Minggu, 31 Januari 2010

My 2000 Buick Regal Won't Start

My 2000 Buick Regal Won't Start

The Buick Regal is a midsize sedan that initially ended its production run in 2004, but was brought back to the North American market beginning with the 2011 model year. The 2000 Regal represents the fourth generation of manufacturing for the automobile, and features a 3.8L V6 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. Problems with the fuel delivery or ignition systems may prevent the Buick Regal from starting properly.

Instructions

If the Buick Regal Won't Crank

    1

    Perform a jump start on the Regal using another functioning vehicle and jumper cables.

    2

    Allow the Regal's engine to idle for several minutes if jump-starting the vehicle is successful. This will allow the battery to charge up.

    3

    Shut down the Regal and remove the jumper cables after several minutes, then attempt to start the vehicle again. If the Regal still doesn't start, the battery is failing to hold a charge and will need to be replaced with a new battery.

If the Buick Regal Cranks

    4

    Ensure that there is gas in the fuel tank. Running out of gas is a common reason that a Regal will crank without starting.

    5

    Ensure that each spark plug has a clean connection without any corrosion.

    6

    Remove the timing belt cover. Inspect the timing belt to ensure that it is intact. If the timing belt has snapped, replacing it is a very involved and complicated process and it may be necessary to consult a qualified mechanic.

    7

    Turn the key to the "ON" position and listen for the fuel pump to pressurize the injection system. If you hear nothing, the fuel pump may need to be replaced.

Sabtu, 30 Januari 2010

How to Stop Clicking From Your New Hubcaps

How to Stop Clicking From Your New Hubcaps

Whether your vehicle is new or used, any unusual sound is likely to grab your attention. If your vehicle is making a clicking noise and you've determined that it is coming from the exterior of one of the vehicle's wheels, a loose or ill-fitting hubcap might be to blame. As the wheel turns forward in rapid succession, a loose hubcap vibrating on the tire, wheel or another piece of hubcap can cause a clicking sound.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect all four of the vehicle's wheels. It's likely you'll be able to spot a broken hubcap almost immediately. A clicking sound might not always be the result of a broken hubcap. As you inspect the wheels, check to make sure each hubcap if securely fastened, as a loose hubcap might not only click, it might break or eventually fall off of the wheel.

    2

    Tighten the hubcaps. Some hubcaps will require a Philips screwdriver, while others may require a lug wrench. Tighten the hubcaps to the wheel so they are not loose when you pull on them. Since most hubcaps are composed of plastic, be careful not to over-tighten hubcaps, as they're likely to crack under additional stress.

    3

    Remove push-on hubcaps and inspect the steel retention ring and plastic mounting legs for cracks. Should a piece of plastic have cracked, it's possible it could be spinning around inside of the hubcap just as an article of clothing would in a spinning washing machine.

Audi A4 Automatic Gearbox Problems

Audi A4 Automatic Gearbox Problems

The Audi A4 is the subject of consumers' reports of gearbox problems which hamper the steering and transmission of the vehicle; everything from the electronic control unit (ECU) on the transmission failing to the automatic gearbox jumping out of gear, harsh shifting, delayed shifting or loss of mobility completely.

ATF Pump Bushing

    A technical service bulletin (TSB) published on the Audi A4 by the manufacturer concerns the failure of a bushing on the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) pump. This bushing failure causes the pump to lose pressure and eventually causes the transmission to fail. The Audi will begin to hesitate between shifting gears or upon acceleration. The bushing is part of the valve body and cannot be replaced without replacing the entire ATF pump... but an ATF pump of better quality must replace it in order to prevent the bushing from failing again.

Electronic Control Unit Failure

    ECU failure is a common Audi A4 gearbox problem. The ECU controls the movement of the transmission when the gears are being selected. Once the ECU begins to fail, a warning light on the dash of the Audi will illuminate, notifying the operator that there is a gearbox problem. The warning light also notifies the computer on the Audi, and places the transmission into a fail-safe mode to prevent damage to the transmission and gearbox. The Audi will lose power, reverse gear can be lost or the Audi will not move when shifting into drive. No one cites a specific reason for the ECU failing, and there has been no recall on the Audi.

Gearbox Slipping

    Another common problem with the Audi A4 gearbox is when the transmission begins to slip. The gearbox slips when a driver is accelerating the Audi. The gearbox should hold each gear in place at different speeds, but once the gearbox begins to slip there will be a jerking or hesitation during acceleration. Reports state that this gearbox problem can be the result of several issues including low transmission fluid, gear shift adjustment or worn internal gears. The Audi A4 needs to go to a qualified technician as soon as these symptoms develop or major damage may affect the gearbox.

Why Alternators Fail

Why Alternators Fail

An alternator isn't the most glorious accessory to an automotive engine, but it is one of the most consistently stressed ones. Alternators generally fail electrically before they do mechanically, but either kind of failure can still put you on the side of the road with a dead battery. Failure symptoms vary depending upon the specific type of failure, and there are a variety of reasons for a failure to take place.

Alternator Basics

    An alternator is a sort of miniature generator that spins as the engine works; it is an electric motor that converts kinetic energy into alternating current instead of alternating current into movement. The alternator uses several diodes to regulate current output and to convert the alternator's AC signal into a direct current signal. This DC signal provides power for the ignition system and for constantly recharging the battery.

Diode Failure

    Most electronic failures occur in the diodes, which work something like one-way valves for electricity. If the diodes get hot enough, they'll burn out and cause a drop in alternator voltage output. This drop in output places more stress on the remaining diodes, causing them to fail in a cascading effect.

Alternator Overloading

    Alternators produce more power with increased rpm. At low rpm and under high-load conditions, the diodes have to cope with the higher voltage supplied by the alternator's automatic voltage regulator. A huge stereo system or amplifier, powerful headlights and even electric cooling fans run with the engine at idle all require more voltage than the diodes or AVR can comfortably handle. Disconnecting one or more of your car's battery cables with the engine running can have a similar effect.

Current Reversal

    The one-way diodes can easily overload if subjected to a current reversal. Since current can only flow in one direction, reversing the current going into an alternator forces the electricity to come to a dead stop and manifest as heat in the diodes. This is most likely to happen when jump-starting a car and getting the battery cables on backward. The alternator connects directly to the battery's positive terminal; placing the negative jumper cable on this terminal will cause a current reversal and imminent diode failure.

Mechanical Failure

    The bushings and bearings in the alternator are just like any other component installed on the engine -- they will eventually wear out and fail. Excessively tight drive belts can accelerate bearing wear, but other than loosening them, there isn't much you can do to permanently delay bearing wear. Lubricating the bearings with some penetrating oil can help if they're already worn and squealing, but it can just as easily result in alternator damage or fire if the oil happens to touch something hot.

How to Troubleshoot a 2001 Nissan Frontier Catalytic Converter

The failure of the catalytic converter on your 2001 Nissan Frontier can cause a "Check Engine" light to appear on the instrument panel. To verify if the catalytic converter has failed, you need to perform a variety of tests. This requires using a scan tool and a vacuum gauge. However, obvious problems can easily be found by performing a visual inspection of your Nissan's catalytic converter.

Instructions

ODB Scan Tool

    1

    Look under the dash on the driver's side of the vehicle and locate the fuse panel. Remove the fuse panel cover with your hand.

    2

    Look on the left side of the fuse panel and locate the on-board diagnostic or ODB port. Insert the plug connector of the ODB scan tool into the port on the fuse panel.

    3

    Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the "On" position, but do not start the vehicle.

    4

    Read the display on the ODB scan tool for a trouble or fault code. If you see a "P0420" code displayed, it indicates a failure of your vehicle's emissions system, which is the catalytic converter.

Vacuum Gauge

    5

    Open the hood of your vehicle and set the hood support bar in place. Locate the intake manifold and find the vacuum port -- it's a small plug that projects out from the manifold.

    6

    Connect the end of the vacuum gauge to the vacuum port. Have a helper start the engine and let the vehicle idle. Make a note of the vacuum pressure at idle.

    7

    Increase the engine rpm to 2,500 while observing the vacuum gauge. The pressure should drop and then return to normal. A low pressure reading on the vacuum gauge can indicate a bad catalytic converter.

Visual Inspection

    8

    Lift the side of the vehicle where the catalytic converter is located using a car jack.

    9

    Place a jack stand under the frame and then lower the car jack so that the vehicle rests on the jack stand.

    10

    Inspect the catalytic converter. Look for holes, cracks or other visible signs of damage.

    11

    Drive your Nissan Frontier to a dealer or mechanic to replace the catalytic converter, if necessary.

Jumat, 29 Januari 2010

Troubleshooting a 2000 Nissan Quest Heater

Troubleshooting a 2000 Nissan Quest Heater

The Nissan Quest uses heated coolant from the engine to transfer heat to the passenger compartment by routing coolant to a small radiator behind the center console. The heat left in the heater core is moved through the passenger compartment by a fan controlled by switches on the dashboard. Any part of the system can fail and interrupt the flow of hot air, necessitating some troubleshooting steps.

Instructions

    1

    Check the amount of heat being put out by the heater and the temperature of the heated air. If the temperature is cool, coolant isn't flowing into the heater core. If the amount of warm air blown into the passenger compartment is low, the heater fan or the heater fan switch is at fault.

