solution is to replace the fuel injector altogether. The exact cause of a leaking fuel injector is often difficult to diagnose and typically more expensive than simply replacing the part at a local automotive shop, notes Sclar.

How to Troubleshoot a 300Zx

How to Troubleshoot a 300Zx

The Nissan 300Zx is a two-door sports coupe that was produced by the Japanese automaker Nissan from 1983 to 2000. The car featured a 3-liter V6 engine that was connected to either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission. The steps needed to troubleshoot the Nissan 300zx is largely based on the problems you are experiencing with the car. Whether it is electrical or mechanical, troubleshooting is a step-by-step process eliminating potential problems until the possible cause is identified.

Instructions

    1

    Look under the Nissan 300Zx on a regular basis after the car has had an opportunity to sit with the engine turned off for a period of time. Look under the front and rear of the car. You are looking signs of small leaks from the car. Often these small leaks can be the first indication of larger problem down the road. The color of the liquid can give you an indication of the source. A black liquid is most likely oil. Green liquid is engine coolant, red liquid could be brake, transmission or steering fluids.

    2

    Insert the key into the Nissan 300Zx's ignition and turn the key to start the car. Listen for sounds as you do this. If the car does not start, check to see if the radio and other electrical items are functioning. If they are, this tells you the battery is likely not the cause of the starting problem. If you heard a clicking noise when you were starting the car, this is an indication the starter motor needs to be serviced or replaced. Remove the key from the ignition and pull the lever to open the engine hood.

    3

    Lift the engine hood and disconnect the spark plug wires, lifting them off the top of the spark plugs. Use a spark plug wrench and remove the spark plugs from the engine. Inspect each spark plug and use a wire brush to clean off any carbon buildup that is on the bottom of the plug. If the old spark plug has considerable carbon buildup, replace it with a new one. Insert and tighten the spark plug and reconnect the spark plug wire.

    4

    Drive the Nissan 300Zx, apply the brakes and observe if the steering wheel shakes or if there is a pulsing feeling through the steering wheel or brake pedal. This can be an indication that the brake rotors are not wearing evenly. The brakes should be inspected as soon as possible. If the brakes make a squeaking or grinding noise, this is an indication that the brake pads have worn to their "wear bars" and should be replaced.

Sabtu, 26 September 2009

The Symptoms of a Bad Linear EGR Valve

The Symptoms of a Bad Linear EGR Valve

The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve in a car or truck is part of the vehicle's emissions control system. The EGR valve controls nitrous oxide emissions by pushing some of the emissions back into the engine. Over time, EGR valves can malfunction due to carbon buildup and other issues with the engine, especially if the vehicle has problems with its fuel mixture. A linear EGR valve is different from a regular EGR valve because it uses a computer to control pressure rather than a vacuum.

Rough Idle

    When the linear EGR valve does not close properly, too much exhaust enters the intake and causes the vehicle to run poorly at an idle. The extra air in the intake affects the vehicle's fuel mixture and will cause it to run lean, meaning it is getting too much air and not enough fuel. If the condition is severe enough, the car may also stall out at an idle or misfire under operation.

Starting Problems

    You may have a difficult time starting your car or truck if the linear EGR valve does not close fully. These starting problems are caused because of the loss of pressure in the intake manifold. A vehicle's intake must have the correct amount of pressure in order to start properly.

Knocking or Pinging

    If the exhaust port on the linear EGR valve becomes blocked with carbon, your vehicle may develop what is called a spark knock. This is a knocking or pinging noise that occurs when fuel periodically explodes inside the engine instead of burning smoothly. It will most commonly be heard when the vehicle is under a heavy work load, such as towing a trailer.

Jumat, 25 September 2009

What Causes Windshields to Crack?

What Causes Windshields to Crack?

Windshield cracks can confound the most astute vehicle owner, especially when there were no outward signs of a hole, chip or crack to begin with. The next day or two might bring another startling revelation; the crack has lengthened and crossed the entire windshield, distorting his view. The answer lies with a few basic physics facts and also some very obvious reasons.

Direct Impact--Road Gravel

    The most obvious and damaging windshield cracks can be attributed to road hazard impacts, particularly gravel, stones and rocks. They can be kicked up from behind a vehicle or slung across the lane from a car passing in the opposite direction. Obvious strikes show themselves as large chips or holes, which might extend out with primary cracks or "spider-webbing." Some small gravel pieces can leave only a small pit or chip, sometimes microscopic in size, which can be very hard to spot. These small pits or chips collect moisture, and the moisture molecules can expand and contract, pushing the glass in all directions, eventually forming a groove. Such small pits and chips, if not repaired immediately, can expand out and cover the windshield.

Structural Weakness

    The majority of all cracks have their origins very near the edges of the windshield at a point about three inches away from the windshield end mold. Due to the manufacturing process, a weak spot occurs here more often, caused by a thermal effect during the casting process. Since the composition of glass consists of particles and not a liquid substance, the particles have no stable gripping surface at the edge where no glass exists. Also, the mechanical stress that must be used to force the two pieces of glass together against the interior plastic liner also causes imperfections in and around the windshield edges. The very nature of the windshield edge exposes it to more jarring stress, since it binds into the windshield mount galley at the end. The larger, middle area of the windshield can flex and absorb shock, whereas the edge of the windshield must endure the first and heaviest stress loads put upon it.

Extreme Cold

    Moisture can cause cracks to expand at an alarming rate.
    Moisture can cause cracks to expand at an alarming rate.

    Variations in temperature that expand and contract the windshield on a continuous basis can often produce small cracks that travel the length of the glass. If the inside air of the vehicle cabin registers 75 degrees and the outside air temperature reads 30 degrees, the inside layer of glass can expand while the outside layer of glass contracts, causing distortion. Any small defect that exists in the windshield can stress and begin to crack. More temperature variation, with the addition of moisture on the windshield, can accelerate the crack's travel.

Hail

    A deluge of large hail in the form of rock-like stones can impact the glass and cause obvious chip and crack damage. What's worse, multiple strikes can pepper the windshield with numerous cracks and sometimes holes, rendering it useless to repair. Hail damage can be infrequent, but when present can be devastating to all glass panels on the vehicle.

Does Road Water Affect a Car's Ability to Start?

Electricity and water are like fire and ice: eternal nemeses that must find some way to coexist in the same world. The problem here is that while ice rarely encounters fire, cars don't often go a month without running into water in some form or another -- so a car that doesn't work in the rain ends up sacrificing at least half of its versatility.

Water in the System

    Engines are not made to run underwater, so if you get an engine wet enough, something is bound to go wrong. Low-hanging sensors and sensor harnesses -- particularly the crankshaft position, oxygen, coolant temperature and knock sensors -- are the most vulnerable, but anything that gets wet is suspect. The problem likely isn't the sensor itself so much as it is the connector where it plugs into the wiring harness; any water in there will short-circuit the sensor's output and cause a temporary sensor failure.

Water in the Distributor

    Rain and distributors have never gotten along. Rain itself is only a symptom in this case; the primary problem is condensation building up inside the distributor cap. As the components in a distributor cool, they collect droplets of water that can pool in the distributor or act as a conduit to scatter the spark. The solution is to buy a new cap to eliminate the possibility of cracks allowing moisture in, and seal the cap to the distributor body with RTV silicone sealant.

Weak Ignition System

    Condensation in the distributor may be a problem in and of itself, but it may just as well be an aggravating factor for an already-weak ignition system. Check the engine's ground strap to ensure the coil has a sufficient ground, then have the coil checked to ensure it's putting out the proper voltage. Inspect the ignition module for proper voltage signal and resistance, and make sure all of your harness connections are snug and watertight.

