Selasa, 31 Mei 2011

Low Oil Pressure & Engine Noise in a 302 Engine

Reports from automobile review and complaints websites concern the low oil pressure and engine noise occurring in a 302 engine. These engine problems are being attributed to only a few faults with the 302. Determining whether the the cause of these engine problems are major or minor is done through troubleshooting.

Oil Pump

    The main cause of low oil pressure in the 302 engine is the failure of the oil pump. The oil pump pushes oil through the engine so all the moving parts can be lubricated. The low pressure develops because the oil pump is not pushing oil through the engine and the oil sensors are recording low pressure. The oil begins to settle at the bottom of the 302, and engine noise develops. A check engine light illuminates on the instrument panel when the oil pump fails and the oil pressure gauge falls below the acceptable parameters.

Oil Filter

    If the oil filter becomes clogged, low oil pressure will develop in the 302 engine. Foreign particles and debris are filtered out of the engine oil as it circulates throughout the engine. Once too much debris builds up in the filter, oil cannot flow freely through the device. This causes the oil pressure to go down and engine noise to be created. A oil filter problem is separate from the oil pump problem, but can show the same symptoms because oil is still not getting pushed through the engine.

Piston Noise

    Once low oil pressure develops, the pistons on the crank are not being lubricated properly. Lack of lubrication in the piston and crank creates engine noise, such as a knocking noise. The pistons begin to wear prematurely and overheat, creating a buildup of heat inside the cylinders. This heat warps the cylinders and the 302 engine locks up. Piston noise can sound like a loud knock or popping once the warp begins to develop. The piston noise develops over time and begins as a light tapping sound. The automobile owner must take the vehicle into a qualified technician once this noise begins to prevent further damage to the engine. Once the loud knocking or popping noise begins, the engine needs to be rebuilt or replaced.

Gasket Leak

    A gasket leak also causes low oil pressure and engine noise in a 302. The gaskets on the head and crank case prevent oil from leaking out from the engine. Once one of these gaskets become damaged, oil leaks out and the oil level becomes low, causing the oil pressure to fall. The 302 begins to make a rubbing or grinding sound under normal operating conditions. The automobile owner can easily determine if a gasket has blown because oil will shoot out of the head and into the engine compartment. Oil is seen under the hood, on the fender wells and an oil puddle will develop on the pavement under the engine after the vehicle has set in one place for a period of time.

Signs and Symptoms of a Bad Sway Bar

Signs and Symptoms of a Bad Sway Bar

Sway bars are also known as stabilizer bars or anti-sway bars, and they help suppress spring oscillations and reduce body roll, or sway. Sway bars balance the movements of independent suspension components through turns and over rough road surfaces. A sway bar also deflects lateral movement when installed on a solid rear axle. Proper sway bar performance will aid ride comfort and enhance handling characteristics.

Tire Tread Wear

    Tire tread wear should be even across the tread surface.
    Tire tread wear should be even across the tread surface.

    A sway bar is a durable steel spring that transfers suspension action. The spring rate, or stiffness, of a sway bar remains constant unless damaged or fatigued by extreme age or overloading. A damaged or defective sway bar can exhibit tire wear patterns usually associated with high speed cornering. This tread wear appears as scuffing of the outside shoulder of the tire and crests in the tread. Such wear exhibited in the absence of high speed cornering can indicate sway bar malfunction.

Odd Noises

    Some sway bars are linked to the suspension and frame by linkage rods. The linkage rods have bushings at both ends to cushion the load transfer. Alternate styles are inserted into bushings in the control arm. Bushing failure of either style will result in erratic handling accompanied by a "clunk" noise in turns. Linkage-style bushing failure will also make a "jingle" noise over slight road bumps.

Lack of Control

    The attaching points for the sway bar to the frame are commonly fitted with bushings that provide some cushioning while maintaining a firm grip. Gradual softening and wear of these bushings is normal over time and may escape notice on daily commutes. Demanding road conditions or driving habits, however, will reveal worn or soft bushings by a lack of precise control. Total failures result in displacement or complete loss of the bushing and are readily apparent by loud rapping noises in turns and erratic handling.

Repairs

    Excessive body roll or sloppy steering response in turns should be corrected. The actual sway bar is resilient spring steel and is rarely the culprit. Replacement kits for sway bar bushings or linkage assemblies are inexpensive and usually all that is necessary to restore original performance. Demanding motorists might choose neoprene bushings that are stiffer and resist wear better than stock rubber bushings. Intense enthusiasts may opt for stronger, thicker sway bars selected from aftermarket suppliers.

Why Does My Car Spit Gas Out of the Tailpipe?

There is really only one reason for your car to spit gas out the tailpipe: misfires. A misfire is the failure of a cylinder to burn its fuel charge, and it is one of the most obvious symptoms of one of three basic issues. Air-to-fuel ratio imbalances are probably the most common, followed by ignition system failures, then a loss of compression. Knowing that is the first step in diagnosing the problem, but it's just the first step on a long road.

Computational Complications

    Your computer relies on a legion of sensors to monitor the engine -- sensors that give it feedback about the amount of oxygen and fuel going in, the amount of oxygen coming out, the throttle and crankshaft position and any number of other parameters it needs to calculate proper fuel injection and ignition timing. Practically any kind of sensor failure can cause a misfire, but the camshaft position, crankshaft position, throttle position, mass-airflow, manifold air pressure and oxygen sensors are generally the most important.

Air/Fuel Imbalances

    If your engine spews raw fuel out of the tailpipe, then it may be getting too much fuel relative to oxygen. Mechanically speaking, this can mean either a restriction in the air system or a malfunction in the fuel system. Air restrictions are fairly unlikely as long as your throttle is opening and the valves work, so you're most likely dealing with a fuel problem. Injectors that fail to close or close all the way will constantly leak fuel into your engine; dirty injectors will spray the fuel into the engine in tight streams instead of a fine spray, resulting in incomplete combustion and misfire.

Electrical Gremlins

    Even if your air/fuel ratio is perfect, a failure in the ignition system means that the fuel won't burn, or won't burn when it's supposed to. Electrical systems often track back to a sensor failure, because ignition systems are completely dependent upon the computer to function correctly. From a mechanical standpoint, bad ignition coils and spark plugs are the most likely suspect, particularly on coil-on-plug ignitions. Spark plugs fouled with oil or cooked-on carbon are common and usually result from a bad intake valve seal or bad positive crankcase ventilation valve.

Compromised Compression

    Compromised compression is the least likely but most disastrous of failures, because it implies that there's something mechanically wrong with the engine internally. Your engine has to compress the air/fuel mixture before it will ignite, which means that the piston rings and valves need to make a tight seal to build up pressure. Compression loss can result from damaged piston rings or excess cylinder bore wear but may just as easily happen if one of the valves doesn't close all the way. Worn valve guides can cause valves to cock sideways and stick open, and worn-out or broken valve springs may not return the valves to the fully closed position before the camshaft pushes them open again.

Senin, 30 Mei 2011

How to Know If You Have a Problem With Your Tie Rod for a 99 Dodge Intrepid

How to Know If You Have a Problem With Your Tie Rod for a 99 Dodge Intrepid

The 1999 Dodge Intrepid was equipped with a 2.7-liter V-6 engine in the base model. A 3.2-liter V-6 was available as an upgrade. The tie rods on the 1999 Intrepid are responsible for the toe alignment of the vehicle. The toe is the turning of the wheel inward or outward on a horizontal plane, and is judged by the front and rear treads of the tires. When the inner or outer tie rods go bad, it can make the tires wear unevenly on the inner or outermost tire treads.

Instructions

    1

    Raise the front end of the Intrepid with a jack. Place jack stands beneath the subframe on the driver and passenger sides of the car, just inside the lower control arms.

    2

    Turn the steering wheel slightly to the right, to open access for your arm to fit in the driver's side wheel well. Turn the ignition key off and remove it from the ignition to lock the steering wheel. Step out of the car and proceed to the driver's side front wheel.

    3

    Kneel down by the wheel and insert your right hand through to the inward facing side of the tire, and place your hand on the outer tie rod. Grab the forward facing tread of the tire and shake the tire horizontally from side to side. If you feel a knocking in the tie rod end, your outer tie rod may be bad.

    4

    Move your hand inward onto the inner tie rod end, and shake the wheel again. If the knocking feeling is stronger as you move your hand inward, the inner tie rod is bad. Replace the outer, inner, or both tie rods if the knocking is strong on both the outer and inner ends.

    5

    Step to the driver's seat of the vehicle. Turn the steering wheel slightly to the left. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 on the passenger side of the car, using your left hand on the tie rods and your right hand to shake the tire. Replace either tie rod on the passenger side if they are knocking.