    2

    Look for coolant on the floor of the passenger compartment. A leaking heater core will spill coolant onto the floorboards or the floor of the garage. The heater core, the hoses or the couplings might be losing coolant.

    3

    Check the fuse box if the heater fan isn't working at all. The electrical circuitry might have shorted or a wire might be broken. The fuse box in a Nissan Quest is above the driver's left knee.

    4

    Check the coolant level. If the coolant is low, it may not be getting to the heater core.

    5

    Examine the thermostat. If it won't close, the coolant won't leave the engine to warm the heater core. Open the hood when the engine is cold. Start the engine. The upper hose should stay cold until the engine warms up. Then it should change temperature. If it doesn't, coolant isn't getting to the heater core.

DIY Transmission Jack

DIY Transmission Jack

If you are a familiar with the workings of an automobile or want to experiment on an old car transmission, you can use a transmission jack to raise the vehicle yourself to allow you to inspect the transmission and complete any necessary repairs. Safety should be your first priority when attempting to repair the transmission. Make sure you have enough room to inspect the transmission and that the transmission jack is securely in place.

Instructions

    1

    Install a car lift under the vehicle and pump it to raise the vehicle about 5 or 6 feet high. The car lift should be strong and steady enough to support the weight of the vehicle, sot it doesn't fall on you when you are working on the transmission.

    2

    Connect the air hose to an air compressor. Snap the air hose to the connector to the air hose inlet valve on the transmission jack.

    3

    Plug in the air compressor to an electrical outlet source and press "Power" to turn it on. Wait for the air compressor to build up sufficient pressure in the transmission jack.

    4

    Position yourself under the car on a board to protect yourself from the ground. If you have a board with wheels, this may make it easier to maneuver yourself from under the car.

    5

    Position the transmission jack in the center of the transmission under the car. The arm of the jack should extend under the transmission's fluid pan.

    6

    Locate the buttons or handle on your transmission jack and push them to raise the jack slightly. Raise the jack just enough to release the weight of the bolts attached to the transmission.

    7

    Secure the transmission to the car and remove the bolts, letting the transmission rest on the top of the jack.

    8

    Use the safety straps on the transmission jack and secure them to the loading plate of the transmission. This should be done before removing the jack or the transmission. It could result in the transmission falling on you and causing injury if this step is not performed.

    9

    Lower the jack to height level and remove it from underneath the car. Remove the transmission.

    10

    Slide out from under the car and move the jack and transmission to a work area where you can repair the transmission.

Suburban 4X4 Switch Problems

Suburban 4X4 Switch Problems

The Chevy Suburban is a large SUV that has had technical service bulletins (TSB) and reports from consumers about the 4X4 switch failing or the 4x4 not engaging when the switch is flipped. Complaints and TSBs range from electrical problems with the switch to major transmission problems.

Electronic Transfer Case

    The 2006 Suburban has a TSB published by the manufacturer concerning the electronic transfer case of the 4X4 Chevrolet not shifting into gear. According to the TSB, the transfer case prevents the Suburban from being shifted into four-wheel drive or is only partially shifting into gear, but can not complete the shifting into four-wheel drive. The Suburban can still be operated in two-wheel drive, but the electronic transfer case will eventually affect the two-wheel drive operation also. The electronic transfer case must be replaced in order to correct this Suburban 4X4 switch problem.

Position Sensor and Selector Switch Failing

    Several complaints have been reported about the Suburban 4X4 position sensor and selector switch failing. The failure of the sensor and switch prevents the operator from engaging the 4X4 on the Suburban. A TSB is also published on this 4X4 switch problem concerning the 4WD warning light illuminating once the sensor and switch fails. The Suburban can not be shifted into 4X4 position. The position sensor and selector switch need to be replaced in the Suburban in order to fix the problem.

Lever Linkage Failing

    A TSB on the 1997 Suburban discusses a 4X4 switch problem attributed to a broken or cracked transmission case. The broken or cracked transmission case leaks transmission fluid and prevent the lever linkage from working properly. The lever linkage can not be engaged and switched into the 4X4 position. The only correction for this switch problem on the Suburban is to have the transmission case replaced by the dealership or qualified technician.

Kamis, 28 Januari 2010

What Causes Power Steering Fluid Leaks?

What Causes Power Steering Fluid Leaks?

Proper operation of the power steering system is critical to automotive safety. Any sign of fluid leakage should be taken seriously and addressed as quickly as possible because a low fluid level will make steering difficult and could result in damage to other system components. The first step in solving this problem is to locate the leak; this can be done much faster if you know what can cause the leak and where to look for it.

Power Steering Fluid Reservoir

    The power steering fluid reservoir is typically located on the driver's side of the engine compartment towards the front. It is usually a semi-clear plastic container with "max" and "Min" marks on the side. The fluid level should be between these marks. Sometimes during servicing, the reservoir is accidentally overfilled, which may look like a leak. On some vehicles, especially older models, the reservoir may be part of the power steering pump assembly. In this case, the reservoir top must be removed to check the fluid level.

Power Steering Hoses

    The power steering system usually has two or three hoses, depending on its configuration. There is a pressure hose from the power steering pump to the steering box, a return hose from the steering gear box to the reservoir and in the case where the reservoir is separate from the power steering pump, and a supply hose from the reservoir to the power steering pump. Any of the hoses can form a leak. Vibration from normal operation of the vehicle can cause hoses to rub against other engine parts, resulting in a leak. The connections between the hoses and the other steering system components can leak if the connection is not tight or if a seal is defective. Leaks are most common in the pressure hose due to the high operating pressure of the system.

Power Steering Pump

    The power steering pump can also be a source of leaks. Sometimes the pressure created by the pump will cause a crack in the pump casing, or the seal around the pump shaft may be worn. Most pump casings consist of two halves bolted together, and the gasket at the joint can leak if the bolts are loose or the gasket is old.

Rack or Steering Gear Housing

    Depending on the type of power steering system, the power assist mechanism is housed within the rack housing (for rack and pinion systems) or in the steering gear housing. In either system, the seals for the pressurized power assist piston can leak if they are old or worn.

Hydro Boost Brakes

    On some cars the power unit for steering and brake systems is combined. In this case, there are several hoses and other components that divide the power between the two systems. Each hose or component can develop leaks, especially at gaskets, seals and connection points.

Rabu, 27 Januari 2010

How to Test the Nodes in an Alternator

How to Test the Nodes in an Alternator

A car's alternator is the main power source for electrically powered mechanisms and devices. While the battery provides the initial power to start the engine, the alternator provides constant power to the radio, air conditioner, lights, power windows, automatic closing doors and the trunk. Often times, when a car does not turn over and there is little or no power to the interior lighting, the first failing component to consider is the battery. But if the battery is good, the alternator has to be tested.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the car off and lift the hood. Check the alternator belt first to see if it is loose before performing any other checks. Even if the alternator is good, the belt must be taut in order for the alternator to provide current.

    2

    Leave the engine off on use a Voltmeter to check the battery first. This is necessary to determine the actual source of the problem. Place the Voltmeter's red lead on the positive pole-stud on the battery and the black lead on the negative pole-stud on the battery. The Voltmeter should read between 12.5 volts and 12.8 volts.

    3

    Check the alternator's output to see if the alternator nodes are functioning properly. Turn the engine on and let the car idle. Place it in "Park" and apply the parking break as a safety precaution. Place the Voltmeter's red lead on the battery's positive pole-stud and the black lead on the battery's negative poles-stud. Look for a voltage output reading of 13.6 volts to 14.3 volts.

Diagnostics for Charging Systems

The charging system is what keeps the car battery running, allowing the ignition to turn and the car to crank. Everyday wear and tear on your vehicle can cause voltage problems that can negatively affect the car's charging system. These issues include acid erosion, bad clamps, and over- and under-charging of the battery.

Battery

    A battery should be checked for acid erosion or leakage. Make sure that both of the battery terminals are clean and that all connections are tight. Battery cables should be checked for erosion.

Voltage

    Measure the voltage from the battery terminals. Good voltage should read between 13.3 and 14.7 volts.

Alternator

    A shorted diode in the alternator can cause voltage to read properly but the battery will still die within a few hours. If this happens charge the battery outside of the car and recheck the voltage.

Alternator Voltage

    If the battery voltage measures outside of the normal range, measure the voltage across the alternator. Alternator voltage should be between 0 and 0.4 volts higher than the battery voltage measurement.

Why Do My Tires Rub Only at Higher Speeds?

Why Do My Tires Rub Only at Higher Speeds?

Cars are like two-year-olds: A good one will bring you endless joy and prove itself a pride to its guardian, while an ill-tempered one will keep you up nights and do almost anything for attention. High-speed tire rubbing is a fairly rare occurrence, but it isn't the only thing that can cause a grinding vibration at high speeds. Giving your ward the attention that it needs isn't the cheapest solution, but -- like dealing with a toddler -- it's at least a bit more permanent than just turning up the radio.

Tire Expansion

    This is probably the least likely cause for high-speed rubbing, and it generally only happens on very large off-road or with dedicated drag tires with tall sidewalls. Under normal conditions, the tire sidewalls bulge out and bring the tread closer to the center of the rim. As speeds increase, centrifugal force on the tread forces it outward, overcoming air pressure in the tire and increasing its diameter. Top Fuel dragsters make good use of this effect, since it essentially turns the tire itself into a sort of continuously variable transmission.