Other Possibilities

    Some vehicles are more susceptible to water-related problems than others. For instance, many vehicles draw cool air in from outside the vehicle via a duct in the top of the wheel-well. A brilliant idea, except that water from the wheel can sling up through that vent and soak the air filter. Once that happens, the engine runs out of air and dies. Extremely wet or humid air also can play tricks on your mass airflow sensor, which uses a hot wire cooled by incoming airflow to determine air volume.

Kamis, 24 September 2009

How do I Troubleshoot a Convertible BMW Hood?

How do I Troubleshoot a Convertible BMW Hood?

Troubleshooting a hood on a BMW convertible is no different than troubleshooting the hood on a non-convertible. Only the trunk and A-pillar are different on a convertible. The easiest way to troubleshoot a BMW hood is to open it and do a visual inspection. The swing arms that rotate the hood are simple mechanical parts, and any damage will be obvious. The hood will also be misaligned with the front body panels if the any of the swing arms are damaged or if the hood latch is not engaging properly.

Instructions

    1

    Hit the hood release buttom; this is generally located to the left of the steering wheel on the dash but may be in a different location depending upon the model of BMW and model year. If the hood latch is engaging properly you will hear a clunk and a pop as the latch disengages the hood's U-attachment point. If the hood does not pop up then there may be a problem with either the wiring or the latch.

    2

    Use a flathead screwdriver to manually release the hood latch if it is broken. The latch mechanism is located in the center front of the hoodline. Use a prybar to gently prop the hood up until the latch won't budge anymore, but do not force anything. Then use a flathead screwdriver to push the latch claw out of the U-attachment. If the swing arms are broken you may need to use significant force to raise the hood up.

    3

    Prop the hood up with the hood prop; if it is missing then use a wooden stick. Examine the swing arms located at the rear corners of the hood for damage or distortion. If you compare the arms to each other, they should be perfect mirror images of each other. If they are in alignment then so will be the hood gaps between the hood panel and the front body panels.

    4

    Close the hood. The weight of the hood should close and engage the hood latch by itself. If it does not then you will need to lower the hood by hand, but do it carefully, as the weight is enough to break fingers.

How to Troubleshoot Car Problems Online

How to Troubleshoot Car Problems Online

To diagnose car problems, owners can take their car to an auto repair expert or send one a message online. For people who have a busy schedule, online auto experts are able to troubleshoot your problems in a short time and give you helpful answers. While auto repair dealerships have regular business hours, online expert websites offer services 24 hours a day. This service can also function as a second opinion prior to deciding on costly auto repairs.

Instructions

    1

    Visit an online car trouble diagnosis website.

    2

    Type the car issue you are dealing with in the question box.

    3

    Select an expert.

    4

    Select "Get an Answer".

    5

    Enter payment information. The fee amount will be added to your personal credit balance with the website. It will be deducted from your credit balance only if you accept the answer to your question.

    6

    Carefully read the answer to your question.

    7

    Select "Accept" if the answer was helpful or disregard the answer if it was not.

What Is the Problem When Your Car's Transmission Stays in First Gear?

What Is the Problem When Your Car's Transmission Stays in First Gear?

Along surface streets and in residential neighborhoods, your automatic transmission gets a workout, shifting gears constantly. In many instances three to four gear up-shifts occur just to get to the next red light, where the process begins again. The frequency of stops encountered on even simple errands can involve hundreds of transmission functions every hour. Intricate and complex operations take place in all automatic transmissions, and many factors could contribute to a malfunction that keeps a vehicle in first gear.

Transmission Fluid

    Automatic transmissions require the correct amount of fluid specified by the vehicle manufacturer. Check the condition of the fluid by placing a drop of new fluid next to a sample from the transmission on a white paper towel. A dark color or burnt odor from the transmission fluid indicates it needs to be replaced. Metallic residue in the fluid that resembles silver or copper may signify mechanical problems.

Linkage

    Some automatic transmissions rely on linkage rods or cables to determine gear selection and throttle position. Such components provide input that the transmission uses to determine proper response. The input information must be precise in order to facilitate proper transmission function. Gear selectors or throttle linkages that are out of adjustment could cause the vehicle to remain in first gear. Adjustments should be made to manufacturer's specifications to restore normal transmission operation.

Data Input

    Older automatic transmissions use hydraulics to measure vehicle speed and engine load. Governors are mechanical-over-hydraulic apparatuses that measure speed and permit fluid flow that enables shifting. Shift modulators react to vacuum signals from the engine to determine the load placed on the vehicle. Either of these devices may be externally located on the transmission case and can be diagnosed without removing or dis-assembling the transmission. Some expertise is required to make an effective diagnosis.

Sensors

    However the data are provided, a transmission must sense the gear range selected, throttle position and engine load. Vehicle speed is also a factor that the transmission uses to time shift points and gear retention. Late-model vehicles have electronic sensors that input data to a computer module. The computer activates devices in the transmission, according to the data received. Accurate and effective repair of electronic sensors and devices requires the use of specialty tools by professionals.

Rabu, 23 September 2009

How to Troubleshoot a 1997 Plymouth Breeze That Will Not Start

How to Troubleshoot a 1997 Plymouth Breeze That Will Not Start

The Breeze is a mid-size sedan manufactured by General Motors, under the Plymouth brand, between the 1996 and 2000 model years. Most engine-related issues concerning the Breeze can typically be limited to either the ignition system or the fuel-delivery components. When troubleshooting why the Breeze isn't starting, the answer can usually be found in one of these two places.

Instructions

The Breeze Will Not Crank

    1

    Try jump-starting the Breeze, because the battery may simply be dead.

    2

    Let the Breeze run for 10 to15 minutes if the jump is successful. This will give the battery a chance to charge.

    3

    Detach the jumper cables and turn off the Breeze. Attempt to start the car again. If the Breeze doesn't start at this point, the problem can typically be diagnosed as a bad battery, which will need to be replaced.

The Breeze Cranks

    4

    Check the gas tank to ensure that it has fuel.

    5

    Inspect each spark plug using the spark tester, replacing any that are defective.

    6

    Remove the timing belt cover and inspect the timing belt. If it is broken or out of position, it will need to be replaced or refitted by a qualified mechanic, as this is an extremely complicated repair.

    7

    Listen for the fuel pump to power up when turning the ignition key. If you cannot hear the fuel pump, have a qualified mechanic inspect it to ensure it is working properly.

What Happens If the Intake Manifold Is Not Attached Securely?

What Happens If the Intake Manifold Is Not Attached Securely?

A car's engine relies on a mix of fuel and air for combustion. The intake manifold provides the piping passage for the fuel and air mixture to reach the engine's cylinders. It might develop problems if not properly attached.

Function

    The intake manifold is bolted to the engine with a gasket seal to prevent leakage. The gasket allows the constant motion of the pistons to create a vacuum. The vacuum effect draws fuel into the carburetor.

Effects

    Vacuum leaks might occur if the intake manifold is not properly secured to the engine. This vacuum process keeps unwanted air levels out of the fuel mixture chamber. A leak often effects the car's functioning and gas efficiency.

Significance

    An unsecured intake manifold might cause the engine to stall, hesitate, misfire, idle roughly or idle at an improper speed. This is due to an imbalanced fuel to air ratio.