Minggu, 29 Mei 2011

What Causes Water to Leak in a 2003 Buick Century?

What Causes Water to Leak in a 2003 Buick Century?

Dealership technicians often are required to attend to any and all requests for repairs. One of the categories for customer complaints is "leaks, squeaks and rattles." As silly as it may sound, these types of repairs can be a source of frustration for a technician. Duplicating the exact condition that reveals the fault can be an exercise in futility, if communications are misleading or confused. A clear description of the problem may be all that is needed for an accurate diagnosis. While the actual repair needed still may require the attention of a professional, relating the exact symptom eases the process for all parties involved.

A Pour on the Floor

    Water that appears on the front passenger side of the car interior when no rain is present is an indication of a clogged air conditioner drain. Soggy carpeting or drips falling from the underside of the dash can occur. The air conditioner removes humidity from the passenger compartment on various settings, and in many climates. The water that condenses inside the system is channeled to a drain for expulsion. A small port on the passenger side firewall directs the escaping water to the ground. Leaves or other debris that collect in the drain can clog the small opening. The drain opening may need to be cleared if no water pools on the ground under the Century after the air conditioner operates for a few minutes.

Fun in the Sun

    Some passenger compartment water leaks can be traced to the sunroof. Intricate gaskets and seals are meant to waterproof the skylight and its mechanisms. Great pains are taken with design and construction of this optional feature to prevent leaks into the roof and headliner. A leak from the sunroof may allow water to travel to the edges of the headliner in any direction. Although headliner stains are an obvious clue, they may escape notice or take some time to show. Sunroof repairs might best be left to the Buick dealership near you. Factory training, materials and product knowledge are necessary for effective and enduring fixes.

Lots of Glass

    Time takes its toll, and the sealers and gaskets applied to the windshield and rear window can become weathered. The sealing agents used during vehicle assembly can dry out over time, or shrink. Persistent musty trunk odors might provoke an investigation that reveals standing water in the spare tire well. Misguided attempts to stem the flow may have involved tape applied to body seams, while the window seal is the real culprit. A leak from the windshield can mimic a clogged air conditioner drain, but a visit to a drive-in car wash may help verify the true source.

Weather or Not

    Aside from ineffectual collision repairs, other water leaks can occur because of deficiencies in the weather strips. These soft rubber gaskets normally seal door and trunk lid cavities, and channel the water out of the car body. The seals are easily damaged, and can lose shape and elasticity over time. Wind noise may precede water leaks, and can help locate a troubled or torn section of the rubber strips. Damage and displacement often result from mishandled cargo such as bicycles or lawn mowers. However, lack of maintenance also is a likely reason for weather strip failure. Replacement parts are available for damaged seals, but existing seals can be preserved by cleaning and lubricating them with silicone-based dressings applied with a soft rag.

How to Bench Test a Starter Using a 12 Volt Battery

How to Bench Test a Starter Using a 12 Volt Battery

Testing electrical devices on the workbench can be dangerous if directions are not followed completely. The worker must understand the functions of a solenoid and starter button and be able to wire them in place. The worker also needs an understanding of the concept of an in-line fuse holder and its function and must have the ability to use electrical and mechanical tools. Wiring test components in series must also be performed. This method is for bench testing starters only, not their solenoids.

Instructions

    1

    Put on the safety glasses. Put on the heavy gloves. Place the 12-volt battery in a secure place on the bench. Place the starter in a heavy, metal-working vise mounted on top of your workbench with the two large positive and negative terminals facing up.

    2

    Use spade connectors for all connections. Connect a number 6 wire long enough to reach the battery to the negative terminal on the starter or the starter frame using a large spade connector. Connect the other end of the wire to the negative post on the battery in the same manner. Do not try to use the solenoid mounted on the battery, if one is present, and make sure all wires are removed from it.

    3

    Mount the solenoid on the test bench. Connect a number 6 wire long enough to reach the solenoid to the positive terminal on the starter using a large spade connector. Connect the other end to either large terminal on the solenoid using a large spade connector. Connect a number 6 wire long enough to reach the battery to the other large terminal on the solenoid in the same manner.

    4

    Connect the number 6 wire from the solenoid to the positive terminal on the battery. Connect a number 12 wire to the small negative terminal on the solenoid using a small spade connector. Connect the other end to the negative terminal on the battery using a large spade connector.

    5

    Mount the starter button on the test bench. Connect a number 12 wire long enough to reach the starter button to the small positive terminal on the solenoid using a small spade connector. Connect the other end to either terminal on the starter button using a small spade connector.

    6

    Connect a number 12 wire long enough to reach the battery to the other terminal on the starter button in the same manner. Connect an in-line fuse holder to the end of the wire from the starter button. Connect the other end of the in-line fuse holder to the positive terminal on the battery. Place the 30-amp fuse in the fuse holder.

    7

    Check that all connections are tight and in the right place. Check the vise to be sure the starter is firmly held in place. Push the starter button, which will operate the solenoid, which will in turn operate the starter being tested.

How do I Get & Pull Engine Codes for a Town Car?

Engine trouble codes in the Lincoln Town Car correspond to troubleshooting pinpoint tests that the diagnostician must perform to locate a problem. When the PCM, otherwise known as the onboard computer, detects a malfunction in the drive train management system, it generates an engine code and turns on the check engine light. The codes themselves do not pinpoint the problem but provide a direction to look during troubleshooting. Anyone with basic auto-repair skills can pull engine codes on a Lincoln Town Car in less than 15 minutes.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase a scan tool at your local auto-parts retailer; make sure it works with Ford software.

    2

    Climb into the Town Car's driver's seat and connect the scan tool's datalink cable to the DTC, or diagnostic trouble code, port under the dashboard.

    3

    Turn the ignition to the run position. Follow the scan tool's specific operating instructions to run a quick test on the PCM. When the codes display on the scan tool, write them down with paper and pen.

    4

    Complete the quick test following the scan tool's specific operating instructions. Do not erase the codes when prompted to do so unless you have already repaired the Town Car.

    5

    Disconnect the datalink cable from the DTC port. Shut off the ignition.

How to Troubleshoot a Speed Circuit Malfunction

How to Troubleshoot a Speed Circuit Malfunction

Speed circuits ensure that some mechanical part is rotating at the proper speed. In automobiles, speed circuits help transmissions shift at the correct times, and make sure that engine parts and wheels are turning at the right speeds in relation to each other. In large DC motors, the speed circuit ensures that the motor is turning at the correct speed as the load changes. Speed circuits can fail in two different ways: False positive failures are when the detectors report a nonexistent problem, and false negative failures are when the circuit does not report an existing problem.

Instructions

    1

    Find false positive speed circuit problems in automobiles with a code checker. These are handheld tools for diagnosing automobile problems. They plug into the solid-state electronics in newer cars and display codes for various abnormalities; for example, the code reader for Chryslers, Dodges, and Jeeps lists the ignition/distributor engine speed circuit malfunction as P0320.

    2

    Fix a false positive such as P0320 when there is nothing wrong with the distributor or ignition system by checking the sensor and associated wiring. Cleaning off the sensor and reinstalling it often clears up the problem; otherwise, substitute a new sensor, and see if the problem persists. Check the wiring between the sensor and the central electrical system, as a short in this wire can also cause a false positive reading.

    3

    Discover a false negative problem with the speed circuit when something goes wrong and it is not reported by the code checker. It is not enough to fix the problem; it is also advisable to check the sensor system as for a false positive examine the sensor and the wiring.

    4

    Troubleshoot speed circuit problems with DC motors in the same way as for automobile speed circuits problems with no diagnostic warning are false negatives, meaning something is wrong with the speed circuit, and diagnostics with no real problems also mean something is wrong with the speed circuit. With DC motors, the best check is putting a multimeter in the speed circuit and making sure the voltage fluctuations match the specifications that came with the motor. The fix is often the same as in the automotive case -- clean or replace the sensor, and make sure that the wiring is intact.

Jumat, 27 Mei 2011

Chevrolet Express ABS Problems

Chevrolet Express ABS Problems

The Chevrolet Express has very high reliability reports from Edmunds.com, but does have recalls on the anti-lock braking system (ABS) as well as technical service bulletins (TSB) published by the manufacturer. These ABS problems concern everything from the ABS warning light intermittently coming on to the pressure accumulator cracking and separating from the brake hub.

Defective Housing Relief Valve

    The 2003 Chevrolet Express has a recall on the ABS brakes because of a defective housing relief valve which affects more than 68,000 Chevrolet vehicles including the Express. According to Repairpal.com, the Express was manufactured with housing relief valves that do not meet the specifications. The O-ring seal is fracturing causing the ABS brakes to require the operator to put more pressure on the brakes to get the ABS to work properly. The defective housing relief valve on the ABS brakes are also attributed to the loss of brake fluid causing the ABS brakes not to work. The Express owners must take this Chevrolet van back to the dealership to have take care of this ABS recall.