Aerodynamic Downforce

    When you look at most cars from the side, you'll notice that they utilize the same general outline as an airfoil or wing: flat on the bottom and curved on the top. It is for this reason that many cars naturally develop a certain amount of lift, or tendency to get "light" at high speeds. But this isn't true all of the time, particularly not on performance cars with aero add-ons specifically designed to decrease the lift effect. Such downforce enhancers may in fact do more than neutralize lift; they can actually push the car down into the road. This compresses the car's springs, possibly bringing the tires into contact with the wheel wells or suspension.

Soft Springs

    Softer springs are easier to compress, and will exacerbate the aero downforce drop. This isn't necessarily a bad thing if you design the chassis to accommodate the extra drop, and it's one reason that NASCAR racers often use slightly lower spring rates than might otherwise be ideal. If you watch a stock car very carefully, you'll notice that it sits far lower while racing on the track than in the pits. Since officials measure the car's ride height at rest, using softer springs can allow teams to "drop" a car right through that particular loophole in the rules. For you, though, it probably means that your springs are worn out and in need of replacement.

It's Not the Tire

    A lot of things can mimic the sound vibrational feel of a tire rubbing against the fender. Wheel bearings are Suspect Number One; wheel bearing noise will typically manifest first at higher speeds, later developing into low-speed noise and high-speed vibration, then vibration at any speed. Bad ball joints are another possibility, but you should also hear a bad ball joint worsen while turning and squeak when bouncing the parked car up and down on its suspension. Loose brake calipers and pads can cause a grinding noise at speed that may go away when you tap the brakes.

How to Diagnose Turbo Chargers

Turbochargers increase the amount of airflow into an engine, which substantially raises the engine's horsepower potential. However, turbo systems are very complex, and therefore create the possibility for numerous malfunctions to occur. Modified engines are especially prone to turbo system issues, as increased boost pressure from the turbocharger creates additional stress on other engine components. Luckily, diagnosing most issues with the turbocharger system can be done by ear when you accelerate the engine.

Instructions

    1

    Drive your vehicle to a roadway on which you can safely and legally accelerate the engine to its rpm redline. Highway entrance ramps are often a good location for this. Accelerate the engine under full throttle, and allow the revs to climb to near the rpm redline.

    2

    Listen closely to the noise of the turbocharger as you accelerate. Excessive turbocharger whine indicates failing turbo bearings or a worn turbo shaft. When these components wear out, the turbocharger shaft and compressor wheels develop play within the housing. This generates a loud whining noise, and will cause additional wear on the turbocharger. In extreme cases, worn turbo bearings will cause a loud grinding noise. If either of these noises are present, have your turbocharger rebuilt or replaced as soon as possible.

    3

    Monitor the turbo boost pressure gauge as you accelerate. If the boost pressure spikes briefly under heavy acceleration, this generally indicates a boost leak in the system. Common places for boost leaks to develop include the turbo wastegate, blow-off valve, and various vacuum lining. Boost leaks will also cause an inconsistent boost value after the boost spike occurs. If your vehicle lacks a boost gauge, pay special attention to the engine response under acceleration. A boost spike will cause the engine to surge suddenly as you are already accelerating. Inconsistent boost pressure will cause the engine to feel hesitant when revving.

    4

    Inspect the turbo compressor shaft visually if you are still unsure whether or not your turbo is malfunctioning. Allow plenty of time for the engine to cool off, then open the hood to access the engine compartment. Remove any components that restrict access to the turbocharger inlet. Generally, this includes the engine cover components and exhaust manifold heat shield. Detach the air intake hose from the turbocharger inlet by loosening the intake hose ring. You do not need to remove the intake entirely, as long as you can fit your fingers into the turbocharger inlet.

    5

    Reach into the turbocharger inlet and grip the end of the compressor shaft. This is the shaft connected into the middle of each turbo compressor wheel. Firmly push the compressor shaft up and down. Any play in the compressor shaft indicates worn turbocharger bearings. With very minor play, most turbochargers will still function normally. However, excessive shaft play indicates a failing turbocharger. After you have checked the compressor shaft, replace the air intake and any other engine components that you removed. If you discovered there to be shaft play, have your turbocharger rebuilt or replaced as soon as possible.

The Security Light Is Flashing and My 1996 Pontiac Firebird Won't Start

The Security Light Is Flashing and My 1996 Pontiac Firebird Won't Start

The 1996 Pontiac Firebird came equipped with a version of GM's passlock feature, which was designed to prevent the engine starting when the car is stolen. When you start the car the security light will begin flashing and the car will turn over but not start. This means the code coming from the key does not match the code your car remembers. Before heading to the dealer for a costly repair, try this simple code-relearn procedure to make sure the code in your key matches the code stored in the car.

Instructions

    1

    Insert the key in the ignition and attempt to start the engine. If it does not start leave the key in the "On" position and wait 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes has finished the security light will stop flashing.

    2

    Turn off the ignition and wait 20 seconds. Turn the ignition back on and attempt to start the car. Depending on the ignition and whether it has previously been repaired or replaced, this may start the car. If it does not then continue to Step 3.

    3

    Repeat the process 3 times. This means you try to start, wait 10 minutes with the ignition on, turn the ignition off and wait 20 seconds, then attempt to start the car three times. When you try and start the car after the third waiting period it should start up. The codes have been relearned and the problem should not come back. If the car still will not start then you may need to bypass or replace the passlock system.

Nissan 1997 Sentra P0446 Trouble Code

Equipped with a manual transmission and a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated engine, your 1997 Nissan Sentra is equipped with the same evaporative emissions system that every other car on the road has. Code P0446 is directly related to this EVAP system and the cause should be diagnosed and repaired quickly. Failure to get to the root cause of this trouble code will cause you to fail emissions testing, if your state elects to perform them and its bad for the environment all together.

Instructions

    1

    Your EVAP system is equipped with several valves and solenoids that are used to store and release fuel vapor to the engine so that it isn't released into the atmosphere. Code P0446 refers to the canister vent valve that is used to seal the system so that it can be checked for leaks. This valve assembly is located directly on the charcoal cannister that resides behind the driver side rear wheel, and is actually pretty simple to test. Lift the rear of the car into the air safely, and support it with jack stands. Find the canister that is mounted to the body, and then find the vent valve that is attached to it. Disconnect the connector at the vent valve. Apply a 12 volt and ground source to the two terminals inside the vent valve connector, this should cause the valve to click and close, as it is normally open. If there is no noise heard, chances are the valve is bad and should be replaced. You can remove the two mounting screws and check for the possibility of any repairable blockages, before purchasing a new valve.

    2

    The circuit for the vent valve works similar to the horn on your steering wheel. The valve itself has power anything the ignition key is turned on. When the PCM runs a diagnostic check of the EVAP system, it supplies a ground for the valve to complete the circuit. Probe both sides of the harness going to the valve with a volt meter. With the ignition key on your should read 12 volts. If you read any less, or non at all there is an open or a short to ground somewhere in the wiring. This can be traced and visually inspected until the damaged area is found.

    3

    Because the PCM has direct control of the cannister vent valve, it is possible the PCM could be at fault if the valve and circuit tests fine, but you should be absolutely sure before replacing it. You will want to inspect the cannister for any cracks, along with any lines for the EVAP system as P0446 essentially means the system cannot achieve or maintain vacuum; however, it is in general related to the vent valve. If you suspect you happen to have a leak somewhere in the system, a local repair shop should have a smoke machine that will connect to the system and identify the exact location of the leak. IF you replace the vent valve, tighten the bolts to 55.6 inch-pounds.

My Car's Clutch Pedal Won't Come Back All the Way

My Car's Clutch Pedal Won't Come Back All the Way

The clutch is an essential part of a vehicle's manual transmission; and if it stops working, then the car cannot be moved. One of the most frustrating things that can happen to the clutch is that the pedal drops to the floor and won't come back all the way. However, you may be able to temporarily fix the problem so you can drive the car home or to a repair facility.

Instructions

    1

    Pump the clutch pedal with your hand. Sometimes this will get enough fluid into the system that it will disengage the clutch and start to come back. Shift as little as possible until you reach your destination; otherwise, the clutch may drop to the floor again.

    2

    Check the linkage at the top of the clutch pedal. Look for anything that may be holding the pedal down or any parts that look worn. Some cars have a return spring that may have broken or slipped out of place.

    3

    Open the clutch fluid reservoir. Sometimes the brakes and the clutch share a reservoir. Check the fluid level. Also look at the fluid for any discoloration or cloudiness that may indicate foreign substances in the system. If the fluid is low, then top it off to the line. Pump the clutch pedal to refill the system.

    4

    Inspect the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder for leaks. Look for discoloration around the seals, as well as cracks or dents in the seals or fluid on the outside of the cylinder. The cylinder should be clean on the outside if there are no leaks.

    5

    Check the clutch lines for any obvious leaks. If you find a leak in a line, then you may be able to seal it with duct tape until you can get to a repair facility. Make sure you check the clutch fluid again after you have found the leak.

When Should a Code Be Cleared on an OBD2 Vehicle?

When Should a Code Be Cleared on an OBD2 Vehicle?

On-Board Diagnostic trouble codes trigger a vehicle's "service engine soon" light. Clearing a trouble code should only be done once the needed repair work has been completed.