Selasa, 22 September 2009

How to Test the TPS Sensor on the 1990 Ford F-150

The TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) in your 1990 Ford F-150 is a type of variable resistor called a potentiometer, used by the on-board computer to determine the amount the throttle is open. A 5-volt reference signal goes to the sensor from the computer. As the throttle is opened, the sensor lowers its resistance and passes more of the reference voltage back to the computer through the signal-return wire. The computer uses this information, along with other sensor input, to determine engine load and calculate fuel and ignition system requirements.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the ignition key to the run position. Turn the digital volt/ohm meter on and set the controls for d/c volts. Verify that the 5-volt reference signal is present by touching the black meter lead to the engine block and piercing the orange wire on the TPS sensor wiring with the red meter lead. The meter should indicate approximately 5 volts. If there is no voltage, check and replace the fuses as needed.

    2

    Verify the sensor ground by piercing the black TPS wire with the red meter lead while touching the black meter lead to the engine. The voltage indicated by the meter should be less than .3 volts. This is a "voltage drop test." If the voltage is above .3 volts, clean the chassis ground connection on the fender well.

    3

    Verify that the signal return operates smoothly with no drop-outs as the throttle is opened slowly. Do this by piercing the green TPS wire with the red meter lead and touching the black meter lead to the engine. Have an assistant push the gas pedal slowly to the floor and slowly release it. The voltage indicated on the meter should sweep smoothly from .5 volts to 4.9 volts and back to .5 volts, without dropping to 0 volts or sticking at one voltage. Replace the sensor if the voltage drops to 0 or sticks during the test.

The Procedure to Troubleshoot a Dodge Caravan Engine

The Procedure to Troubleshoot a Dodge Caravan Engine

A Dodge Caravan's engine is a complex machine, and for every symptom of a problem that arises, there could be a couple of explanations. So, while troubleshooting a Caravan's engine sometimes only takes a good set of eyes while examining an engine, it still can be time consuming. The Caravan's On-Board Diagnostic system can streamline this process and cut out a number of false leads. How to use the OBD system depends on the year the Caravan was manufactured. The second generation of engine diagnostics became standardized in 1996. Caravans before that year use a totally different process.

Instructions

Caravans 1996 and Later

    1

    Plug an OBD-II scanner into the Caravan's diagnostic Data Link Connection. The DLC outlet will be located beneath the driver's side dash and somewhere between the gas pedal and the left side kick panel.

    2

    Consult your scanner's user manual for the exact process. Button and faceplate orientations differ by brand of scanner, and so does the command entering process. Some scanners will switch on once sensing an incoming data stream from an OBD-II system. If you do not own this type of scanner, you will have to press the power button and turn the device on.

    3

    Turn either the Caravan's engine or the electrical system on. Your scanner device will require one or the other. If your scanner is not pre-programmed to retrieve OBD-II codes, you will have to key the appropriate button and enter a "Scan" or "Retrieve" command.

    4

    Read through the codes your scanner device retrieved. Some may be designated as "trouble" and some may be designated as "pending." Make a list with the trouble codes at the top and the pending codes at the bottom. Leave ample space next to the alphanumeric codes for later use.

    5

    Turn the Caravan's engine and/or electrical system off and remove the key from the ignition. Consult your scanner's manual for the OBD-II generic trouble codes. If the codes on your list are not defined in the manual, then you will have to look up Chrysler's supplemental OBD-II codes online. The Caravan's owner manual will not contain that information. Once you have found all the relevant code definitions, copy them onto your list next to the appropriate codes.

    6

    Return to your Caravan and open the hood to the engine compartment. Start with the trouble codes first, as they have happened frequently and set off your check engine light. Cross out codes once you have eliminated them from consideration. Then, move onto the pending codes. If you still cannot locate the problem, consider taking the vehicle to a Chrysler-approved mechanic.

Caravans 1995 and Earlier

    7

    Insert your key into the Caravan's ignition. Within the span of five seconds, turn the key back and forth in the following sequence: ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON.

    8

    Watch the check engine light. It will begin to start flashing code at you. Count the flashes. Chrysler's OBD-I flash codes are sets of two numbers. The first number will flash, and a short pause will follow before the second number flashes. So code 38 will be three flashes, a pause, and eight more flashes. There will be a longer pause between code sets. Write all of these numbers down.

    9

    Turn the Caravan's electrical system off and remove the key from the ignition. Exit the vehicle and sit behind a computer. You will need to find Chrysler's OBD-I codes, and the owner's manual will not have them. Once you locate code descriptions, jot them down next to code numbers your recorded in Step 2.

    10

    Return to your Caravan and pop the hood. Investigate every code on your list and cross them out once they have been eliminated from consideration. If your list does not provide an answer and you are stumped, seek out a professional mechanic.

Senin, 21 September 2009

Clutch Cable Symptoms

Clutch Cable Symptoms

Your vehicle's clutch system shift gears without causing damage to the engine. There are several components of the clutch system, such as the clutch cable, that keep it working properly. The clutch cable disengages the clutch plates when the clutch pedal is depressed, allowing the gears to shift smoothly. If the clutch cable stretches or breaks, it will not work properly, and various symptoms will develop.

Hard Pedal

    A bad clutch cable can cause immobility in the clutch pedal. The pedal will often feel stiff and resist depression; and if too much pressure is applied to a resistant pedal, the clutch cable will often break, causing the pedal to stick to the floor. If this happens, the pedal will not return to its normal position and should be replaced.

Slipping

    A clutch that frequently slips out of gear can indicate a problem with the clutch cable. Basically, slipping is when the gear slides into another gear position. For instance, your vehicle may start moving, even though the gear shift is positioned in park, because the clutch moved on its own. Slipping mostly happens when an engine is overloaded, such as when driving up a hill or accelerating at high speeds.

No Shifting

    A broken or stretched clutch cable can cause symptoms that resemble other clutch problems, particularly complete failure of the clutch. The clutch will often stop working altogether, causing the vehicle to remain stationary when shifted into gear.

Other Symptoms

    A leaking clutch cable is a definite sign of a problem, and inspecting the cable will indicate if leaks are present. Leaks may happen if the clutch cable is broken or detached; and if the latter is the problem, reconnecting the cable will solve it. Also, when the clutch cable does not regulate the clutch plates, the vehicle will often jolt forward or jerk when the engine is started.

Problems With an E350 Mercedes

Problems With an E350 Mercedes

The Mercedes-Benz E350 has only been in production since 2005 and has no reported recalls as of 2010. Carcomplaints.com has reported a National Highway Traffic Safety Association investigation into a steering wheel air-bag defect. Other problems have arisen with this E350 Mercedes according to Repairpal.com.

Front Thrust Link Bearings Cracking

    The Mercedes E350 has problems with premature tire wear, causing the tread to wear irregularly on the front tires. This tire wear is due to the front thrust link bearings cracking and leaking oil. These bearings are fluid filled and when they crack they create unusual vibration in the suspension. The unusual vibration in the front suspension causes the tires to wear prematurely. Oil will begin to leak out onto the pavement when these bearings crack. Once this leaking begins, the E350 owner needs to have the Mercedes taken back into the dealership and have them replaced before major problems are created.

Crankshaft Position Sensor Failure

    The crankshaft position sensor is an electrical device that records the rotations of the crankshaft. Repairpal.com reports that the Mercedes E350 has a problem with the crankshaft position sensor failing in the automobile. This sensor is used by the E350 to control ignition and injector timing, which assists the Mercedes in fuel efficiency. When this sensor fail the Mercedes begins to stall and idle roughly. The only correction for this problem is to have the dealership replace the crankshaft position sensor.