Pressure Accumulator Cracks

    More than 155,000 Chevrolet vehicles are being recalled because the ABS brakes are having a major problem with the pressure accumulator, including the Chevrolet Express. The pressure accumulator is cracking and separating from the ABS brake hub causing the cracked components to shoot out from the under carriage of the Express and injure people close to the van. This cracked pressure accumulator also causes the hydraulic fluid to leak from the ABS brakes causing the brake booster to short circuit. The ABS brakes will not work and may create an accident during normal operations of the Express. The Express owners must take the van into the dealership to have this recall corrected.

ABS Warning Light Problems

    Edmunds.com reports that the 2007 Chevrolet Express has two TSBs published on the van because of an ABS warning light problem. The ABS warning light works intermittently when there is a problem with the brakes or when there is no problem with the brakes. This warning light problem can prevent the Express owner from servicing the ABS brakes because he does not take the warning light seriously. This ABS problem is not attributed to a specific problem, but other electrical problems can affect the console or lights on the Express. The Express owner needs to take the Chevrolet into the dealership when this ABS problem occurs to ensure when the warning light does illuminate, he knows that there is a problem with the ABS brakes.

How to Troubleshoot the 2002 Chevy Tahoe Electrical System

How to Troubleshoot the 2002 Chevy Tahoe Electrical System

The 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe is a powerful and rugged SUV, but it can fall victim to the same electrical problems as any other car on the road. You can troubleshoot the vehicle's electrical system in your own driveway, without going through the time and trouble of taking it to a mechanic. Although some electrical malfunctions may require professional assistance, you can rule out some of the common causes of electrical problems with a little careful inspection. This will only take about an hour and requires no tools or professional training.

Instructions

    1

    Examine the relays and fuses of your 2002 Chevy Tahoe if its interior lights are flickering, fading or failing to come on at all. If the fuses are intact, the problem may be a loose wire nut or a damaged ignition switch.

    2

    Inspect the vehicle's ground cable running from its firewall to its engine. If you have noticed more than one electrical problem, the ground cable is likely to blame. The cable is especially vulnerable near the firewall.

    3

    Look over the wiring of your Tahoe if the emergency flashers are turning on when you try to use a turn signal. This may be a sign of electrical problems caused by adding trailer wiring to the vehicle.

    4

    Replace the Body Control Module (BCM) if your Tahoe is repeatedly plagued by electrical malfunctions. This procedure can only be done at your local Chevy dealer, because they must update the vehicle's computer after replacing the BCM.

    5

    Let your local Chevrolet dealer know if your Tahoe is experiencing repeated electrical problems. There may be a recall on components of the electrical system, and you may be able to get your vehicle repaired for free.

What Causes Fuel Injectors to Misfire?

What Causes Fuel Injectors to Misfire?

A properly running engine needs fuel injectors to deliver the exact amount of fuel to each cylinder with every pulse. Sometimes, hard-starting, hesitation and misfire can be caused by dirty fuel injectors that have gummed up or varnished passages. Often, the culprit lies with an electrical problem that will not allow fire to activate the injector, or a circuit has interrupted the current flow. Some knowledge about the circuitry will allow the vehicle owner to determine which electrical system could be at fault.

O2 and Coolant Sensors

    Problems with the oxygen sensor or the coolant sensor can show the same type of symptoms. Both of these components unite with the power train control feedback loop, which governs signals that go to the injectors, responsible for fuel delivery. Any coolant sensor that always reads cold can cause an overly rich mixture because it closes the circuit loop. A faulty oxygen sensor or one that fails intermittently can also shut down the electrical loop. Both should be replaced if their signal readings show weak or dead conditions.

The PCM

    The power control module (PCM) electronically regulates the amount of fuel that flows to the injectors. It synchronizes the RPM of the crankshaft or camshaft (one or both) to deliver fuel in the proper amounts according to speed and load. Several sensors tie into it, which adjust the signal: the airflow sensor, throttle position sensor, manifold absolute pressure (MAP) and the air intake sensor. Any one of these electronic sensors that has a short or an open loop can affect fuel delivery. Most PCMs have a driver circuit for grounding or sometimes turning on the injectors. A short in one of the injectors can disable the driver circuit in the PCM.

Power Relay

    The power relay supplies the initial voltage to the injectors and consists of a simple switch. If the relay is defective internally, shorted or disconnected, all of the fuel injectors will be shut down, which will cut off all fuel supply.

Fuel Pump Relay

    For the lines and injectors to receive fuel, the fuel pump relay must activate to start the process. If the fuel pump relay malfunctions, no fuel will be sent through the lines to the injector ports. Bad relay contacts, shorted wires or disconnected wire jacks will cause a "dead" condition in this component.

Oil Pressure and Inertia Switch

    On cars equipped with an oil pressure switch, a low or zero oil pressure reading will cause the fuel pump to deactivate. This is a safety precaution so the engine cannot operate without sufficient lubrication, which could lead to engine failure. The inertia switch closes down the fuel pump in case of an accident, where the vehicle impacts another object or flips upside down. Stopping the fuel delivery, after a crash, keeps the vehicle from pumping gas, which could ignite from an open spark or fire.

Fuel Pump

    If the fuel pump does not receive a full voltage signal from the battery or has high resistance in the wiring, the electrical current will not be sufficient to power the pump fast enough to keep up with the fuel pressure demand.

Injector Solenoid

    All injectors have a solenoid on the tip of the injector body. The solenoid pulls the injector pintle up, allowing flow when it receives an electronic signal. The electronic signal must be strong enough to open the spring pressure, allowing fuel to pass. Weak signals, direct shorts or too much resistance at the solenoid can keep the injector port from opening partially or not at all.

What Is a Suction Hose in an A/C System?

What Is a Suction Hose in an A/C System?

Air conditioning (A/C) systems consist of three main components: the compressor, evaporator and condenser. Running between these components are lines carrying refrigerant in various states. The suction line is referred to as a hose mainly in automotive systems where it is usually made of a special rubber rather than metal tubing. The suction hose can also be identified by certain other characteristics.

Temperature

    The suction hose is the cold line. Since it carries refrigerant to the compressor from the evaporator, it is lower in temperature than any line in the A/C system except those inside the evaporator itself.

Pressure

    The suction hose is the low pressure line. When it enters the evaporator, the refrigerant goes from a high pressure liquid to a low pressure vapor. This condition continues until it returns to the suction side of the compressor. Hence the name, suction hose.

Size

    The suction hose is the large line. In most A/C systems, especially those in automobiles, the suction hose is considerably larger than the other A/C lines. It is carrying refrigerant vapor and lubricant which must have room to flow with minimal resistance.

Why Is My Car Losing Power When the Air Conditioner Is On?

Why Is My Car Losing Power When the Air Conditioner Is On?

Air conditioning systems require a great deal of power to cool your car. The higher you have the air conditioning set and the hotter it is outside, the more the system needs to work to provide you with cool air. Since the only place that power can come from is the engine, you may notice a drop in your car's performance as a result of running the air conditioning.

Horsepower Consumption

    An air conditioner requires differing amounts of horsepower depending on the size of the car and the size of the air conditioner's compressor. However, when the compressor actually is active, it could require as much as 5 or more of the horsepower available from the engine. In a large vehicle that produces hundreds of horsepower, this is unlikely to present a noticeable loss. In smaller cars, the loss of 5 horsepower may be quite noticeable.

Smaller Engines

    In some of the smallest, most compact cars available, the loss of the power required to run an air conditioner is so significant that a larger engine is required to compensate. Early 1990s Suzuki Swifts were available with either a three-cylinder or four-cylinder engine. Air conditioning wasn't available on the three-cylinder engine model because the tiny 53-horsepower engine couldn't spare the power required to run the air conditioner.

Cycles

    To understand exactly why you're losing power at certain times, you need to know how the air conditioner system works. The compressor is the part of the system that has a belt directly connected to the engine. This is the primary pump that drives the movement of the refrigerant when it is in vapor form. Whenever the compressor is on, you're losing power from the engine because energy is being used to drive the belt that powers the compressor.

Fuel Economy

    A large amount of power is needed to run the air conditioning system in your car, so it has an adverse effect on the car's fuel consumption. A report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory states that it takes as much energy to run an air conditioner with a 400-W load as it does to drive a mid-size car at 35 mph. This means a loss of as much as 1 mpg in fuel economy while the air conditioner is running.