How To Clear OBD2 Codes

    A handheld code scanner is needed to access the OBD2 system. Scanners all operate slightly differently by brand and model, but the process is similar in spirit. The scanner must be hooked to a vehicle's data link connection. The codes will need to be retrieved from the system. Then, an "erase" or "clear" command must be keyed into the scanner.

Trouble Codes

    Once the OBD2 system detects a malfunction, a code is assigned. If the malfunction repeats itself a number of times, the OBD2 system classifies it as "trouble" and then turns on a vehicle's "check engine" light. Trouble code definitions can be found both in the scanner's manual and online.

Pending Codes

    Pending codes do not have trouble status. But, if the problem persists, the system will change the code's status to "Trouble." Pending codes do not activate a "service engine soon" light. However, they can be both read and cleared with an OBD2 handheld scanner.

How to Read Honda Outboard Error Codes

The error code system in a car allows the car owner or mechanic to troubleshoot and diagnose what is wrong with the vehicle. There are two methods of obtaining and reading a vehicle's error codes, depending on the tool you have and the year in which your car was manufactured. Cars manufactured after 1996 can use either an OBD II Scan Tool to obtain an OBDII code or an SCS Service Connector Tool to obtain the MIL code, while cars manufactured prior to 1996 only have the SCS Service Connector Tool option. Once the codes have been obtained, however, reading and understanding Honda error codes is a simple task.

Instructions

Obtaining the Codes With an OBD II Scan Tool

    1

    Install the OBD II Scan Tool software onto the computer. Each software and scan tool is different, so follow the instructions that came with your specific product. Launch the program once it is finished installing.

    2

    Locate the vehicle's 16-pin data link connector. For most Honda vehicles, the DLC is located beneath the glove compartment, but some vehicles have the DLC located under the driver's side of the instrument panel, under the passenger's side of the instrument panel, or on, around or in the center compartment. See the documentation that came with your vehicle for its specific DLC location.

    3

    Connect the 16-pin connector on the OBD II Scan Tool to the vehicle's DLC port. Connect the other end of the scan tool to one of the USB ports on the computer. Turn the vehicle's ignition to the "On" position.

    4

    Click the "Scan" or "Obtain Codes" button on the scan tool software's interface. The exact method of scanning for error codes may vary between different software programs, so see the documentation that came with your product for specific details. Write down the OBDII error code that appears on the computer screen for future reference. An example error code is "P0560."

Obtaining Codes with a SCS Service Connector Tool

    5

    Locate the vehicle's two-pin SCS check connector. For many Honda vehicles, this connector is located under the passenger side of the dashboard. Other vehicles, however, may have their connectors located on, around or inside the center console, under the right or left-hand side of the instrument panel or under the glove box. See your vehicle's documentation for its exact location.

    6

    Connect the SCS Service Connector Tool to the SCS check connector and turn the vehicle's ignition to the "On" position.

    7

    Monitor the flashes displayed by the check engine light to obtain the correct MIL error code. Long flashes signify tens, while short flashes signify ones. For example, a flash code that is comprised of three long flashes, followed by four short flashes would signify the MIL code "34." Write the code down for future reference.

Reading the Codes

    8

    Open the computer's web browser and navigate to the "Trouble Codes: Honda Error Code List" page in the Resources section of this article.

    9

    Locate the OBDII or MIL error code you obtained in either Section 1 or Section 2 on the list of error codes.

    10

    Match the error code with its corresponding error. For both of the examples, OBDII code "P0560" and MIL code "34," the corresponding error is "Powertrain Control Module (PCM) Backup Voltage Circuit Low Voltage."

Selasa, 26 Januari 2010

How to Diagnose Car Clicking Noises

How to Diagnose Car Clicking Noises

We've all been there before. Early morning, you run out to your car in a hurry to get somewhere, stick the keys in the ignition and give them a turn, only to be met by a clicking noise. Your car won't start and you're not exactly sure of the problem, but you are sure that you don't want to get ripped off by another mechanic. A DIY diagnostic may be just the thing you're looking for.

Instructions

    1

    Put your keys in the ignition and turn to "ON." This is the position where the power comes on in the car (i.e. the radio, power windows and seating, etc.) but the engine is not running.

    2

    Turn your windshield wiper blades on and let them run for about half a minute. If they seem to be working fine, then the problem is not in your battery but likely in the starter or the electrical connection itself. If the blades aren't working at their normal capacity then your battery is the culprit behind your clicking conundrum.

    3

    Find the starter to the engine. In a front-wheel drive car, the starter will often be located next to the engine. For those with rear-wheel cars, check underneath the car near where your feet would be located.

    4

    Look closely at the wires or cables that are connected to the starter. If they seem to be in good condition, then you can rule out a problem with the electrical connection. However, if they seem worn, rusted or in otherwise poor condition then this may be the problem behind the clicking noise.

    5

    Rule out a dead battery and a poor electrical connection, then realize your problem most likely lies in a faulty starter. Take the car to a trusted mechanic for the necessary repairs.

Porsche 944 Clutch Problems

The Porsche 944 was produced from 1982 to 1991 and was offered with a five-speed manual transmission. Throughout its lifetime there weren't any grave issues with the clutch, but there were -- and still are -- always a few things to look out for.

Clunking When Accelerating

    Because the clutches in some of 944s have a rubber center disc, they are prone to breaking, causing a clunking noise during acceleration and deceleration. Luckily, the clutch has an inspection hole located in the front left of the starter, allowing you to check if the rubber disc has broken.

Clutch Slipping

    Because the Porsche 944 is a performance car and many are bought used, the clutch can be worn from hard acceleration and abuse. During acceleration, if the revs are mismatched from the wheel speed by running too high, then the clutch is due for replacement.

Clutch Fluid

    Any unusual clutch behavior, from excess slipping to a limp clutch pedal, can be due to the clutch fluid; it may be dirty or have metal shavings or other particulate in it. Check and replace the clutch fluid both for proper maintenance and to eliminate the most likely cause of odd clutch behavior.

What Causes the Low Coolant Light on a 2000 Chevy Impala?

On August 11th, 2004, General Motors released technical service bulletin 04-06-02-007 in regards to numerous complaints of the coolant light staying on in various makes and models, including the 2000 to 2002 Chevy Impala. The cooling system in your impala holds just under three gallons of a 50-50 mix of Dexcool and distilled water. Because it is necessary to maintain a healthy engine cooling system, a coolant level sensor was installed in the radiator to alert the driver the cooling system is low. If your low coolant light is on there are several reasons and a strait forward way to solve the problem.

Low Coolant

    The first thing yous should do regarding an illuminated low coolant light is to check your coolant level and verify it is between the hot full and cold full lines on the coolant reservoir, depending on the temperature of the engine. If the coolant level is low, top it off with fresh 50-50 premixed Dexcool. Note, the coolant system is sealed and any use of coolant indicates a problem somewhere in the system. If the system hasn't been recently serviced, inspect coolant hoses for leaks, the tail pipe for signs of coolant and the engine oil for signs of coolant contamination; repair anything leading to the loss of coolant immediately . If the coolant level is full, but the system was just recently serviced or flushed it is possible there is an air pocket in the system causing a false warning light. If service was recently performed, properly fill and bleed the cooling system before any performing any further testing.

Electrical Problems

    Turn the key to the On position, but do not start the engine. Squeeze the tab on the coolant sensor electrical connector and disconnect the harness from the connector. If the low coolant light remains on, there is a short in the chassis wiring harness or the instrument cluster. Inspect the wiring for the for the low coolant sensor and the wires leading to the instrument cluster and repair any wiring as necessary. If there are other problems within the instrument cluster like inoperable gauges or lights, it is likely the instrument cluster should be replaced. Diagnose the instrument cluster for failure and replace as necessary.

Use of Additives

    Chevy recommends not using any type of coolant system additive in your cooling system. Some after market cooling additives can leave an oily residue throughout the cooling system, including the coolant level sensor. An oily residue on the level sensor will cause a false reading that leads the computer to improperly illuminate the low coolant light. If any additives have been used, flush the cooling system and remove the level sensor for cleaning. Fill the system with fresh 50-50 Dexcool and check for proper operation of the low coolant light. If any type of sealant additives have been used, repair the leak properly before flushing the system.

Engine Oil in Coolant System

    Engine oil in your coolant system will coat the coolant level sensor and cause the coolant light to illuminate incorrectly, among other problems. Inspect the color and texture of the coolant in the radiator. Engine oil contamination can range from a light sludge coating through out the system or in extreme cases milky fluid throughout the cooling system that will be noticeable in the overflow bottle and radiator fill neck. In most cases, when you find engine oil in the coolant system you will also find coolant contamination in the engine oil. If you are experiencing oil in your coolant it is possible the engine has a blown head gasket causing the coolant and oil to mix, which may result in excessive white smoke from the exhaust system. If your impala is equipped with an oil cooler, the radiator may have internal damage between the oil cooler portion and the coolant portion of the radiator causing the contamination. To check for internal radiator damage, disconnect the oil cooler lines and connect them together with the proper sized coupler, then flush the oil and cooling system. If contamination is no longer present after normal operation, replace the radiator and reconnect the oil cooler lines. If the source of contamination is the result of a blown head gasket diagnose and replace the faulty head gasket and intake manifold gaskets.