Airmatic Pump Failure

    The Mercedes-Benz E350 has a problem with the airmatic pump motor failing, according to Repairpal.com. The relays have been sticking, causing the pump to run at all times, even when the E350 is turned off. This causes the battery to run down and burns out the airmatic pump motor. The airmatic pump is used to stabilize the shocks on the Mercedes to provide a smoother ride of the E350. Reports also show that the airmatic pump mounting bushings have been wearing out, creating noise under the front of the car when driving over rough roads.

Minggu, 20 September 2009

Geo Prizm Clutch Replacement Tips

Geo Prizm Clutch Replacement Tips

The Geo Prizm, also called Chevrolet Prizm, has a reputation for its design and fuel efficiency. This front-wheel drive, four-door sedan has a 1.6-liter, 14-valve engine that produces 105 horsepower paired with a five-speed manual transmission. A hard pedal and grinding noises indicate that the clutch requires replacement.

Transaxle Removal

    Remove the Geo Prizm clutch master cylinder. Disconnect the positive battery cable and the clutch cable. Raise the vehicle with a jack, and remove the transaxle. Use a wrench to open the bolts surrounding the Geo flywheel bell housing and push the transaxle away from the engine. In a 1993 Geo Prizm, the clutch disc attaches via the pressure plate.

Clutch Cable Replacement

    Remove the bolts from the pressure plate to take out the clutch disc. Check for any rips or cuts on the flywheel's friction surface. Disconnect the Geo clutch cable by removing it from the clutch pedal and the cable attachment, which operates the clutch assembly. Look for any leaks around the transaxle's input shaft. If you find any leaks, replace it. Also, replace the flywheel if the needle bearings are not lubricated. Resurface the Geo flywheel, and replace the old seal with a new one.

Clutch Installation

    Attach the clutch disc to the pressure plate and tighten the bolts using the wrench. On the transaxle, connect the new needle bearings to the release fork. Mount the pressure plate to the transaxle, and tighten the bolts. Avoid using any force when moving the transaxle to a position where the input shafts fix into the clutch disc's hole.

Master Cylinder Replacement

    Attach the transaxle to the engine, and tighten the bolts. Connect the clutch cable, and plug in the positive battery cable. Replace the Geo Prizm clutch master cylinder. Lower the vehicle by releasing the jack. Check whether the clutch pedal returns back to its normal position when depressed.

How to Troubleshoot a Disc Brake

Like any of a vehicle's components, the disc brakes can wear down after extended use. If you suspect the disc brakes in your vehicle are not performing as well as they should be, there are several ways to troubleshoot them and pinpoint the problem. Experienced home mechanics should have no problem following these steps.

Instructions

    1

    Test drive the vehicle at a speed of 40 mph and apply the brakes. If the brake pedal shakes or pulsates, the rotors are warped and need to be machined or replaced. Listen for a squealing noise when the brakes are applied. A squealing noise is emitted from a low brake pad sensor, which is designed to rub on the rotor when the pads are worn to the point of requiring replacement. Pay attention to the amount of brake travel before the brakes become effective. If the brake pedal travels three inches or more, the pads are worn severely or the rear brakes are out of adjustment.

    2

    Stop the vehicle and place the transmission in neutral or park. Depending on which type of parking brake is utilized, push the pedal or pull the handle to apply the parking brake. If the pedal or handle has more than three inches of travel, the rear brakes are severely worn.

    3

    Loosen all the lug nuts on all four wheels, but do not attempt to remove them. Raise the front of the vehicle with the floor jack and place jack stands under the frame. Lower the vehicle onto the stands. Continue removing the lug nuts, followed by the wheel.

    4

    Examine the brake pads for wear relative to their thickness. The pads will be three or more times thicker than their metal backing plate when new. The low brake sensor visible on the end of the pads should not be close to the current thickness of the pad if they are still serviceable.

    5

    Look for a number stamped on the front of the brake rotor hub. The abbreviation "MIN," followed by a number, will dictate the minimum safe thickness of the rotor for serviceability. Measure the thickness of the rotor using the micrometer. Subtract .20 from the thickness to determine how thick it will be after machining. If the number is higher than the minimum thickness, the rotors can be machined. If not, they should be replaced.

    6

    Compare the amount of pad wear on both sides of the vehicle. If the pads are worn on one side more than the other, the side with the lowest pads has a problem. Either the caliper piston is faulty, or the slider bolts are corroded, preventing the caliper from sliding.

    7

    Examine the heat being generated by the brakes after driving the vehicle. Do not touch the wheel, as it may be very hot, but hold your hand close and attempt to feel any unusual heat being emitted. If an inordinate amount of heat is being generated, the caliper is locking up and not releasing properly. This could either be corroded slider bolts, a frozen caliper piston, or a collapsed rubber brake hose.

Why Won't My Scooter Start?

Why Won't My Scooter Start?

Scooter starting problems are frustrating to the rider. Troubleshooting your scooter can help identify what parts may be malfunctioning. Start by checking the fuel in the bike. If your gas gauge is malfunctioning, you may be simply out of fuel.

Improper Storage

    Check your gas cap gasket and air filter.
    Check your gas cap gasket and air filter.

    The most common problem for scooters is caused by improper winter storage. Check the quality of the gas in the tank. Old gas will have a varnish-like smell to it. If the cap gasket has deteriorated, bits of it will be floating in the gas and the filter may be plugged with the material.

Air Filter

    Check your air filter often, especially if you ride in dusty conditions. A plugged air filter can act like an engine with the choke on. However, never operation your scooter without the air filter. This will damage your scooter.

Spark Plug

    Check your spark plug wires to make sure they are connected. Check your spark plug to make sure it's functioning. The easiest way is to see if your spark plug is firing is to remove it and put it back in the spark plug cap. Be sure there is good metal contact. Head to a slightly dark area and try to start the bike. If the spark plug is good, you should see an obvious spark.

Sabtu, 19 September 2009

Chevy Tahoe Door Lock Problems

Chevy Tahoe Door Lock Problems

The Chevrolet Tahoe, a full-size sport utility vehicle available in four-wheel drive, was introduced in 1995. Although Edmunds.com contends that the Tahoe's interior is superior in both "quality and design," it suffers from multiple door lock problems.

Inoperative Locks

    Chevrolet technical service bulletins (TSBs) indicate that a common problem amongst second generation (2000 to 2006) Tahoe models is a failure to operate the locks using the remote keyless entry feature. The keyless entry mechanism will either intermittently fail to unlock/lock the vehicle or fail entirely.

Manual Lock

    Chevrolet TSBs report that 2000 to 2006 Tahoe models suffer from manual lock disengagement. Customers reported that the manual lock lever may become loose and/or completely disengage from the door panel.

Solution

    TSBs indicate that a disengaged manual lock can be remedied by repairing the lock lever. The Tahoe's keyless entry malfunction can be fixed by reprogramming the door module, which can be performed at an authorized Chevrolet dealership.

Toyota Camry 95 Distributor Coil Troubleshooting

The 1995 Toyota Camry was available as a coupe, sedan or wagon. All three types of the 1995 Camry were equipped with a 2.2-liter in-line four-cylinder engine in the base model, with an optional 3.0-liter V-6 available as an upgrade. A distributor-style ignition is used in the 2.2-liter engine in the 1995 Camry. A distributorless ignition system is used in the 3.0-liter V-6, with individual ignition coils above each cylinder. Testing procedures and specifications for the engine sizes are different.