My Nissan Won't Start

My Nissan Won't Start

Diagnosing a no-start issue with your Nissan requires a logical approach to discovering what might be stopping your car from starting. When you try to start your car, voltage from the battery passes through the ignition switch to the Park/Neutral safety switch then to the brake/clutch pedal to the starter solenoid. When voltage reaches the solenoid, a contact is closed that sends power to the starter to start the engine. The starter motor spins, pushes the starter pin into the flywheel and rotates the engine.

Instructions

Nissan engine will not rotate.

    1

    Look for corroded or loose battery connections. Corrosion looks white or green. Clean any corrosion off of the battery connections using a wire brush, baking soda and water. Tighten the battery cables.

    2

    Remove the battery. Take the battery to an auto parts store for testing. Replace the battery if it is faulty. Charge the battery if the battery is dead but still good.

    3

    Place the Nissan in Park. If the Nissan is in a gear other than Park, the car will not start. For manual transmission transaxles, depress the clutch completely when attempting to start the Nissan.

    4

    Look for broken, loose or disconnected wires to and from the starter, alternator, battery, starter solenoid and distributor. Replace any damaged wires. Tighten any loose wires.

    5

    Change the starter solenoid if a clicking sound is not heard when attempting to start the Nissan.

    6

    Replace the starter if the starter motor spins but the engine still does not start.

    7

    Replace the ignition switch.

    8

    Check the flywheel for missing or worn teeth. In order to examine the flywheel, the transaxle must be removed from the vehicle.

Nissan engine rotates but will not start.

    9

    Check the gas level in the fuel tank. Add fuel if necessary. Gauges can become stuck and may not always give an accurate reading.

    10

    Remove the battery. Take the battery to an auto parts store for testing. Replace the battery if it is faulty. Charge the battery if the battery is still good.

    11

    Clean corrosion off of the battery cables with baking soda, water and a battery brush. Tighten any loose battery cables.

    12

    Replace the O-rings for the fuel injectors if the injectors are leaking. Removing the intake plenum and fuel rail is required for replacing the O-rings.

    13

    Turn the ignition to the On position without starting the vehicle. Listen for the whirring sound from the fuel pump. If a whirring sound is heard, check the fuel pump fuse. Replace the bad fuse. Replace the fuel pump if the fuse is good.

    14

    Replace the fuel pump regulator.

    15

    Check and replace the timing chain if the chain is broken. Inspecting the timing chain requires removing the valve cover, drive belts, power steering pump and part of the exhaust.

    16

    Check for damp ignition components. Damp components can prevent a vehicle from starting properly. Allow the components to dry.

    17

    Pull out the spark plugs. Check the spark plugs for incorrect gap and wear. Replace the spark plugs.

    18

    Look for broken, loose or disconnected wires to and from the starter, alternator, battery, starter solenoid and distributor. Replace any damaged wires. Tighten any loose wires.

    19

    Tighten the distributor screws with a Phillips screwdriver.

    20

    Check for damaged wiring at the ignition coil. Replace any broken wires. Tighten any loose wires. Replace the ignition coil.

How to Troubleshoot the 1997 Plymouth Neon

The 1997 Neon, a car produced and sold both by Dodge and by Plymouth, provided a common, inexpensive entry car for a number of buyers near the end of the 1990s. The car came in a 4-cylinder and a 6-cylinder option and served as a perky compact that was gas efficient and inexpensive. However, problems with the car soon manifested with five years of ownership and still continue for those who own the model.

Instructions

Engine Dies While Running

    1

    Raise the car hood and prop it with the hood safety stick. Use a flashlight to see what you are doing if the light is not sufficient. Attach a spark tester tool to the end of a spark plug in the engine, and turn the key on. Check if the positive battery terminal (the red or + terminal) has current when the key is moved to "on" if there is no spark.

    2

    Connect a fuel pressure gauge to the car via the gas tank lid to check for fuel pressure (pressure is maintained when the lid is shut and the system is sealed). Turn the ignition key on and then off. See if the pressure measured is still the same (no pressure will stop the car from working).

    3

    Turn the car on and turn over the ignition. Let the car idle and see if it dies out while idling. Turn it back on it if dies and take it for a drive. Accelerate strongly so that the engine gets fairly warm from operation. Let the car cruise and observe for problems. Slow the car down to a stop and let it idle again. If the car still dies out in idle, take the car to a mechanic and suggest the fuel injectors and oxygen sensor need cleaning or replacement.

Sqeaky Brakes

    4

    Slowly let the car roll forward and slowly apply the brakes. Listen for brake sounds that repeat with each application. Take the car for a drive and repeat the braking process again but with more force. Feel if the brake pedal begins to a feel a vibration similar to fluttering or if the braking is smooth. Listen as well for squealing or brake noises.

    5

    Take the car into a mechanic and have him check the brake pads to see if they need replacement. Also have him rotate the rotors similar to the wheels being rotated around the car (this can only be done a few times until the rotors are used up from different angles).

    6

    Direct the mechanic to replace the brake rotors and pads if the noise continues and no further adjustment can be made.

My 2001 Altima Won't Start

My 2001 Altima Won't Start

When your 2001 Nissan Altima won't start, you may want to diagnose the problem yourself. While it is best to take your car to a certified automotive technician as soon as possible, certain circumstances, such as being stranded on the road, may require that you fix the problem on your own. There are several steps you can take to eliminate some of the more common problems associated with your Altima not starting.

Instructions

    1

    Check your 2001 Altima for any blown fuses. Locate the fuse box under the dashboard on the driver's side. Open the fuse box and refer to its diagram to see which circuit each fuse belongs to. Check any fuse related to the starting of the vehicle, such as the ignition and starter fuses, and replace them if necessary.

    2

    Inspect the battery for corrosion or loose connections. Often, a buildup of corrosion can lead to an improper connection. Use a wire brush to clean the corrosion from the battery terminals and tighten the connectors if necessary.

    3

    Turn the ignition on but do not crank the engine. Check the dashboard instrument panel for any maintenance or warning lights, such as low fuel, oil or check engine, that may be on.

    4

    Switch on the headlights. If the headlights or interior lights are dim, this may indicate an insufficient battery charge.

    5

    Crank the engine. If the car does not start but just clicks, this could be an indication of a bad starter. If the engine starts for a moment then quits, this could be a sign that the engine is not getting fuel. If the engine produces unusual sounds when starting, there may be a larger issue that will need to be diagnosed by a qualified automotive repair technician.

Kamis, 26 Mei 2011

Chrysler Code P0161

Code P0161 isn't unique to Chrysler; the first zero in the code name tags it as a generic Onboard Diagnostics, Series II code. Federal inspectors rely on generic codes like this to assist in emissions inspections and to help the driver repair the car so it's clean and safe. This particular code indicates low circuit voltage on the second oxygen sensor on bank two. Bank two is the right side of the engine when you're looking at the engine from the front.

Instructions

    1

    Open the vehicle's hood and locate the number two oxygen sensor on bank two. Start at the exhaust manifold and trace the exhaust pipe down under the car. You'll see an O2 sensor in the exhaust manifold or pipe; this is sensor number one. Keep going on the pipe till you pass the catalytic converter and find the second O2 sensor -- sensor number two. Number two monitors the catalytic converter output, while number one, further up, monitors the engine itself.

    2

    Kick a set of chocks behind the rear wheels, set your parking brake, jack the front of the car up and set it on jackstands. Check the connector where it plugs into the O2 sensor. This code often indicates an open circuit -- causing a lack of voltage output to the computer -- or a bad O2 sensor. Check that the wiring harness isn't damaged and that the heated O2 sensor is getting power from the computer, before you assume the O2 sensor is bad.

    3

    Turn the chassis-side of the O2 wiring harness so that the locking tab is at the twelve o'clock position and the two alignment slots are at the three and five o'clock positions. The two terminals stacked in top of each other on the right side are the power wires. Touch the needle probles of your digital multimeter to these terminals; you should get a reading of at least 10 volts with the engine off and the ignition key in the on position.

    4

    Start the car with the sensor disconnected and allow it to idle until it warms up to operating temperature. Make sure that your wiring harness isn't touching anything hot. Shut the car off and quickly slide under the car. You have about five seconds to touch the DMM's sensor terminals to the sensor's output terminals; those are the two stacked on the right when viewing the O2 sensor plug with the locking tab at twelve o'clock.

    5

    Check the O2 sensor's voltage displayed on the DMM's screen. The voltage output from this sensor will start at a given value -- around 0.49 volts. Over the course of 144 seconds, the voltage reading should steadily drop to zero. Or, it should drop by 0.50-volt from wherever it started. If the sensor doesn't respond in this way, set your digital multimeter to check for circuit continuity. Touch the sensor probes to the power-supply lines on the O2 sensor harness -- the terminals stacked on the left. If you get a reading of "open" or "infinite" ohms, it's time to replace the O2 sensor.