Cleaning the Coolant Level Sensor

    Partially drain the cooling system so the level will be below the level sensor. Disconnect the level sensor harness. Lift the left leg of the retaining clamp and pull the sensor from its fitting with a slight twisting motion. Spray the tip of the sensor with brake cleaner and clean the sensor with a wire brush. Wash away any remaining deposits from scrubbing with brake cleaner and install the level sensor. Check for proper operation.

How to Check for a Blown Head Gasket on a Car

How to Check for a Blown Head Gasket on a Car

The head gasket prevents leakage of vaporized gas, engine oil and coolant. A blown head gasket leads to chronic engine overheating, oil dilution and a reduction in engine power. Checking for a blown head gasket can reduce the chances of permanent damage to your engine. How often head gaskets fail varies between car models. In general, to prevent a head gasket in good condition from blowing, re-torque the engine, drain and refill the cooling system and check the head gasket annually.

Instructions

    1

    Check the oil dipstick for the presence of brown foam. This indicates water in the oil reservoir caused by combustion gases leaking into the cooling system and is symptomatic of a blown head gasket.

    2

    Note any frequent stalling of your vehicle or if it makes chugging sounds while you are driving. These are indications of a blown head gasket.

    3

    Check the temperature gauge while you are driving. If the engine is overheating, the gauge will be in the red, and steam will be coming from under the hood of the car. If the engine is overheating, stop the car immediately, turn off the engine and open the hood to allow the hot gases to escape. Wait for the engine to cool down completely before adding water to the water reservoir and changing the coolant. Have the car towed to your nearest mechanic.

    4

    Look for white steam coming out of the exhaust as you drive. You should be able to see this in your rear view mirror. Notice if there is a sweet smell coming from the exhaust pipe as this is a sign that the antifreeze has leaked into the combustion chamber. These are both signs that you may have a blown head gasket.

    5

    Check the radiator and look for oil in the coolant. Note any foaming, gargling or bubbling from the radiator. If your car uses more radiator fluid than usual, this can be a sign of a blown head gasket. Check the radiator for signs of coolant where it should not be present, such as on the spark plugs. This may happen because of pressure building up in the cooling system, causing the coolant to rapidly bubble up and overflow.

    6

    Take the car to a mechanic who will perform a compression test with a compression gauge. The mechanic may follow up this test with a pressure test and a cylinder leak-down test which can confirm a blown head gasket.

Senin, 25 Januari 2010

How to Tell If Your Gas Tank Has a Leak

How to Tell If Your Gas Tank Has a Leak

The fuel system within your vehicle is a complicated collection of many parts, including fuel injection lines, fuel tank, filters and pumps. All of these parts must be working together for the car to run properly. When any one of these parts fails, the system fails. A common problem in this system is for any part to develop a leak from which gas escapes, causing the car to not run properly. The gas tank is one such place where a leak might develop, and identifying it as soon as it occurs will help you repair it sooner.

Instructions

    1

    Watch your gas gauge carefully after you fill your gas tank. Make a note of where the gas gauge is reading before you park your car for an extended period. Note where the gas gauge is when you turn your car on again. The gauge should be at the same location, but if you have a leak in your fuel system, it will show that you have less gas in your tank.

    2

    Look in your car's owner's manual to see where your vehicle's gas tank is. Lower your head beneath the bumper of the car, and visually inspect the ground below your tank. If there is a gas leak, there should be a puddle on the ground underneath your car where the gas is leaking out. The size of this puddle will depend on how large the leak is.

    3

    Notice the smell around your vehicle after it has been parked for an hour or longer. While some fluid evaporation is normal around your vehicle, the smell of gasoline will be extremely potent if it is leaking from your vehicle.

Minggu, 24 Januari 2010

Signs & Symptoms of a Bad Wiring Harness on a Ford Probe

Your Ford Probe's wiring harness is a major component of its electrical system. A malfunctioning or damaged wiring harness can cause problems with several different aspects of your car's electrical system. There are several things to be on the look out for if you suspect your wiring harness has been damaged or is no longer functioning properly.

Intermittent Electrical Issues

    A corroded wiring harness or one with a loose or bad connection may cause intermittent electrical issues. Electrical components may work some times and then not work others, or seem to periodically short out.

Blown Fuses

    If your car is blowing fuses and you replace them only to have the new fuse immediately fail as well, there is a good chance that your problem is a short in the wiring harness.

Sensor Problems

    The wiring harnesses in the Probe control the various sensors, including the oxygen sensors and mass air flow sensors. If your Probe sensors begin to fail or malfunction, it could be due to wiring harness problems. The car may start running poorly, consuming unusually high amounts of fuel or even fail an emissions test if the sensors are not working properly.

1997 F-150 Brake Booster Troubleshooting

1997 F-150 Brake Booster Troubleshooting

Power brakes are standard equipment on 1997 F-150s, even in the base trim models. The power in braking is provided by the brake booster. The brake power booster on the truck is vacuum-actuated, like the vast majority of power brake-equipped vehicles of recent times. When the brake pedal is depressed, a valve inside the booster opens to create a pressure differential across the large circular diaphragm that assists pedal efforts. Troubleshooting booster problems can be accomplished with no tools or expertise of the matter, but repairs may require more strenuous undertakings.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the plastic vacuum fitting, or check valve, from the booster grommet. Twist the valve slightly to ease extraction from the grommet and then from the supply hose. Replace the valve if cracks appear in the plastic valve body. Adapt the vacuum gauge to fit the booster supply hose, and start the engine. Monitor the gauge needle for a steady reading near 20 inches of mercury. Check for clogs in the hose or engine supply nipple if readings are lower than 17 inHg at sea level. Readings at higher elevations will be proportionally lower.

    2

    Turn the engine off and use the flashlight to inspect the interior of the booster. Replace the brake master cylinder if brake fluid is present in the cavity, as this indicates seal failure of the master cylinder. Replace the booster in this instance also, as the contamination can lead to diaphragm failure. Fully insert the plastic check valve into the booster supply line and grommet if no contamination is noted.

    3

    Start the engine and wait for the idle speed to stabilize. Listen intently under the hood to locate any loud hissing that indicates a substantial vacuum leak. Repair or replace engine vacuum hoses that leak noticeably, as they may affect engine performance and booster function. Inspect the booster supply hose for leaks, kinks or collapsed areas. Replace any weakened hose with original equipment-compatible parts.

    4

    Stand in the front of the truck, near the booster. Close the driver's door and have an assistant depress the brake pedal, as though at a red light. Maintain even pressure on the brake pedal while listening to the booster. Replace the booster if hissing sounds continue for more than two to three seconds after initial pedal application. Constant hissing from the booster with even pedal pressure indicates a defective booster diaphragm.

Problems With Ford Engines Idling

Problems With Ford Engines Idling

All engines at one time or another will have idle problems; Ford engines can have idle stumbling, surges and stall-outs, no matter what make and year. Engines should run smooth and evenly when at idle, never fluctuating in rpm or dying. Such symptoms have to be checked out, determining which vehicle components might be at fault through a process of elimination. Some obvious culprits of rough engine idle should be checked out before other systems. The average vehicle owner can find and repair such problems by knowing what circuits and components control the idle quality.

PCV Valve

    Check the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve on your vehicle. On vehicles equipped with it, it will be located on the top of the valve cover. The PCV valve resembles a small tube that attaches to a hose. The tube-like valve has a small check-ball inside that opens and closes off the intake manifold vacuum. Remove the valve and spray carburetor inside of it and shake it vigorously. Once you hear the "clacking" noise of the ball, plug it back into the hose and connect it to the valve cover opening. Check the vacuum line at both sides to make sure they have tight fits, with no leaks.

EGR Valve

    Locate the exhaust gas return (EGR) valve on the vehicle. It looks like a diaphragm about the size of a fist and will be located next to the throttle body, connected to the PCV valve. The EGR valve should be closed when the engine idles, but if it sticks, it will cause an uneven idle and worsen the gas mileage. The EGR valve monitors the flow of exhaust gases to the intake manifold and should gradually warm up during normal engine operation. If the EGR valve gets too hot to the touch right after engine start-up, it means that it has stuck in the open position. Replace the EGR valve.

Fuel Injectors

    Use an ohm meter to check your fuel injectors (with the engine running), by removing the wire from the injector. Two metal prongs sit inside the connector. Set the meter for the ohm setting. Touch the red meter lead to one contact and the black lead to the other prong. The ohm resistance number should be the about the same for all the injectors. If any injector reading shows a higher or lower than average number, the cause will be a defective injector, which will cause a rough idle. A zero reading will indicate a shorted injector, and must be replaced. You can also use a stethoscope or a long handled screwdriver to place on the injector head. You should be able to hear a clicking sound, telling you that the injector is "pulsing." No clicking sound indicates a dead injector.

Carburetor-Equipped Vehicles

    Examine the choke setting on a vehicle equipped with a choke adjusting knob or mechanism. Make sure the choke operates by opening slowly during normal engine warm-up. A choke that fails to open or sticks shut during warm engine running will cause a constant misfire and rough idle. A choke stuck in the open position will not allow an engine to warm up properly.

Trouble Codes

    Hook up a portable trouble code tool for your specific Ford make and model. Look for any trouble codes that appear while the engine runs at idle. Write down any code number and look it up in a trouble-code manual. Most times, code numbers can pinpoint the exact system failure or miss in the engine.