Instructions

2.2-liter Ignition Distributor and Coil Testing

    1

    Open the hood and set the prop rod. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery, using a ratchet and socket. Remove the lid of the air cleaner housing. Loosen the hose clamp that holds the air intake tube to the throttle body assembly, with a ratchet and socket. Remove the entire intake tube and filter housing lid from the engine, and place the assembly away from your work area.

    2

    Locate the ignition distributor, just below the upper intake manifold on the driver's side of the engine. Place tabs of masking tape on all of the ignition wires attached to the distributor. Mark the wires from 1 through 4, using the stamped numbers on the distributor as a guide, with a black marker. If the numbers are not present, use the numbers 1 through 4 from left to right on the engine, and mark each wire according to its position on the engine. Mark the center ignition wire with an X.

    3

    Remove the distributor cap mounting bolts with your ratchet and socket. Remove the cap from the distributor. Mark the position of the end of the distributor rotor in correlation with the distributor body. It is important that you put the rotor back on in the exact same position from where you removed it. Remove the ignition coil dust cover from inside the distributor, with a Phillips screwdriver or Torx bit hand driver.

    4

    Turn the dial indicator on your multimeter to the ohms setting. Insert the red probe from the meter onto the positive terminal, marked by the +, and the black probe onto the negative terminal, marked by the -, to test the primary winding on the coil. The measurement on a cold engine should be between 0.36 and 0.55 ohms. The measurement on a warm engine should be between 0.45 and 0.65 ohms. If the resistance measurement is not within these specifications, the coil is bad and needs to be replaced.

    5

    Insert the red probe from the multimeter onto the "+." Place the black probe onto the high tension post at the bottom center of the coil, and measure the secondary winding on the coil. The measurement should be between 9,000 and 15,000 ohms if the engine is cold. The measurement should be between 11,400 and 18,100 ohms if the engine is hot. If the measurement is not within these specifications, replace the coil.

    6

    Insert the rotor back onto the distributor, making sure to align the rotor with the mark you made during removal. Measure the air gap between the rotor and the ignition coil, using a feeler gauge set. The measurement between the rotor and coil should be between 0.0008 and 0.0016 -- in thousandths of an inch. If the measurement is not within these specifications, remove and replace the entire distributor.

    7

    Place the red probe of the multimeter onto the "Ne+" prong of the electrical connector, on the distributor. This is the farthest prong to the right. Place the black probe onto the next prong, which is the "Ne-" prong. Measure the resistance between the two prongs. The measurement should be between 370 and 550 ohms if the engine is cold and between 475 and 650 ohms if the engine is hot. If the measurement is not within these specifications, replace the entire distributor.

    8

    Place the red probe onto the "G+" prong of the electrical connector, on the distributor, which is the farthest prong to the left of the connector. Place the black probe onto the next prong to the right, which is the "G-" prong. Measure the resistance between the two prongs. The resistance should be between 185 and 275 ohms if the engine is cold and between 240 and 325 ohms if the engine is hot. If the measurement is not within these specifications, replace the entire distributor assembly.

    9

    Assembly of the coil and distributor is the opposite of the tear down process. Make sure you match the mark on the rotor with the housing mark. Tighten all screws so that they are snug, as applying torque may crack or damage the plastic parts. Install the ignition wires in the order that they were removed from the distributor cap.

3.0-liter V-6 Ignition Coil Testing.

    10

    Open the hood and set the prop rod. Remove the negative battery cable from the battery, with a ratchet and socket. Remove the two nuts on the front of the engine V-bank cover, which covers the ignition coils. Remove the cover from the engine.

    11

    Remove the electrical connector from a single coil. Measure the resistance between the two electrical connector prongs on the coil, using a multimeter on ohms setting. The resistance between the two prongs should be between 0.54 and 0.84 if the engine is cold, between 0.68 and 0.98 if the engine is warm. If the measurement you take is not within these specifications, remove and replace the ignition coil. Install the electrical connector if the coil is good.

    12

    Repeat Step 2 of this project to test the other three coils. Replace individual or all coils as needed. Reconnect the negative battery cable when you are finished testing or replacing the ignition coils. Tighten the battery cable snug, with a ratchet and socket.

How to Perform a Self Diagnostic Test on a 1999 Jeep Cherokee

How to Perform a Self Diagnostic Test on a 1999 Jeep Cherokee

The 1999 Jeep Cherokee is equipped with an on-board diagnostic center, also called the OBD. The '99 series has the second OBD system, also known as OBD2 or OBD-II. This system is more sophisticated than the original OBD, which was created in the 1970s and early 1980s primarily to monitor car emissions. The OBD-II in the 1999 Jeep monitors all parts of the Cherokee's functions, including the chassis, accessories and body. Running a self-diagnosis highlights the Cherokee's problem areas so they can be easily identified and fixed.

Instructions

    1

    Park the Jeep in a well lit, level area and turn off the engine. The diagnostic sequence won't activate while the engine is operating.

    2
    The test port is on the driver's side in most vehicles, but is sometimes on the passenger's side.
    The test port is on the driver's side in most vehicles, but is sometimes on the passenger's side.

    Locate the test plug-in. It's a small, square electrical port found under the driver's side dash. Pry off the plastic cover, if it has one, to expose the ports.

    3

    Plug the scanner into the test port. Turn the ignition key "On". The scanner will come on automatically.

    4

    Follow the prompt on the scanner to retrieve the diagnostic codes stored in the Jeep's computer. Write down the codes that appear and check their meanings in your service manual.

Jumat, 18 September 2009

Rebuilt Starters That Make a Whining Noise

Rebuilt Starters That Make a Whining Noise

Starter problems can cause a significant amount of inconvenience for vehicle owners. Without a properly functioning starter, your car or truck will not start. Rebuilt starters are commonly placed in cars and trucks as an alternative to a brand-new starter. However since rebuilt starters are not brand-new, they may experience problems more quickly than a brand-new starter will. Knowing the causes of starter whining can give you a head-start in anticipating necessary starter repairs.

What is a Starter?

    Inside your car's starter is a high-current electric motor that generates power using electricity from the battery.Your car's starter uses that electricity to generate enough power to turn a flywheel and in turn start the engine when you turn the key.

Starter Whining

    If your car starter is whining, it is a sign that there is a problem with the starter itself. According to "Turbo Magazine," whining in a starter is usually caused by a problem with the starter's interior drive gears or with a worn-out flywheel that does not turn properly.

Is Whining a Problem?

    A whining starter should not be ignored because there's a good chance that the problem causing the whining will continue to develop until the starter is unable to function. Because your starter has been newly rebuilt, you should have your mechanic check the engine flywheel first to determine if that is the source of the whining. However, if there is nothing wrong with the flywheel, your starter may need to be replaced or rebuilt again.

Rebuilt Starters

    If you have recently replaced your starter, you should not have problems with the starter and you should not hear any unusual noises coming from it. However, because most starters on the market have actually been rebuilt and are not new items, you may occasionally encounter a starter that was not rebuilt properly. If this is the case, take your whining starter to a mechanic and have it checked out as soon as possible.

What Are the Symptoms of Dead Cell on a Car Battery?

What Are the Symptoms of Dead Cell on a Car Battery?