How to Test Hall Effect Sensors

How to Test Hall Effect Sensors

The camshaft position sensor and the crankshaft position sensor are Hall effect sensors that monitor the position of the camshaft and the crankshaft. A small magnet passes in front of the sensor. As the magnet comes closer to the sensor, the output voltage rises. As the magnet moves away from the sensor, the voltage decreases. The electronic control module (ECM) monitors these sensor outputs to determine shaft position. The camshaft and crankshaft position sensors, along with other electrical sensors, solenoids and injectors, allow the ECM to maintain precise engine control. Understanding the basic theory of Hall effect sensors will help you properly test a questionable sensor.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the sensor from the engine block. Clean the sensor tip by removing oil, dirt and metal shavings.

    2

    Review the schematic for the engine and locate the camshaft sensor or crankshaft signal to the ECM. Remove the signal wire from the ECM. Connect one end of the jumper wire to the signal wire. Connect the other end of the jumper wire to the tip of the positive probe. Connect the negative probe on a good chassis ground connection. If needed, use a jumper with alligator clips to connect the negative probe to chassis ground.

    3

    Turn the digital voltmeter to measure DC volts. Turn the key switch "On." The voltage should be approximately 0 volts. Slowly move the magnet perpendicular to the front of the sensor. The voltage should increase as the magnet moves toward the sensor and decreases as it moves away. If the voltage does not change, there is a problem with the sensor or connections to the sensor.

How to Test for Alcohol in Gas

How to Test for Alcohol in Gas

Gas usually contains some alcohol, which can sometimes be as much as 10 percent. Alcohol, however, can be harmful to the engine and it is important to determine the amount that is present in the gas you use in your car or other engine. There are many alcohol test kits that you can purchase and use to test gasoline before using it in your car.

Instructions

    1

    Buy the test kit. Get a sample from the gas pump or the tank of your car. Check the physical appearance of the gasoline to ensure there are no particles and it has clear golden color.

    2

    Take the test tube that is in the test kit and add put water up to the level indicated with a line on the test tube.

    3

    Add about 18 milliliters of gas until the liquid reaches the gasoline line. Add the quick-check solution into the test tube if it was included in the test kit. Make sure the room where you are performing this task is well ventilated and there is no fire or heat that can cause a fire as gasoline is flammable.

    4

    Close the test tube with its cap and shake it until the contents are well mixed. Hold the tube in an upright position for two to 10 minutes until the contents settle down.

    5

    Check what happens to the contents, reading the markings on the test tube that indicate increments in volume of the liquid inside with a percentage measure. If there is alcohol in the gasoline, the amount of water increases. Read the marking on the separation level of gas and water to determine the exact percentage of alcohol in the fuel sample. If there is no change in the reading, there is no alcohol in the sample.

    6

    Repeat the test every time you buy gasoline to be sure that you will never use gasoline that can harm your car's engine.

2008 Grizzly 700 Won't Start, it Just Clicks

A clicking noise produced when you try to start your 2008 Grizzly 700 indicates a problem with the starter solenoid. The solenoid is attempting to activate the starter, but to no avail. You must determine if the problem is caused either by a reduction in voltage to the starter or by the starter itself. The starting system is relatively simple and easy to diagnose with a voltmeter and basic tools.

Instructions

    1

    Check the battery by connecting the voltmeter's black lead to the negative terminal on the battery and the red lead to the positive terminal. The voltmeter should display 12.25 to 12.75 volts if the battery is fully charged. If the battery is below 10.5 volts, it should be charged before proceeding. Once the battery charges for a few hours, the voltage should come up to over 12 volts. If not, the battery has a bad cell. Replace it.

    2

    Check the battery terminals for corrosion and secure connections. If they are corroded, use some water and baking soda to rid them of corrosion. Finish by cleaning them with the terminal cleaner tool. Make sure the cables are tightly bolted to the terminals.

    3

    Attempt to start the engine. If it still doesn't start, connect the black voltmeter lead to a good ground on the engine and use the red lead to probe the large wire on the solenoid. This large diameter wire runs directly from the battery to the solenoid. There must be 12 volts at the end of this wire where it is bolted to the solenoid. If not, the wire is corroded or broken. If there is voltage, place the voltmeter probe on the opposite side of the solenoid, on the large wire leading to the starter. Turn the key to the start position. There should be 12 volts running to the starter. If there is, the starter is bad or will not engage the flywheel.

    4

    Check the small diameter wire on the solenoid by pulling the wire off and placing the red voltmeter lead probe into the connector at the end of the wire. While maintaining contact with the probe and the small wire, turn the ignition key to start. You should have 12 volts when the key is in the start position and no voltage when the key is released. This wire activates the starter. If no voltage is present, check the starter fuse. If the fuse is good, the ignition switch is bad.

    5

    Remove the negative terminal on the battery with a wrench. Put the voltmeter aside for now. Remove the two bolts securing the starter to the engine using a socket. Pull the starter out from the engine and lay it on the frame but make sure the large wire does not touch the frame or any other metal.

    6

    Connect the negative terminal on the battery and briefly turn the key to start and see if the starter bendix (the gear on the end of the starter) comes out and the starter works. If it does, inspect the teeth on the flywheel through the hole vacated by the starter. If the teeth are ground down or irregular in spots, the flywheel must be replaced. If the battery does not operate the starter, replace the starter.

Selasa, 24 Mei 2011

Does a Constantly Open Thermostat Hurt Your Car?

Does a Constantly Open Thermostat Hurt Your Car?

The thermostat may seem slightly redundant to some, but it performs an important function in keeping your engine running at its best. And it helps to keep you at your best, too, since a cold engine means cold coolant -- and that means no heater for you.

Thermostat Basics

    A thermostat is essentially a valve that opens and closes on its own according to coolant temperature. When your engine gets up to temperature, a wax pellet inside of a cylinder in the thermostat melts, expanding to fill the cylinder and push up on a piston. That piston opens the thermostat valve, allowing fluid from the engine to flow around it and into the radiator. When the engine cools down, the wax solidifies and coolant recirculates inside the engine.

Stuck Halfway Open

    A thermostat valve that sticks halfway open or fails to close completely is more common than one that stays completely open at all times. Upon start-up, cold coolant will flow through the thermostat valve and into the radiator, where it will cool more before returning to the engine. The coolant will eventually reach operating temperature but will then proceed past it and into overheating range.

Stuck All the Way Open

    A thermostat valve stuck all the way open will cause the engine to run consistently below its operating temperature except under the hardest of use. How much depends mostly upon the temperature of the air outside; the engine might get up to temperature quickly and stay very near that on a hot summer day, but may just as easily run stone-cold in the winter.

Consequences

    Engines run best and most efficiently when they're very hot. A cold engine typically gets worse fuel economy, produces more harmful emissions and may feel slightly down on power; this is especially true if the computer uses a less-than-optimal program at low temperatures. While running without any thermostat at all is better than having one that doesn't open all the way, having a properly functioning thermostat is better than having one that sticks open or none at all.

Starter Failure & Burnt Solenoids

If your vehicle will not start and you have already checked the charging and fuel systems for problems, then there is a good chance that your problem is related to the starter. Without a good starter, your engine will be unable to crank up. You may hear a clicking noise or whirring noise if your vehicle has a malfunctioning starter.

Starter

    The starter in your engine works is actually a small electric motor that uses power from the battery to turn the flywheel and the crankshaft in order to start the motor. If the starter does not turn fast enough, it will not move the crankshaft with enough force to generate compression and allow the engine to start.

Starter Failure

    Starter failure can be caused by a handful of different problems. The starter motor itself can stop functioning, as can the drive gear. The drive gear is the part of the starter that connects to the teeth on the flywheel and turns it so that the crankshaft will turn and the engine will start. In some cases, the starter is working but not well enough to start the engine. The best way to determine whether the starter is actually the problem or if there is something else wrong is to unbolt the starter from the vehicle and take it to be tested. Most auto parts houses offer free starter testing.

Starter Solenoid

    The starter solenoid, sometimes referred to as the starter relay, is a small electric device that actually conveys the electric current from the charging system to the starter and powers the starter motor. It is normally mounted either inside the engine compartment or to the starter itself and is connected to the battery via the positive battery cable.

Burnt Starter Solenoids

    The solenoid can become burnt if there is a problem with the electrical charge it receives from the battery. The contacts on the solenoid can become burned and the components may even melt if the surge or power level is high enough and hot enough. Burned solenoid contacts can cause the starter to fail to disengage and continue to run after the key has been released and the engine cranked.