Plugs and Points

    Some older vehicles have ignition points in the distributor. Points must be set to the correct gap or dwell angle. By hooking a dwell meter up to the engine, you can determine if the dwell setting falls within manufacturer's specifications. For instance, if the dwell calls for 30 degrees, any number plus or minus 10 degrees will indicate a gap problem with the points. You can also check the point gap with a feeler gauge to determine the thickness between the point contacts.

    By removing the spark plug wires at the plug connection and using insulated plug wire pliers, you can determine if a cylinder has a misfire condition. When you remove a wire, and the engine rpm does not change, that means that cylinder has no spark to fire it. Check the plug wire by replacing it with another good one. Check all spark plugs for fouled or burnt electrodes. Replace them as required.

    Check the rotor and cap for burning contacts or excessive wear.

Sabtu, 23 Januari 2010

Problems With the 1997 EGR Honda Accord

Problems With the 1997 EGR Honda Accord

Honda Accords are midsize vehicles that are generally famous for their value and reliability. They typically get good gas mileage and good reviews. But, as with all cars, particular problems may cause parts or models to be subject to recall. A few parts on 1997 Honda Accords were recalled, but dealers fixed or replaced the parts, and the cars themselves remained on the road.

Ignition Switch

    Problems with the ignition switch in both the coupe and sedan styles of 1997 Honda Accords occurred because the electrical current passing through the ignition switch on starting caused the contacts in the switch to degrade. This resulted in sudden stalling of the engine, significantly raising the risk of accidents.

Electrical System

    In coupes, sedans and wagons of this model year, except DX models and those with V6 engines, the air conditioner wire harness was improperly routed. There was a possibility of some wires rubbing together, causing short circuits. The short circuits, in turn, could cause overheating, blown fuses or even engine fires.

Exterior Lighting

    The headlights and other exterior lighting were under recall on some 1997 Honda Accords because they did not contain amber side reflectors. The lack of these side reflectors required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards could have decreased the visibility of vehicles, resulting in possible accidents.

Ball Joints

    Dealers had to replace the lower ball joints on some 1997 Honda Accords because of the ball joints' tendencies to wear out prematurely or separate. This defect could result in a sudden loss of power, causing cars to lose speed. Drivers may have had difficulty steering their vehicles if these ball joints went bad while the cars were in operation.

Kamis, 21 Januari 2010

How to Troubleshoot Car Radiators

How to Troubleshoot Car Radiators

The radiator is one of your car's essential components. Its purpose is to remove excess heat from the engine, as well as maintain the correct temperature while the car is operating. It is common for problems to occur due to wear and tear on the metal part of the radiator as the car gets older. Recognizing the early warning signs and troubleshooting them can prevent the need for expensive repairs.

Instructions

Troubleshooting Car Radiators

    1

    Turn off the car and allow the radiator to cool before opening the radiator cap. Check the coolant level to see if it is low or empty. Fill the radiator with coolant to the required level. Inspect the coolant level on a regular basis, as low coolant can cause damage to other components of the car. Get the leak fixed as soon as possible.

    2

    Look at the color of the coolant in the radiator to determine if the color is abnormal. If it has a rusty color, the radiator needs to be flushed completely and refilled with fresh coolant. If the problem persists, a radiant sealant may help to stop the leak.

    3

    Inspect the hoses that are connected to the the top and the bottom of the radiator for possible signs of leaking. Check to see if they are loosely attached. If they are, securely attached them to the radiator to prevent leaks.

    4

    Determine if your radiator is overheating. If the radiator is overheating, the first thing to check is the coolant level. Refill it with coolant, and if that doesn't fix the problem, the water pump or the thermostat may need to be repaired or replaced. Driving while the radiator is overheating can result in a blown head gasket.

How to Diagnose a Bad Thermostat in a 1998 Ford Escort

How to Diagnose a Bad Thermostat in a 1998 Ford Escort

The thermostat in your 1998 Ford Escort controls coolant flow to help the engine operate at a predetermined temperature. It is common for coolant thermostats to get stuck open or closed after years of service. However, if you suspect the thermostat in your Escort has failed, you need to diagnose the problem before it leads to serious engine damage. You can do the job yourself in a few minutes to save time and money.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood. Make sure the engine is cool, then remove the radiator cap.

    2

    Start the engine and let it idle. Walk around to the front of your Escort and watch the coolant through the radiator neck. The coolant should not flow. If you see the coolant flowing, go to step 5.

    3

    Wait about 15 or 20 minutes to let the engine warm up. Once it reaches operating temperature, you should see the coolant beginning to flow through the radiator neck. This means the thermostat is working properly. If not, go on to the next step.

    4

    Check the engine temperature by placing a large dial kitchen thermometer on the cylinder head next to the thermostat housing, which the upper radiator hose connects to on the engine side. Check the temperature on the thermostat housing itself, next to the upper radiator hose. These two temperatures should be close to each other. If not, the thermostat in your Escort is not opening. Turn off the engine.

    5

    Wait about 20 minutes for the engine to cool down, if necessary. Place a small drain pan under the radiator. Open the radiator drain plug at the bottom and remove about two quarts of coolant to bring the level bellow the thermostat.

    6

    Detach the negative (black) battery cable with a wrench.

    7

    Remove the air intake tube to gain better access to the thermostat housing, using a Phillips screwdriver.

    8

    Unplug any electrical wires from the thermostat housing and those around it to gain better access to the housing. Label the wires if necessary.

    9

    Loosen the upper radiator hose clamp at the thermostat housing using a Phillips screwdriver. Detach the hose from the thermostat housing.

    10

    Unscrew the thermostat housing mounting bolts using a ratchet, short ratchet extension and socket.

    11

    Lift the thermostat housing off the cylinder head. Remove the thermostat and gasket from the cylinder head.

    12

    Visually inspect the thermostat. It should be closed. If it is open, replace it.

    13

    Bring water to a boil in a small kitchen pan on your kitchen stove. Grab the thermostat with a pair of needle-nose pliers and submerge the thermostat in the boiling water. The thermostat should now open. If the thermostat remains closed, replace it.

Rabu, 20 Januari 2010

How to Get Computer Codes for a 1999 Cadillac

How to Get Computer Codes for a 1999 Cadillac

One of the greatest additions to modern vehicles is the onboard diagnostics system. The OBD II is a computer system in your vehicle that is connected to your vehicle's engine control module. By connecting this system to your vehicle's ECM, it is able to constantly diagnose problems with the engine. To maintain a clear and concise diagnosis, this system uses a series of codes to specify the exact problem with the engine.

Instructions

    1

    Connect your scanner to the OBD II port located underneath the driver's side dashboard. If you are unsure if your vehicle has an OBD II port, check under the hood of the vehicle for a sticker or nameplate that says "OBD II Compliant".

    2

    Run your scanner and record any codes that it displays.

    3

    Navigate to the official OBD II website's code search engine.

    4

    Select "General Motors" as the manufacturer, and input each individual code in the box labeled "Enter DTC." This provides you with a detailed explanation of the code.

How to Check for a Spark on a Motorcycle

How to Check for a Spark on a Motorcycle

Gasoline engines need three things to run: fuel, oxygen to combust the fuel and a spark to ignite it. Of the three, spark is probably the quickest and easiest to check, requiring little more than that five-pointed multi-tool provided to you by nature, a few minutes worth of time and a little caution. The only real difference between checking for spark on a bike versus a car is that the bike is generally easier.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the bike's air box from the carburetors or throttle bodies; it's generally retained with hose clamps, flip clamps or some type of fastener. If you can get to the bike's spark plugs without removing the air box -- as with a V-twin engine -- then skip this step.

    2

    Spray a shot of compressed air in around the spark plug recesses on the cylinder head if the engine uses a coil-on-plug type ignition. You'd be surprised how much junk can collect around the recess, and there's no sense in sending it into your engine when you pull the coil assembly out.

    3

    Remove the spark plug wire from each of your plugs, or pull the coil-on-plug assembly out of the head. COP assemblies usually use one or two retaining bolts per coil, so remove those first. Afterward, very gently twist and pull the plug wire or COP assembly off the plug.

    4

    Lay the tip of the plug wire or COP assembly where it plugs into the spark plug on your bike's cylinder head. Preferably, you'll want no more than a 1/4-inch of clearance between the metal in the wire tip and the cylinder head. You may need an assistant to hold the plug wire in place; if you're working with a friend you'd like to keep, have him hold the plug wire with a pair of insulated pliers.

    5

    Crank the bike up as though you were trying to start it, and watch the 1/4-inch gap between the plug wire or COP tip and the metal cylinder head. If everything works properly, you'll see a bright and blue or white-hot spark jump across the gap during the test. A thin, yellow spark indicates an underpowered ignition system; no spark equals a faulty ignition system. Repeat for all the plug wires that you'd like to check.

How to Troubleshoot the Dodge Sprinter Digital Display Oil Can

How to Troubleshoot the Dodge Sprinter Digital Display Oil Can

The oil can icon in the instrument cluster digital display on the Dodge Sprinter van is the engine oil level indicator lamp. The lamp warns you that the oil level has dropped to a point close to the minimum mark on the engine's dipstick. Problems with the oil can warning lamp can be related to the light not going out and illuminating only briefly. You can troubleshoot such issues by following these steps.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the key in the ignition to the second position and identify the correct light if you believe you are having problems with it. The oil can icon is the fifth icon from the left and shows an oil can with a drip of oil protruding from the spout. The light should illuminate solidly in this key position, and illumination does not indicate a problem.