A typical 12-volt car battery is composed of six cells that chemically produce voltage and amperage to start your car. When one or more of the cells fails, the battery is incapable of producing the needed amperage to start the vehicle to get you to work in the morning. A battery is charged continually by the alternator while the automobile is running. Cell failure is one of the most common types of battery failure. A telltale sign that one or more cells is not producing sufficient amperage comes when the vehicle is reluctant to start, or "turn over," to get the motor running. If the car starts and runs fine when the alternator is running but after being shut off for a time (like overnight), has a hard time starting, the likely cause is that the battery is dying; that is, the battery is not holding the charge it gets from the alternator.

    Test the battery with a voltmeter. A voltmeter is the most reliable way to determine if a battery is holding its charge. After the battery has been idle overnight or for a few days, it should retain its charge. If new, it should hold a charge a lot longer. A voltmeter is like the filament in a light bulb, with a meter in the middle of the filament. The current runs through the filament, and the meter registers the voltage. For a battery, all you need is a simple voltmeter with an analog gauge. Attach the positive end of the voltmeter to the positive lead from the battery and the negative lead from the voltmeter to the negative lead from the battery (red to red, black to black). If the voltmeter shows no reading or a reading below 12.4 volts, the battery is dying. If the voltmeter reads 12.4 volts or higher, the battery is fine and the problem lies elsewhere.

    Start your car. If the vehicle is reluctant to "turn over," it could mean that the battery lacks the cold-cranking amperage (CCA) to start the car. The amount of CCA required for each vehicle is different, and the CCA is specified on a sticker on top of the battery. It would read something like CCA 650 (Cold cranking amperage 650). If one or more cells is no longer holding a charge, the CCA is reduced and eventually will drain all the cells, killing the battery. Again, the voltmeter is the most sure way to tell.

    If the car stops running completely after you've started it and driven it for a while, it's likely a sign that the battery is dead and not holding any of the charge it receives from the alternator. Even though the vehicle operates on the electricity provided by the alternator once it starts, that electricity runs first through the battery, which acts as a form of capacitor to regulate the amperage that goes to lights, cigarette lighters, inside dome lights, windshield wipers and electronics. Too much amperage will burn out these electrical components and stop the car from running if it can't channel the necessary amperage into the vehicle. If it can't allow the charge to run through it, that's usually a sign that the battery is dead or very close to it.

Kamis, 17 September 2009

'97 Camaro Coil Pack Symptoms

The 1997 Camaro comes fitted with a 3.8-L V-6 as the standard engine. This engine receives its ignition spark via three coil packs mounted on an ignition control module. When one or more of the coil packs fail, there are obvious symptoms.

No Start

    When the Camaro's engine will turn over but not start, this is a sign of a failed coil or coils. This is due to the lack of spark to ignite the fuel and air mixture in the combustion chamber.

Soft Miss

    A soft miss is when there is just a mild shaking from the engine or a slight hesitation at certain rpm ranges. This is an indicator of a coil that is producing a weak spark; it is enough to ignite the fuel but not enough to do so efficiently.

Hard Miss

    A hard miss, sometimes called a dead miss, is when the engine shakes violently and "chugs" at certain rpm ranges--specifically from idle. This is the sign of failure of at least one coil or even the ignition control module, which controls the coils.

Rabu, 16 September 2009

Water Pump Problem Symptoms

Water Pump Problem Symptoms

The water pump on any vehicle functions as the heart of the cooling system. The automotive water pump, typically driven by a belt and pulley arrangement, has interior impellers inside the housing that spin at a high rate of speed to circulate water. The faster the vehicle goes, the larger the volume of coolant that enters the engine. Water pumps can fail for a variety of reasons, which include defective seals, bearings, impellers and belts. A vehicle owner can narrow down troublesome symptoms by looking for specific clues that point problems to with the water pump, and that only.

General Overheating

    If the vehicle begins to overheat and stay in a temperature range that shows above normal conditions, the likely suspect is the water pump. If the coolant remains at the proper level with no leaks, and the thermostat functions properly, the higher than normal temperature could indicate worn water pump impellers that have rusted and chipped. Plastic impellers on some cars can break, reducing the circulation pressure. A constant, higher than normal engine temperature could be caused by damaged impellers.

Water Pump Leaks

    To find a water pump leak, a vehicle owner can place a piece of white typing paper under the water pump and let it remain overnight. This works best if the car has been driven for some time. Checking the paper the next morning will indicate if any leakage has occurred. The paper will be wet, usually colored green or orange -- the color of the coolant. The leak could come from the water pump housing gasket or the "weep" hole at the bottom of the water pump.

Weep Hole Leaks

    The weep hole on a water pump serves as a bypass vent or hole. It is located on the very bottom of the water pump housing. When the interior seal degrades in the water pump, coolant bypasses the seal and leaks externally. Any drips from this small hole indicates that the seal has failed, and possibly the shaft bearings. A failed seal requires water pump replacement.

Shaft Bearing Play

    Water pumps have inner and outer shaft bearings that hold the impeller shaft. They have factory sealed bearing cups that serve as permanent lubrication. When the shaft bearings deteriorate, excess play results in the hub and pulley. Any wobble in the water pump pulley while the engine runs points to bad shaft bearings. A vehicle owner can manually pull the pulley from side to side and up and down, to find any excessive play in the shaft. Worn shaft bearings require water pump replacement.

Bearing Noise

    Faulty water pump bearings make a distinctive noise when they have worn or failed. They have a low frequency growling or gravelly sound during engine operation. The noise can be heard particularly when the vehicle is idling. Placing a screwdriver against the top of the pump housing and listening to the other end against the ear can magnify and isolate the sound. Rust and bits of metal inside the bearing caps causes the growling, and sometimes scraping, noise. Bad bearings require water pump replacement.

Pump Belts

    The water pump belt drives the pump pulley. If the belt slips or has become disconnected, the water pump can longer force coolant through the system. Worn and slipping belts typically squeal upon engine start-up. Worn or broken belts must be replaced to guard against severe engine overheating.

What Is Wrong With My Clutch?

A manual transmission is usually easier to maintain than an automatic. The main part that might go wrong is the clutch. which engages and disengages the gears. If the clutch goes, the transmission will not work. There are several reasons why your clutch might not work.

Oil Soaked Clutch

    If your clutch is slipping it might be because your engine could have an oil leak that might be soaking the internal mechanisms in the clutch. Before you replace the clutch make sure any oil leak is stopped.

Clutch Noise

    If your clutch is making noise, it is probably because there are worn bearings. If the clutch is chirping like a bird you may have a vibration that is out of the ordinary in your actuator mechanism. It could be misaligned or the clutch could have a worn input shaft.

Normal Wear

    Most clutch problems are due to wear and tear. When the clutch starts to slip, be prepared for more slippage to come. Normal wear could affect your flywheel bolts, disk spines, stop pins or dampers. Regular use of your clutch, especially in stop and go traffic, will eventually wear down the mechanism.

What Causes a Chirping Noise in a 2000 Ranger at the Blower Motor?

Offered by Ford in a number of trim levels, several different engines and a few transmission/drivetrain options the 2000 Ranger base model came with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. Despite the different configurations from ranger to ranger, the blower motor is located behind the passenger side of the dashboard. A chirping noise coming from the dashboard can be a pain to try and diagnose, but if you already have it narrowed down to the blower motor, you have already fought half the battle.

The Blower Motor

    The blower motor is exactly that an electrical motor with a wheel or circular fan blade installed that blows either hot or cold air through the vents of the passenger compartment. The blower motor speed is controlled via the blower motor resistor, based off of the speed selected on the heater control column. In general a low fan speed requires a lot of resistance in the resistor unit to keep the voltage going to the fan low, High fan speed requires no resistance and is normally is just based through the resistor module with no resistance at all.