How to Adjust a 2-Stage Pump

Two-stage hydraulic pumps are used in hydraulic systems, and allow for the passage of a substance through the pump and to other devices installed in the system. You can adjust the various working aspects of the pump, including pressure settings and accuracy of the valve, by making minor adjustments with common household tools.

Instructions

    1

    Adjust the hydraulic gauge by locating the adjustment screw on the back of the gauge. Use a flathead screwdriver to turn the screw. Turning the screw allows you to adjust the screw needle, turning it to zero when needed.

    2

    Adjust the pressure switch, located behind the hydraulic gauge, by using a wrench to loosen the lock-nut on the switch, then turning the adjusting screw. This switch can be adjusted to stop the pump when it reaches a given pressure setting. Turning the screw counterclockwise will decrease the pressure switch setting.

    3

    Adjust the pressure regulating valve, located next to the pressure switch, by using a wrench to loosen the lock-nut on the switch, then turning the adjusting screw clockwise to increase the pressure setting. The switch should be adjusted to ensure a pressure differential of about 300 psi.

How do I Jump the Diagnostic System in a 1991 Chevy 1500?

How do I Jump the Diagnostic System in a 1991 Chevy 1500?

All Chevrolet vehicles before 1996 predate the current standardized On-Board Diagnostic system. Contemporary vehicles can be "read" with a diagnostic scanner, which will pull trouble codes and display them on the scanner's screen. But, such a tool is useless on 1991 Chevrolet cars and light trucks. However, you can jump the diagnostic system fairly easily, getting your Chevy to display trouble codes by causing the check engine light to flash diagnostic trouble code at you. All you need is a paper clip or a short length of jumper wire.

Instructions

    1

    Straighten out a paper clip into a flat line. Then, bend it into the shape of a "U".

    2

    Locate the Chevy's diagnostic port beneath the dashboard and steering wheel.

    3

    Insert the "U" shaped paper clip into the two receiving slots. Once you locate the port, look for the two rows of receiving slots. The two slots you want are on the upper row, to the far right. One will be at the end of the row, and the other will be next to it, on the left.

    4

    Insert your key into the Chevy's ignition and turn the electrical system on. Do not start the engine, just the electrical system.

    5

    Pick up a pen and paper, and then record the codes once the check engine light starts flashing. GM's On-Board Diagnostic codes are two-digit numbers. Coding sequences consist of long and short flashes. The first number of the coding sequence will be a long flash, and the second number will be short flashes. For example, code 22 will have two long flashes followed by two short flashes. There will be a pause to mark the end of one code and the beginning of another.

    6

    Look up the codes. Once you have written the code down, you will have to look up a list of definitions online.

Senin, 23 Mei 2011

How to Test a Coil Pack on a 2000 Sunfire

General Motors introduced the Pontiac Sunfire in 1995. The 2000 Sunfire was equipped with either a 2.2-liter or a 2.4-liter in-line 4-cylinder engine. It was produced with an ignition that included coil packs to control the spark output to the engine. The coil packs are further controlled by the ignition control module. Over time, coil packs can wear out or go bad, and replacement is the only option when this happens. Testing a coil pack should take you about half an hour.

Instructions

    1

    Raise the hood on the Sunfire and prop it open. Locate the coil pack on the driver's side firewall, toward the middle of the engine. The firewall is the vertical wall between the engine compartment and the cockpit of the vehicle.

    2

    Detach the positive and negative power wires from the coil pack, using a Phillips screwdriver. These are called the primary terminals on a coil pack. Remove the two wires that resemble spark plug wires from the coil pack by pulling them off by hand. These tower-shaped terminals are the secondary terminals.

    3

    Place the red lead from an ohmmeter on the positive primary terminal from which you removed the red wire. Connect the black lead from the ohmmeter on the negative primary terminal. Check the ohmmeter gauge to get a reading of the primary-terminal ohms. The primary-terminal ohms should be between 0.50 and 0.90 ohms. If the reading is outside these parameters, the coil pack is bad and needs to be replaced.

    4

    Connect the red lead wire from the ohmmeter to the positive "+" secondary terminal. Connect the black lead wire from the ohmmeter to the negative "-" secondary terminal. The secondary terminals have the same polarity as the primaries, so if the positive primary is on the right then the positive secondary is on the right. Check the ohmmeter gauge to get a reading on the secondary terminals. The secondary terminals should read between 5,000 to 10,000 ohms. If the secondary reading is outside these parameters, the coil pack is bad and needs to be replaced.

    5

    Reconnect the secondary terminal wires by pushing them on by hand. Reinstall the primary terminal wires and tighten them with a Phillips screwdriver. You do not need to torque the primary terminal screws, and doing so will possibly damage the entire coil pack.

    6

    Repeat Steps 2 through 5 to test the second coil pack. If either terminal on the second coil pack is not within the specifications noted for the first coil pack, the second coil pack is bad and needs to be replaced.

How to Troubleshoot a 2005 Toyota Camry

The 2005 Toyota Camry is a midsize four-door sedan that offers drivers numerous features. The car offers air conditioning, cruise control and a tilt steering wheel. Occasionally, drivers may experience problems with their Camry. Before contacting your mechanic, you can take basic troubleshooting steps to remedy some common problems. Troubleshooting the car yourself may help to save the amount you would spend on possibly towing your car to the mechanic for a diagnostic check.

Instructions

    1

    Check the 2005 Toyota Camry's fuel level. If your car is driving sluggishly or is making an irregular sound, it could be the result of low fuel in the tank. Turn the car's key in the ignition switch and check the fuel gauge. If the fuel level is low, add more fuel.

    2

    Check your battery's connections if you are unable to start your car. Put on a pair of gloves and wiggle the battery cables to ensure they are connected snugly to the battery. If not, use a socket wrench to tighten the nut until you are unable to turn it. Attempt to turn on the ignition with the Camry's key.

    3

    Check the oil levels in the Camry if you hear heavy knocking noises from your engine. Allow your car to cool and raise the hood of the car. Remove the oil dipstick from your car. The dipstick is located near the center of the engine. It is labeled "Oil." Pull the loop on the dipstick to remove it from the car. Using a paper towel or other rag, wipe the dipstick. Put the dipstick back into its hole by the engine and push it in all the way. Pull the dipstick back out and look at its end. The oil level should be at least halfway between the two lines on the stick. If not, add oil. Locate the oil cap located near the engine and remove it. Pour the oil in and replace the cap. Check the oil levels again.

    4

    Jiggle the Camry's key in the ignition switch while turning the steering wheel left and right if the key will not turn in the ignition. The steering wheel could be locked by the ignition lock. If you are still unable to turn the key, try using a spare key. The key may be worn.

    5

    Replace the fuse in your Camry if an electrical component such as the power seats, windows or locks does not work. Locate the fuse box in the side dashboard on the passenger's side. Open the box and read the inside cover. The cover contains a diagram of the fuses. The diagram is labeled with the name of each component. For example, the air conditioner's fuse is labeled "AC." Remove the fuse for the component using your thumb and index finger. Replace the fuse with a fuse with the exact same rating. The is listed on the diagram. Common ratings are 30A, 15A and 60A. Replace the fuse cover and try to use the component that was not working.

Minggu, 22 Mei 2011

ABS Problems in the 1997 Ford Explorer

ABS Problems in the 1997 Ford Explorer

The 1997 Ford Explorer has 12 recalls, but none have dealt with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) problems some Explorer owners have experienced. According to Carcomplaints.com, the '97 Explorer ABS brakes remain on at all times, even when the brakes are not being used.

ABS Light Remains On

    Some owners of the '97 Ford Explorer report the ABS light in the cab of the SUV remaining on, even when the ABS brakes are not being used. This ABS problem has been attributed to the ABS sensor. The sensor falsely informs the driver there is an issue with the ABS brakes. The only correction for this ABS problem is to have the sensor replaced.

ABS Malfunctions

    BBA-reman reports the ABS brakes have been malfunctioning due to corrosion on the sensor cables, causing the ABS brakes to engage on different wheels of the '97 Ford Explorer. Corrosion on the sensor multi-plugs or cables damages the plugs and cables, which prevents the signals sent by the sensors, engaging the ABS brakes. A fault code will appear on the diagnosis scanner, and the Explorer owner must make the repairs recommended by the fault code. If this repair does not correct the ABS brake malfunctions, then the Explorer owner needs to check the sensor cables or multi-plug in order to prevent the ABS brakes from malfunctioning.

ABS Brake Lines

    The '97 Ford Explorer has an ABS brake-line problem. According to Truedelta.com, the ABS brake lines have been dry rotting on some '97 Explorers, causing them to break and leak fluid. The brake fluid is essential to running the calipers of the ABS brakes because, without brake fluid, the caliper will not open or close properly. The only correction for this ABS brake problem is to replace all brake lines because the rotting may not be visually apparent.