    2

    Turn the key to the engine's start position and start the engine if the oil can light came on in the previous step and is still on. The light should extinguish as the engine starts.

    3

    Open the hood and check the oil dipstick if the light did not go out when you started the engine, or if the light stayed on for a while and then went out. The light can illuminate briefly with the engine on to indicate low oil level, or the light can stay on, which indicates excessively low oil level.

    4

    Look for oil leaks under the van. If leaks are detected, have the van serviced. If no leaks are showing, check the dipstick to see if the oil level is low. If so, unscrew the engine oil filler cap, add oil and check the dipstick again. Monitor the oil can light for normal operation.

How to Troubleshoot Seven-Pin Trailer Wiring

How to Troubleshoot Seven-Pin Trailer Wiring

Trailers come in many different sizes and functions to suit your particular need. Because trailers may sit idle for many months, however, it is common to encounter electrical problems when firing them up after a break. The harsh environment they are exposed to slowly corrodes the connections, creating problems. A seven pin electrical system is responsible for powering signals, markers, breaks, batteries and back up lights. Troubleshooting a specific problem is a process of trial and error.

Instructions

    1

    Attach the trailer electrical connection to a tow vehicle with a dependable power source and run through all of the possible systems while recording the errors. You will have to use the 12 volt electrical tester on the connections to the battery to see if the vehicle is delivering power to it. Disconnect the battery before checking the connection.

    2

    Check the ground connection to the trailer frame for corrosion if there is zero power at the trailer. This is the most common problem with trailer wiring. The ground connection is the white wire at the harness. Repair as necessary.

    3

    Check the power supply with the 12 volt tester at any device which does not have electricity, if the problem is confined to just one or a few areas.

    4

    Work your way back through each connection on the wire with the 12 volt tester until you discover a live wire. This is where the connection problem is for this device. Make repairs to the connection.

Selasa, 19 Januari 2010

How Do I Know If My Fuel Pump Went Out on a '91 Camry?

First introduced in 1982, the Toyota Camry, named the most popular car in America in 2001, has remained there since. Fuel injection was a major improvement over carburetors for equal fuel distribution, ability to adjust the mixture according to atmospheric pressure and temperature and for a smoother throttle response. It allowed the engine to run more consistently in all weather conditions.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood and look for the fuel pressure regulator. It is a round mechanism attached to the end of the fuel rail. The fuel injectors plug into the metal tube situated directly above them. This is the fuel supply to the injectors. One end of the fuel rail will have a hose connected directly to the rail and the opposite end will have the regulator before a hose. This is the return line for the excess fuel. The regulator keeps the fuel pressure at 38 pounds of pressure at all times. If the pressure rises above 38 pounds, the regulator opens and allows the excess pressure to return to the fuel tank. It works off a vacuum connected to the intake manifold.

    2

    Pull the vacuum hose off the regulator and shake it to see if there is any fuel in the line. If there is, the fuel regulator is bad and requires replacement because it's allowing all the fuel to return to the tank. If the vacuum hose is clean and dry, plug it back into the regulator.

    3

    Find the fuse and relay box on the driver's side fender well. Remove the cap on the box and look at the bottom side of the cap where you'll find a detailed diagram denoting the location and name of all the fuses and relays. Locate the fuel pump fuse and pull it out to check if it is blown. It will be obvious if the filament is burnt through. If so, replace it and try to start the car. If the fuse is good, look for the fuel pump relay. Place a hand on it and have someone help by turning the key to the "On" and "Off" positions several times. Hear and feel it click every time the key cycles, if the relay is good. If it is good, move on but if not, pull the relay out.

    4

    Turn the key "Off" and hook the voltmeter up with the black lead attached to the negative battery terminal. Use the red lead to probe the terminals in the fuse block vacated by the relay. One terminal should have power. If not, a problem exists between the fuse and relay. If power is present, have the helper turn the key "On." Probe the terminals again. Two terminals should have power now. If not, a problem exists between the relay and the computer. If there is power to two terminals, the relay is bad.

    5

    Test to ensure that the problem is fuel only. This is the easiest way to test a pump after ensuring it has power. From a mechanic's standpoint, this is getting to the bottom line quickly. Remove the air duct to the throttle body using the screwdriver to loosen the clamp and pulling the duct off.

    6

    Hold the throttle plate on the throttle body open with the linkage and spray a two second shot of carburetor cleaner into the throttle body. Release the linkage and start the engine. If the engine starts and runs for a couple seconds, the fuel pump is bad and needs replacing. You just shot fuel into the engine and it ran. If it fails to run, further problems exist, possibly the crankshaft sensor, camshaft sensor, mass airflow or computer.

Causes of a High Pitched Whining Noise in a Ford Lincoln Navigator

The Lincoln Navigator is an upscale model of the Ford Expedition. Vehicle noises in it can be one of the most difficult problems for which to determine the exact cause, because there are several completely different parts that could be making them. The easiest way to narrow your search is to figure out when the the whining noise is occurring and what part is running or operating when the noise begins or increases.

Belts

    Loose or glazed-over serpentine belts inside the Navigator's engine can cause a squealing or whining noise to emit from the engine compartment. This noise will be amplified when the SUV is first started or if gets wet under the hood. Typically, you can put a vehicle with a squealing belt in neutral and rev up on it several times in order to get the belt to temporarily stop squealing or whining.

Power Steering Pump

    A worn-out power steering pump has a tendency to whine when the vehicle is turned hard in one direction or the other. If the whining noise is only occuring when you turn your Navigator, you should have the power steering pump checked out by a mechanic. A low grade whine is often a signal that your power steering pump is low on fluid or beginning to fail.

Alternator

    In some cases, the current generated in the alternator can cause a whining noise to emit. This may be caused by the current not being properly transmitted into the diodes. If the whine begins when you start the Navigator and seems to increase and decrease in correspondence with the rpms the engine is producing, there is a good chance the whine is being caused by the alternator.

Turbocharger

    If your Lincoln Navigator has a turbocharger, the whine may come from the turbo when you are accelerating. Turbochargers gain their power by using exhaust gases to turn an impeller and give the engine a boost of horsepower. It is not uncommon for turbos to develop a whine over time.

Senin, 18 Januari 2010

Do I Need a New Alternator or Battery?

Do I Need a New Alternator or Battery?

Both a bad battery and a bad alternator can cause a vehicle's electronic system to fail, resulting a car that will not run or start. Diagnosing the correct problem can help a car owner save money by buying the proper part.

Battery and Alternator Symptoms

    Symptoms of a failing battery and alternator can be similar. In general, battery problems are usually spotted when starting a car. Cars that are operating normally but are difficult to start may have a bad battery. Dim or fluctuating headlights while driving are typically a sign of a failing alternator.

Testing

    Car owners can test the electrical output of the system using a voltmeter. In addition, most auto parts stores will test both batteries and alternators for free. Parts stores can typically test alternators and batteries that have been removed from the car as well as those still mounted in the car.

Other Problems

    Electrical systems can fail for a number of reasons other than a bad battery or alternator. Corroded battery cables or loose wiring to the alternator can also cause problems. A loose belt may slip and cause the alternator to fail to charge. Car owners should check these simple and inexpensive-to-fix problems before purchasing a battery or alternator.

Specifications of a Snap-On MT2500 Scanner

Specifications of a Snap-On MT2500 Scanner

The MT2500 Scanner manufactured by Snap-On is a tool used to diagnose problems with your vehicle's engine. It scans your vehicle for problems, if there are any problems it shows you a code on its black and gray screen that corresponds with the problem. This is a handy tool for auto mechanics and for auto enthusiasts.

Software

    The Snap-On MT-2500 Scanner comes with the Diagnostic User's Documentation compact disc which gives you further directions on how to properly use the scanner. It also comes with the Fast-Track Troubleshooter References CD which allows you to look up the codes that come up on the scanner right on your computer.

Compatibility

    The Snap-On MT2500 is compatible with Asian vehicles made from 1983-2006, GM vehicles made from 1980-2007, Ford vehicles made from 1981-2006, and Chrysler vehicles made from 1983-2006.

Power

    The scanner does not have on board power. It comes with a battery cable so it can be powered directly from the car battery. It also comes with a car adapter so it can be powered from the cigarette lighter in your car.

Connectors

    In order to make it more convenient to connect with the different vehicles the Snap-On MT2500 Scanner includes special connectors for Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, Ford and Mazda vehicles.

Minggu, 17 Januari 2010

High Idle Causes

High Idle Causes

A high idle in your car can cause you to worry. When the engine seems to rev up on its own while you are at a standstill, you may wonder if it's a sign of trouble that needs the attention of a mechanic. The answer to that question depends on the cause of the high idle. Some causes are harmless, while others can indicate the need for a repair.

Faulty Fuses

    Most modern car engines control the engine idle speed through a motor called an IAC (idle air control) motor. One of the leading causes of IAC motor malfunction is a blown or faulty fuse. A malfunctioning fuse in any of the electronically controlled components including the air bag system can disrupt the function of the IAC motor and lead to a higher idle speed than usual.