Fan Housing

    If you are getting a distinct chirping noise when operating the blower motor it is possible the fan wheel is lightly clipping a plastic or metal component that has been broken or misplaced. Inspect the motor housing and inside of it for anything that may get in the way of the wheel while it is rotating. Inspect the wheel a broken or damaged piece of the wheel could easily make contact with part of the housing. The wheel should also rotate on an even axis, so if the shaft that spins the wheel is bent the wheel could be making a connection with the housing.

Motor Bearings

    The next probable cause would be the bearings that support the shaft and wheel. If these bearings have become flattened, lack proper lubrication or are extremely worn, the metal on metal sound could create a rather large chirping or howling noise in extreme cases. In most cases the mechanical resistance created from a failed bearing can be felt if you rotate the wheel or shaft by hand, and if spun fast enough can even be duplicated. If the wheel, hosing and bearings seem fine you can connect a 12-volt power source to the positive and negative to try and pinpoint the area of the noise with the motor out of the truck, but be warned accidently touching the wheel while spinning will hurt.

Removing and Replacing

    Most of the time you will probably find that the chirp is coming from the motor itself and it should be replaced. Luckily the motor is easy to remove from the engine bay. Its bolted to the firewall on the passenger side, but you must remove the speed control servo bolted to the inner portion of the fender first. One you remove the four bolts and disconnect the harness it will pull right out of the firewall. Installation is the reverse of removal; the fan bolts tighten to 10 foot-pounds and the servo mounting bolt is torque to 80 to 106 inch-pounds. In some cases you will have to swap the wheel to a new motor, but normally new motors are offered with a new wheel and are about the same price. To remove the wheel pull the retaining clip from the center of the wheel and lift the wheel off the shaft.

How to Read OBD Codes on a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado

Starting in 1996, the federal government required all America-bound vehicles to come fitted with a new emission-monitoring system named the "On-Board Diagnostic II." OBD-II not only revolutionized the way that owners were notified that there was an emission-system failure in their car, but also the way that technicians diagnosed the failures. This standardization also made it possible for one computer to diagnose all vehicles. Reading the OBD codes on the 2001 Silverado is a quick and simple process, but it does require you to use an OBD-II scanner, which you can rent from many auto parts stores.

Instructions

    1

    Position the drivers seat as far back as it will go, and look under the drivers side of the dashboard. Find the OBD-II connector -- the male receptacle in the same shape as the OBD-II scanner.

    2

    Plug the harness on the end of the OBD-II scanner into the Silverados OBD-II connector.

    3

    Turn the Silverados ignition to the Run position, but do not start the engine. Turn the OBD-II scanner on, if needed -- most scanners turn on automatically once you turn the vehicle on.

    4

    Initiate the OBD-II scanners Scan Codes or Read Codes function. This process varies greatly, depending on the type of scanner you are using. Most scanners, however, have a Scan button on them that activates this process. Refer to the scanners instructions for specifics.

    5

    Observe as the OBD-II scanner establishes a connection with the 2001 Silverados computer system. After establishing a connection, it displays all of the codes stored in the computer. The codes start with a P and include four digits after the letter, as in the example of the P0400.

    6

    Write down all of the stored codes and their descriptions.

    7

    Turn the Silverados ignition to the Off position and unplug the OBD-II scanner from the trucks OBD-II connector.

Chevy Trailblazer Electric Problems

The Chevrolet Trailblazer, a mid-size sport utility vehicle available with front-wheel or four-wheel drive, was introduced in 2002. Edmunds.com contends that the Trailblazer was among the best in its class in terms of performance, until it was discontinued in 2009. Despite its performance capabilities, the Trailblazer suffers from multiple electrical problems.

Exterior Lighting

    In 2004, Chevrolet issued a recall on approximately 1.15 million 2002 to 2004 Trailblazer models, due to defective headlights and brake lights. Defective headlights might result in improper illumination, leading to an accident. Defective brake lights do not signal to other drivers that your vehicle is stopping.

Air Bags

    In both 2002 and 2006, Chevrolet issued airbag recalls affecting approximately 134,000 Trailblazers. The 2002 recall addressed improperly inflating air bags that might provide insufficient protection during an accident. The 2006 recall addressed defective passenger side airbags that might not deploy.

Wiper Motor

    In 2004, Chevrolet issued a windshield-wiper motor recall on approximately 580,000 Trailblazers from the 2002 and 2003 model years. A defective wiper motor usually results in inoperative wiper operation Poorly performing windshield wipers cause reduced visibility.

How to Determine If Your Hydraulic Lifters Are Bad

The hydraulic lifter rests in the lift valley with the bottom of the lifter contacting a lobe on the camshaft. The high side of the lobe passes under the lifter causing it to rise, in turn lifting the pushrod. The pushrod, in its upward motion, forces the rocker arm to pivot, pushing down and opening the valve. The hydraulic lifter is hollow with a spring-loaded cap in the center. There is a hole in the side of the lifter for oil to enter. The oil exits through a hole in the cap. The oil forced out of the cap passes through the pushrod to the rocker arm. The spring loaded, hydraulically locked center allows expansion in the valve train while still maintaining zero clearance.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood. Make sure the engine is cold. Start the engine and walk around to the front of the car. Listen to the valves. If you can hear a tapping noise, one or more lifters are probably worn out.

    2

    Place one end of the hose to your ear and move the other end slowly along the top of the valve cover, like you would use a stethoscope. The bad lifter will be easy to identify when the hose passes over it. Now you must determine whether the rocker arm stud retaining nut has worked loose or if the lifter itself is bad. If the lifter is bad, it may have destroyed the camshaft lobe. To make this determination you must remove the valve cover.

    3

    Remove the air cleaner. Remove all the bolts in the valve cover using a socket. Lift off the valve cover.

    4

    Disable the ignition by disconnecting the electrical harness to the distributor. Pull the coil wire out of the coil.

    5

    Have a helper turn the engine over with the key while you watch the motion of all the rocker arms. You are looking for one or more that has far less movement than the rest. This will identify which ones are bad. Do not turn the engine over continuously more than a few seconds at a time, to prevent the starter from overheating][.

    6

    Push down on the pushrod side of the rocker arm. The lifters are filled with oil and the filler hole on the side is so small that it is difficult to force the oil out making the lifter very solid. A worn lifter will have clearance from wear around the cap allowing the oil to flow out easily with very little pressure. When you load the lifter by applying pressure to the pushrod side of the rocker arm and it offers little resistance to downward movement, it is worn out. Push on each one for comparison and you will quickly feel the difference. One problem with a worn lifter is that the bottom of the lifter wears in a concave pattern if not replaced immediately after failure. When this happens, the edge of the now worn lifter cuts the camshaft lobe. If a new lifter is placed on a worn lobe, it will not only wear the lifter out quickly, but the lobe no longer provides sufficient lift to open the valve. You must inspect the camshaft to see if the lobe is worn off. If the lobe shows no unusual wear, a new lifter will correct the problem. If the cam lobe is worn, you will need to replace the camshaft and all the lifters. To check the camshaft lobes you must remove the intake manifold and extract the lifters from the lifter galley. You can see the lobes beneath the lifters. When you remove the defective lifter, it is easy to see if the bottom of the lifter is flat or worn concave. If it is flat and smooth, the camshaft is most likely in good shape.