Jumat, 20 Mei 2011

Why Is My Diesel Engine Pushing Oil Out the Dipstick?

Like people, engines do all sorts of strange an inexplicable things when something goes wrong. Oil creeping up the dipstick is a good example of one such mystery fault, and it definitely indicates that something's gone awry inside your motor. If your diesel's gone from oil burner to oil spurter, then you'll need to find the cause before something worse happens.

The Problem

    Oil dipstick tubes come in two types, submerged and open. An open dipstick tube pokes a little way down into your block, but likely not past the bottom of the block casting and certainly not into the oil itself. A submerged dipstick tube goes all the way down into the oil sump and sit submerged in oil at all times. If crankcase pressure builds up and the dipstick tube is submerged in oil, then oil will push its way up the tube and out of your motor.

Overfilling

    Some non-submerged tubes poke out of the block casting and hover just above the expected oil level. Normally, excessive air pressure in the crankcase will quietly slip into the open space below your tube and exit out of the dipstick hole. However, overfilling the oil sump can submerge an otherwise non-submerged tube, sealing it and forcing oil to crawl upward in order to relieve pressure.

PCV Malfunction

    Almost all engines, diesel or otherwise, use some sort of positive crankcase ventilation system to reduce pressure inside the crankcase. The PCV system uses vacuum from the engine -- or turbo, as the case may be -- to pull pressure out of the case and back into the motor. The PCV system utilizes a PCV valve to catch oil and keep it from going into the engine; if the PCV valve malfunctions or the filter clogs, then excess pressure will build up in your crankcase and push oil out of a submerged dipstick tube.

Excessive Blow-by

    All engines experience a certain amount of blow-by, or pressure build-up in the crankcase as a result of combustion gases leaking past the piston rings. Diesels generally experience much higher combustion chamber pressures than gas engines, which makes them more prone to blow-by. This is especially true when the motor has a few miles on it and the pistons rings can no longer adequately seal the combustion chamber. The only solution to this problem is a complete rebuild with an over-bore, new pistons and new rings.

How to Check a Wrangler Engine

How to Check a Wrangler Engine

If your Jeep Wrangler's engine service light has lit, the problem can be serious or simple to fix. You can troubleshoot and engine by sight, smell, sound, and a feel for how the Wrangler drives. A code scanner can direct you to critical issues faster than trial and error. How to access diagnostics codes depends on the year the Wrangler was manufactured.

Instructions

For Vehicles Built After 1996 (OBD-II)

    1

    Locate the diagnostic data outlet beneath the dash of the vehicle. It should be beneath of the dash, somewhere to the left of the steering column.

    2

    Plug your OBD-II scanner into this the outlet. Depending on your scanner, you might have to turn it on, or it may self-activate. For precise instructions, always consult your scanner's user manual.

    3

    Turn the Wrangler's engine on, or turn the electrical system on, whichever your brand of scanner calls for.

    4

    Key in a retrieve command and read the codes. Your scanner's manual should have a list of generic OBD-II code description in the back, usually in an appendix. For Jeep and Chrysler's specific and supplemental OBD-II codes, you will have to go online, as the Jeep's owner's manual will not have them.

    5

    Turn the Jeep and scanner off. Disconnect the scanner and pop the hood. Armed with the problem codes, you can pinpoint exactly where to further investigate the Jeep's engine trouble.

For Model Years 1983 to 1995 (OBD-I)

    6

    Place your key into the Jeep's ignition.

    7

    Turn the key on, then off, then on, then off, and then on again. This sequence has to be done in a space of five seconds.

    8

    Count the number of times the service engine light flashes. Chrysler and Jeep problem codes are two digit numbers. The light will flash, briefly pause, and then flash the second number. For example, code 55 will be five flashes, a short pause, and five more flashes. There will be a longer pause between coding sequences.

    9

    Look up the trouble codes online. Once you have found the code descriptions, you can pop the hood and start a more focused investigation of the Jeep's engine problems.

How to Troubleshoot the Alternator in a Mustang

How to Troubleshoot the Alternator in a Mustang

The Ford Mustang's history includes many classic, iconic cars, including the Shelby, the Boss and the Cobra. Current Mustangs come in coupe or convertible styles, with the choice of V6 or V8 engines. Rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission come standard, while a six-speed automatic is optional. When you notice problems with your Mustang, such as a loss of power or slow cranking, test the alternator to make sure it's capable of supplying the engine with power.

Instructions

    1

    Look at the alternator for signs of damage, corrosion or poor connections. Check the belt on the alternator for proper tension. Check the battery cable connections to the terminal posts for good fit and any signs of corrosive build-up. The alternator is drained by having to work harder to send power through bad connections. Clean dirty connections, and tighten them.

    2

    Crank the engine, and listen for noises coming from the alternator. Noise is an indication of many types of problems, including mechanical rubbing, shorting diodes or a bent pulley. Take the alternator to an auto repair shop for additional testing.

    3

    Test the voltage in the alternator and battery with a volt meter. Connect the positive test lead of the volt meter to the positive battery post, then connect the negative. Positive is red; negative is black.

    4

    Check the reading before cranking the engine to test the voltage output of the battery. The reading should be between 12.5 and 12.8 volts. Crank the Mustang, and check the reading again, this time measuring the alternator output. The reading should be between 13.6 and 14.3 volts, if the alternator is working properly.

Kamis, 19 Mei 2011

How to Test an Injector

Testing an injector is a simple two-part process. You need a noid light to complete the test accurately. You can test the injector without any tools, but to figure out if it is actually the injector or the computer --- or wiring between the computer and injector --- you must have the noid light. If one or more of the injectors are bad or leaking, the vehicle will have a misfire or may not run at all.

Instructions

    1

    Start the engine. Unplug each injector, one at a time. Take note of whether the engine rpm drops. If the engine rpm drops, that injector is working properly. Move on to the next injector.

    2

    Plug the noid light into the engine wiring harness side of the injector wiring harness connector if you find the engine rpm doesn't drop when you pull the connector apart. The light will blink each time the computer grounds the circuit. When the computer grounds the circuit, it opens the injector. If the light does not pulse evenly, the computer or wiring between the computer and injector is suspect. If the light pulses evenly, the injector has a problem.

    3

    Check the injectors for leaks. Look carefully at where they are seated into the intake manifold. Check for leaks at the fuel rail near the top of the injectors. If the injectors are leaking, replace the O-rings and retest. If the injector still fails the test, shut the vehicle off and replace the bad injector.

How to Troubleshoot an Engine for a 1995 Chevy Blazer

The base trim of the 1995 Chevrolet Blazer came equipped with a 4.3 liter, six-cylinder engine. The vehicle also included many different standard options including a driver front airbag, bucket seats, power brakes, power steering, air conditioning, fifteen inch wheels, cloth seating and tinted glass. Because the Blazer has so many different parts, components and systems, it can be tough to find the cause of a problem with the vehicle. One way to troubleshoot a problem with the Blazer is to review the manufacturer's recalls.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the corner and bumper lamp assemblies of your Blazer if the front of the vehicle has poor visibility at night. If the bumper lamp assembly is manufactured by Sabersport it may not confirm to the United States Department of Transportation's motor vehicle safety standards because it does not have the required amber side reflectors. Replace the bumper lamp assemblies if the amber side reflector is missing.

    2

    Check the fuel filter and connector on the fuel filter inside the Blazer's engine if you see fuel leaking underneath the vehicle. Some fuel filters manufactured by Fram were not made to the proper specifications and can cause the O-ring to not properly seal correctly on the fuel line. Consequently, fuel may leak from the engine and, if it connects with an ignition source, could start an engine fire while you are driving your Blazer. Fuel filters that properly fit the Blazer should be installed in place of the old filter.

    3

    Look at the drive switch of your Blazer's braking system if it takes you longer than usual to stop the vehicle when you press the brake pedals. Under certain driving conditions the anti-lock brake switch can malfunction and slow the reaction time of the brakes as you try and slow the vehicle down. The drive switch should be replaced to solve this problem.

    4

    Examine the upper ball joint nuts on the front suspension of the Blazer if the vehicle's front wheels do not respond when the driver turns the steering wheel. The upper ball joint nuts may be improperly seated in the steering knuckle of the suspension and cause the ball joint stud to loosen and fracture, which would result in a loss of steering control. Both the the ball joint nuts should be replaced to resolve this problem.

Rabu, 18 Mei 2011

How to Troubleshoot Engine Failure in My Toyota Truck

How to Troubleshoot Engine Failure in My Toyota Truck

Toyota trucks have a history of durability and it is not uncommon for engines to surpass 200,000 miles without any problems. When engine problems do occur in a Toyota truck, several troubleshooting steps will help you pinpoint and repair the problem. Many issues require inexpensive repairs, however a few issues may require expensive repairs. The repairs are either completed by a mechanic or by the owner if the tools and parts are readily available.