Computer Malfunctions

    Computers control a modern car's engine and transmission, its brake system and its airbag system. If the fuses are fine, the computer system itself in one of these components might be malfunctioning. If that's the case, that might be the source of the high idle speed in your engine.

    In some cars, the powertrain control computer can misinterpret the information it receives about the idle speed, leading to higher idling speeds. Cold weather can trigger this problem, and it usually corrects itself once the engine is warmed up.

Leaking Vacuum

    The IAC motor works with a vacuum port to control the engine's idle speed. By opening and closing a valve to the vacuum port at set intervals, the IAC motor sets the idle speed. If the seal on the vacuum port is leaking, that will interfere with the overall function of the IAC and may lead to high idle speeds. Often it is the hoses connected to the vacuum system that become damaged, leading to an imperfect vacuum.

Malfunctioning Throttle

    The throttle system in the vehicle might not be working properly, which can cause engine stalling or high idling. Common causes of a throttle malfunction are a buildup of dirt and contaminants in the engine's secondary air intake or a cracked air intake tube.

IAC Motor Malfunction

    The IAC motor itself may not be working properly. A short circuit in the motor can trigger high idle problems. Sometimes IAC motors develop high resistance in the circuitry, which slows the reactions of the IAC and can lead to idling problems.

Why Does My A/C Smell?

If your car's air conditioning is giving off a less-than-pleasant odor, you could have a problem. Though the issue is relatively minor compared to other types of car A/C problems, it is still wise to drive to your trusted mechanic and have him take a quick look.

Understanding Your Car's A/C Unit

    A car's air conditioning system has six main components: the compressor, condenser, evaporator, expansion valve, receiver and refrigerant unit. The compressor powers on when you turn on the air conditioner, and it pushes hot pressurized vapor out from the refrigerant unit. It routes the vapor to the condenser, where it converts to a liquid. The liquid transfers to a receiver unit, which removes moisture from the refrigerant and transfers it to the expansion valve. As the name suggests, the valve expands the liquid and transforms it to a vapor again. The vapor moves into the evaporator, which is what cools the passenger compartment. This process sounds long, but it usually happens in a matter of minutes.

Something Under the Hood

    In some cases, a foul smell from the air conditioning vents of your car could mean the remains of a small animal, like a bird or raccoon, are under the hood of the car. Lift the hood or slide yourself beneath the undercarriage with a flashlight to inspect the area. This is definitely not a pleasant discovery to make, but it is a common source of bad smell. You can either remove the animal yourself or have your mechanic handle the task.

Mildew

    In some cases, moisture trapped inside the condenser or evaporator of the car is the reason for the smell. Over time, the moisture turns into mildew and gives off an unpleasant odor. You may be able to fix the problem by letting the fan (not the A/C) run for a few minutes after running the air conditioner.

Bad Coolant

    Sometimes you may confuse an A/C issue with a general problem in the car's engine. The coolant in the car's radiator unit is sometimes the culprit if you have a strong, unpleasant smell emanating from your vents. The coolant may have toxic ingredients, and if it starts to leak from a hose or radiator cap, it can cause odor. In this case, either your mechanic has to check for leaks or you can try a different type of coolant.

Troubleshooting a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix

Troubleshooting a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix

Troubleshooting your Pontiac Grand Prix can be as easy as replacing a blown fuse to fix your problem, or it may result in having to take your car into a mechanic for more involved repairs. The Pontiac Grand Prix began production in 1962 and remained part of the Pontiac stable of vehicles up until the brand was canceled as part of General Motors restructuring in 2010. When you are troubleshooting your 1995 Grand Prix, start with the most obvious possible causes and follow a step-by-step approach to find the solution.

Instructions

    1

    Look under your 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix on a regular basis after the car has had an opportunity to sit for some period of time. Looking under the front and rear of the car will reveal any leaks that may be coming from the engine, transmission, brake lines or other hoses.

    2

    Remove the cover from the fuse box and refer to the diagram on the inside of the cover to look for a specific fuse, if you are experiencing any electrical problems. Whether it is the radio or engine that is not working, replacing a blown fuse can sometimes be the easiest way to fix the problem. Remove the suspect fuse from the fuse box using the small tool included in the fuse box. Look through the plastic end of the fuse; if the metal strip inside is broken, then the fuse will need to be replaced.

    3

    Lift the engine hood, disconnect the spark plug wires, remove the spark plugs using a spark plug wrench and clean the spark plugs, if the 1995 Grand Prix is running rough or has difficulty starting. Over time, carbon can build up on the ends of the spark plugs, and excessive amounts of this build up can decrease the effectiveness of the spark plug. If there is a lot of carbon on the spark plug or the ceramic housing is cracked, replace the old spark plugs.

    4

    Check the air pressure in your tires on a regular basis. If the tires are not inflated to the correct pressure, your tires will wear unevenly and your gas mileage will be reduced. Driving on under-inflated tires can also be a safety issue.

How to Troubleshoot the Charging System in a Honda CB550 Motorcycle

How to Troubleshoot the Charging System in a Honda CB550 Motorcycle

The charging system on a Honda CB550 motorcycles is both durable and accurate. The charging system consists of a battery, an alternator and a voltage regulator/rectifier. As the motorcycle runs, the alternator sends a variable current to the voltage regulator/rectifier. The rectifier filters the alternating current into direct current. The voltage regulator then maintains a constant voltage output to the battery and accessories such as lights. From time to time, something may go wrong and cause the motorcycle to stop charging the battery. Diagnosing the charging system is not difficult with the right tools and information.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the battery under the left side cover. Remove the left side cover and the seat using socket wrenches. Disconnect the negative and positive battery leads with a 10 mm box wrench. Remove the battery hold-down strap or holder plate, and remove the battery from the motorcycle. Brush away any corrosion on the terminals of the battery or the wire leads with a brass wire brush.

    2

    Wipe any dirt or residue off the battery with a shop rag, and inspect the electrolyte level, which should sit between the two marks on the battery case. Add distilled water as required to bring the level of each battery cell up to the "full" line on the battery case. Wipe off any spilled liquid from the battery case with a shop rag.

    3

    Check the specific gravity of each cell in the battery using a hydrometer. Remove all the fill caps at the top of the battery. Squeeze the rubber ball on the hydrometer and, while still holding the ball, insert the rubber hose into one of the battery cells. Release the pressure on the ball, and draw some electrolyte into the hydrometer. The specific gravity of each cell should read between 1.225 and 1.280. A fully charged battery cell should read 1.265. Any reading of any individual cell below 1.125 indicates the battery requires charging and retesting.

    4

    Charge the battery if any individual cell reads at or below 1.125 on the hydrometer. Connect the positive lead of the battery charger to the positive battery terminal. Connect the negative lead of a battery charger to the negative battery terminal. Plug the battery charger into a wall socket, and set the charger to 12 volts, 2 amps if it is adjustable. Charge the battery for eight hours.

    5

    Remove the battery charger from the battery, and allow the battery to sit for one hour. Recheck the electrolyte as described in Step 3. If any individual cell still reads less than 1.125, the battery has gone bad and requires replacement.

    6

    Clean the battery area on the bike with a rag, and install the battery in the reverse order of removal. Do not replace the side cover at this time.

    7

    Start the bike, and bring the motor to normal operating temperature. Shut down the engine. Connect a DC voltmeter to the battery. Connect the voltmeter positive (+) lead to the positive (+) battery terminal. Connect the negative (-) lead of the voltmeter to ground. Connect the ammeter in line with the main fuse connector located near the battery.

    8

    Start the engine, and turn on the high-beam headlamp. Run the engine at 5,000 rpm, and observe the readings on the voltmeter and ammeter. The voltmeter should read 14.5 volts, and the ammeter should read 0 or above. If the voltage is below 14.5 volts, or if the ammeter shows less than zero, proceed to the next steps to diagnose the individual components.

    9

    Test the alternator by disconnecting the alternator lead in the battery compartment. The alternator lead has five wires: three yellow, one black and one white. Check the continuity reading with the multimeter set on the "ohm" scale. Resistance between the yellow wires should range from about 0.41 to 0.51 ohms. Replace the alternator if any of the yellow wires shows no continuity to any of the others. No continuity indicates the stator in the alternator has a broken wire in one of the windings and is defective.

    10

    Remove the right cover, and locate the voltage regulator/rectifier. The regulator/rectifier will have two connectors. One connector has three wires: one green, one black and one red and white. The other connector has five wires: three yellow, one green and one red and white.

    11

    Connect one lead of the ohmmeter to the green rectifier lead. Connect the other lead to each of the yellow wires in turn. Each of the three measurements between the green wire and each of the yellow wires should be the same. The readings will be either all extremely high or all extremely low. If any one shows a different reading from the others, the rectifier is bad and requires replacement.

    12

    Connect either of the ohmmeter leads to the red-and-white regulator/rectifier lead. Connect the other ohmmeter lead to each of the yellow leads. These measurements must be the same --- either all extremely high or all extremely low. If any of the leads shows a different reading from the rest, the regulator/rectifier is defective and requires replacement.

    13

    Retest the charging system as described in Step 8 if you have replaced the battery, alternator or regulator/rectifier. If the motorcycle is still not charging at this point, damage has probably occurred to the wiring harness. Inspect the wiring harness visually for burned, broken or bare wires, and repair or replace as required.