Selasa, 15 September 2009

Why the Dashboard Light Is Not Working on Your Roadmaster

Why the Dashboard Light Is Not Working on Your Roadmaster

The Buick Roadmaster was made in two periods. The first generation ran from 1936 to 1958 and the second generation spanned 1991 to 1996. Most of the second-generation Buick Roadmasters were station wagons. Older cars sometimes come with their own quirks and problems, including dashboard lights that don't function properly. There are several reasons a Roadmaster's

dashboard lights might not be working.

Broken Dimmer Switch

    The Roadmaster's dimmer switch might not be working properly. Try the switch. If nothing happens, consider that the dimmer switch needs to be replaced. Purchase one at an auto-parts store or order one from a Buick dealer.

Blown Fuse

    Inspect your Roadmaster's fuse box, using the owner's manual to learn where each fuse is located. Sometimes fixing the dashboard lights can be as simple as replacing a blown fuse. Check each fuse, as more than one might be involved (see Resources section).

Replace Light Bulb

    The Roadmaster's dashboard panel has individual lights. By taking apart the dashboard and opening the panel, you can test each bulb to see whether it is working. Sometimes a light bulb needs to be replaced or is loose. Check each light bulb before replacing the dashboard cover.

Check Wiring Leads

    Check the wiring leads while looking at light bulbs. Sometimes a wire is loose. Follow the wires to learn which wire leads to which bulb.

    If none of these quick fixes works, a mechanic might need to look for more complicated wiring problems.

Troubleshooting a 1993 BMW

Troubleshooting your 1993 BMW automobile is an easy and straightforward task, thanks to its onboard diagnostic system. Using a diagnostic code reader, you can extract error codes from your diagnostic system that tell you what components of the car are broken. By pointing you directly to the cause of the issue, you can save significant time compared to troubleshooting through trial-and-error.

Instructions

    1

    Find the location of the OBD port on your 1993 BMW. The majority of BMWs feature the OBD port underneath the steering wheel, above the area where your knees are positioned when you're seated in the driver's seat.

    2

    Insert the key into your BMW's ignition and turn it to either the "II" or "III" position so that the electronic system of the car is turned on.

    3

    Plug the OBD code reader into the diagnostic port and then power on the reader.

    4

    Allow the code reader to scan for error codes and watch the screen of the code reader for any error codes that come up. Write down these codes, then contact your local mechanic, BMW dealership, or auto parts store with the list to find out what the error codes represent. There will be unique error codes assigned to different components of your BMW, so it is important to note any distinctions between error codes that you've written down.

Senin, 14 September 2009

Free Alternator Testing

The alternator in your vehicle is an important component of the charging system. Without a properly functioning alternator, your vehicle may routinely suffer from a dead battery or stall out while traveling down the road due to a lack of power. It can be difficult to determine whether your car or truck's problem lies in the battery or the alternator itself. The best way to figure out your specific problem is to have the alternator tested to make sure it is working properly.

What Alternators Do

    The alternator in your car is actually what keeps the car running when you are driving it. Your car battery provides the initial jolt of power that is needed to start the car; once it is running the alternator takes over and supplies the power to run the car. While the car is running, the alternator recharges the battery. Alternator problems may or may not be caused by the actual alternator itself, as they can be in the pulleys or electrical wiring of the charging system. This is why it is important to check the alternator before you go to the expense of replacing it.

Alternator Testing at Home

    If you happen to own a voltage meter, you can hook it to your vehicle's battery and test the alternator's voltage output without ever leaving home. Hook the voltage meter to your vehicle's battery and check the voltage on it when it is turned off and then while it is running with multiple power draining accessories turned on, such as the lights, radio and air conditioning. The power voltage should significantly increase. If it does not, you need to have the alternator professionally checked.

    You should not attempt to check your alternator by removing a cable from the battery while the car is running. This method can seriously damage the electrical systems of vehicles.

Engine Code Diagnosis

    If your check engine light is on, you can hook your car's powertrain control module (computer) to an error code reader and have it scanned for error codes. Chances are, codes related to the charging system and alternator will fire if the vehicle is having alternator problems. Most mechanics and automotive parts shops perform error code scanning and decoding free of charge.

Professional Alternator Testing

    Remove the alternator from your vehicle and take it to an auto parts store or mechanic's shop that performs free alternator testing. Have the alternator's functioning level tested professionally by the technicians.

Minggu, 13 September 2009

How to Check the Fuel Pressure on a 1997 Honda Accord

The correct fuel pressure is critical on the 1997 Honda Accord. If the fuel pressure falls out of the appropriate specifications it can affect engine performance and could lead to the car not starting. The fuel pump supplies fuel through the lines to the fuel pressure regulator. Fuel then passes through the fuel rail to the injectors. The electronic control unit then commands the fuel injectors to open and close in the proper sequence to deliver the correct amount of fuel to each cylinder.

Instructions

    1

    Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the fuel filler cap. Locate the banjo bolt on the fuel rail. This bolt runs through a fitting on the fuel supply line. Place a shop rag around the bolt and loosen it one full turn. The fuel will drain into the cloth and relieve the pressure.

    2

    Remove the banjo bolt from the fuel rail. Attach the fuel pressure gauge using the banjo bolt. The fuel pressure regulator is located on the fuel rail and has one vacuum line attached to it. Remove the vacuum line from the fuel pressure regulator. Plug the vacuum line. A golf tee or small bolt works well for this.

    3

    Connect the negative battery cable. Start the engine and allow it to idle. Note the fuel pressure reading on the gauge. Four-cylinder Accords should have between 38 and 46 psi, and six-cylinder Accords should have between 44-51 psi.

    4

    Turn off the engine. Place a shop rag around the banjo bolt and loosen it slowly. Allow the fuel to drain into the rag. Remove the fuel pressure gauge. Install the banjo bolt. Torque to 9 foot-pounds. Replace the fuel filler cap.

How to Know If a 2001 Yukon XL Is Getting Fuel?

Automotive diagnosis is typically a multi-step process. Rule out what isn't the problem and you'll quickly narrow down the culprits. One step in getting your 2001 Yukon XL running again requires testing the fuel pump operation. Whether you have a fuel pressure gauge or not, you can easily find out if the pump is getting fuel to the engine.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood of your Yukon XL. Locate the intake manifold at the top of the engine.

    2

    Look on the passenger side of the manifold, just under the lip of the cover. You should see a narrow pipe connecting the fuel rails across the top of the manifold. Jutting out from this pipe is the fuel pressure testing port.

    3

    Place a shop rag or towel underneath the port. This will catch any fuel discharge and prevent it from spilling onto the engine.

    4

    Unscrew the cap on the testing port. This reveals a Schrader valve, just like the valves you use to test and adjust your tire pressure.

    5

    Thread the hose of a fuel pressure gauge onto the Schrader valve, if you have a gauge available. Turn the key in the Yukon's ignition to the second setting, after the accessories setting and just before cranking.

    6

    Check the reading on the fuel pressure gauge. A 2001 Yukon XL should register at 55 to 62 psi (pounds per square inch.) Any reading outside of that range indicates a problem with the fuel pump.

    7

    Check the port manually if you do not have a gauge available. Start by depressing the center pin inside the Schrader valve. This releases any pressure built up inside the system.

    8

    Turn the key in the ignition to the second setting, after the accessories setting and just before cranking.

    9

    Depress the center pin of the Schrader valve again. Watch to see if fuel sprays out of the port. If it does, the fuel pump is working and you are getting fuel to the engine. While not a precise measurement, it's still a strong indicator that your problem is elsewhere in the system.

    10

    Thread the cap back onto the testing port and remove the towel from the engine.