Instructions

    1

    Test the battery with a voltage meter. Attach a trickle charger to the battery and allow it to completely charge. Start the vehicle. If the power fails on a regular basis, replace the alternator.

    2

    Replace the fuel pump if the engine sputters and surges before it shuts down. The fuel pump will cause intermittent power failure that is noticeable to the driver. It will also prevent fuel from entering the engine and make it difficult to start the truck.

    3

    Clean the carburetor or fuel injectors if the engine will crank but will not start. The carburetor and injectors will become clogged and fuel will not be entering the engine. If the cleaning does not solve the problem, replace the spark plugs and attempt to start again.

    4

    Plug a diagnostic reader into the outlet located beneath the drivers side dash on Toyota truck models manufactured after 1995. Turn on the reader and allow it to communicate with the truck electronics. Check the reader for bad sensors that may cause engine failure. The fuel pressure sensor is a common problem and may require replacement.

    5

    Inspect the engine for large leaks and check all of the fluid levels. If one of the fluid is especially low and a large leak is present, check all of the gaskets for damage. Gaskets that have broken the seal will cause the engine to fail. Replace the blown gasket and the depleted fluids.

Selasa, 17 Mei 2011

How do I Check a 350 5.7L Fuel Pump Relay?

The fuel pump relay on a Chevy 5.7L V-8 is nothing more than a remote control switch. The switch is divided into two sections, each having two posts for a total of four posts. The first section receives power directly from the battery to one post and the second post is the power to the fuel pump. This section has an open circuit until activated, which closes the relay and allows power to travel to the fuel pump. The second section has one post going to a good ground. The other post is connected to the computer. The computer sends power to the relay activating it and allowing power to flow.

Instructions

    1

    Lift the hood and remove the cap on the top of the fuse and relay box on the driver's side fenderwell. Look at the underside of the cap and you will see an illustration relating to placement of all the fuses and relays. Locate the fuel pump relay. Pull the relay out.

    2

    Test the female terminals in the relay box using the voltmeter. Connect the black voltmeter lead to a good ground on the engine block. With the red lead probe the four terminals looking for one that has power (battery voltage). Record this terminal in memory.

    3

    Set the voltmeter on the ohms scale. Don't move the black lead from its ground position. With the red lead, probe the remaining three terminals but do not under any circumstances touch the terminal found to have power. It will blow the fuse in the voltmeter. Make note of the terminal that shows continuity. The ohmmeter will display a 0 to start with. When continuity is found (a steady path to ground), the meter will show how many ohms (resistance) it senses to ground. If the meter does not display anything but 0 you have no ground. To illustrate, touch the red lead to the black lead. Notice that the 0 disappears and an ohm reading is displayed. This means that voltage is passing from the red lead to ground. If you take the red lead off the black lead, the reading will be 0 once again, which means you now have an open circuit --- the same as a broken wire. The terminal that you have located that shows continuity is the relay ground.

    4

    Check for voltage from the computer to the relay. The computer, for reasons of safety, will only activate the relay for two seconds and then shut off the voltage. If it does not see the engine starting, it shuts off the fuel pump so the engine does not flood. At the same time, if the vehicle is in an accident, it prevents the pump from continually running and fueling a fire.

    5

    Check the remaining two terminals for power when the key is turned on. This terminal is used to activate the relay. A helper will be needed because the voltmeter will only display voltage for two seconds. Turn the voltmeter from ohms back to volts and probe one of the two remaining terminals and watch the voltmeter while a helper turns the key to the on position. If no voltage is observed, have him turn the key off and probe the other terminal in the same manner. If there is no voltage, a computer or wiring problem exists. If there is voltage, proceed to check the relay itself.

    6

    Disconnect the voltmeter. Hold the relay over its location in the relay box. Remember which terminal had power with the key off. Connect the jumper wire to this terminal on the relay.

    7

    Connect the other jumper wire to the opposite terminal on the relay and to the negative terminal on the battery. Touch the remaining jumper wire briefly to the positive terminal on the battery. Every time this wire is touched to the positive terminal on the battery, the relay should give an audible click, which can also be felt. This is the relay actuating. If no click is present, the relay is bad and needs to be replaced.

How to Register a Gross Polluter

How to Register a Gross Polluter

A vehicle is considered a gross polluter if it exceeds twice the maximum emission limits when tested at a smog station, or is listed in a High Emitter Profile database as having a high probability of failing a smog inspection. The excessive white or black smoke billowing from the tailpipe makes spotting a gross polluters easy. A burned head gasket causes white smoke, while black smoke is the result of a rich fuel mixture that causes high carbon dioxide emissions.

Instructions

Smog Inspection

    1

    Take the vehicle to a Test Only smog inspection station.

    2

    Pay for a smog inspection.

    3

    Once the test is finished, the results will be electronically sent to your state's department of motor vehicles, registering the vehicle as a gross polluter.

    4

    Store any paperwork the shop gives you in a safe place, so that you have proof the car is registered as a gross polluter.

Senin, 16 Mei 2011

How to Diagnose a Cracked Exhaust Manifold

How to Diagnose a Cracked Exhaust Manifold

Exhaust leaks on a vehicle cannot only be annoying but also dangerous; sometimes leaks can lead to the release of carbon monoxide that enters the passenger cabin. The exhaust systems starts at the exhaust manifold gasket and travels through the exhaust manifold, header pipe, catalytic converter, mufflers or resonators and out the exhaust pipe. Cracked exhaust manifolds are one of the more serious leaks since they receive the initial combustion gases from the cylinders. A competent DIY repair person can find an exhaust manifold crack by using a few simple techniques and tools.

Instructions

    1

    Place the vehicle in "park" for an automatic and "neutral" for a manual transmission. Firmly set the emergency brake. You can perform an exhaust manifold check while the vehicle sits in a garage, but leave the garage door open for optimum ventilation. Start the engine and raise the hood.

    2

    Lean over the fender panel nearest to the exhaust manifold if you have a small 4- or 6-cylinder in-line model engine. For a V-6 or V-8, choose one side of the vehicle. Listen carefully for any noise that resembles a click, popping or plapping sound that comes with a regular firing cycle of the engine. A crack in one of the lead pipes attached to an exhaust port will make this sound with regularity -- every time that cylinder fires. A crack further down inside the manifold collecting chamber will have a more muffled exhaust leak noise. Check both sides in the case of a V-6 or V-8.

    3

    Lean over different points of the exhaust manifold, from the front of the engine to the rear. Smell for any odor that resembles raw gas, or a sickly sweet odor, which is a sign of raw carbon emissions. A cracked exhaust manifold will emit a very strong smell of unburned gas, since it has not passed through the catalytic converter and muffler. Look for telltale signs of black smoke coming from the manifold -- evidence of rich, unburned fuel. Have an assistant rev the engine a few times and look for black or dark gray gaseous plumes.

    4

    Don a stethoscope and place the probe over the valve covers of the engine. Listen intently for any mechanical clicking or clacking as you move the probe over the entire length of the valve cover. For V-6 and V-8 engines, check both valve covers. If you hear such a noise originating from a certain spot on the valve cover, you can safely rule out an exhaust leak. If you hear no such noises, run the probe over different parts of the exhaust manifold. A leak in the exhaust manifold will set up tiny vibrations, and you will detect it in the stethoscope.

    5

    Use a floor jack to lift the vehicle high enough to place two jack stands under the rear frame and two jack stands under the front frame. Hook up a portable smoke machine to your exhaust pipe, according to the directions in the kit. Place the pipe cone adaptor over the exhaust outlet hole and turn the smoke machine on. Let it pressurize the entire exhaust system. For a dual exhaust system, use the kit adaptor to plug the other exhaust pipe. The engine should not be running for this test.

    6

    Look for the white smoke from the smoke machine, which will leak from any hole or crack in the exhaust system. Start at the tailpipe and work toward the front of the engine. You will discover an exhaust manifold leak immediately by the white color of smoke exiting the manifold crack. If the smoke machine kit comes with a halogen or UV light, use the light to better see the smoke emissions. Use an angled inspection mirror to look under the manifold for hidden leaks.

Transmission Additives That Help With Reverse Problems

Transmission Additives That Help With Reverse Problems

When a vehicle is having problems with the reverse gear, it is usually indicative of a developing transmission problem. Transmission-fluid additives may help with some specific transmission problems, but there is no single-product cure-all solution for transmission issues. If your vehicle is having transmission problems, you should take it to a certified transmission specialist to have the problem diagnosed. Discuss with your mechanic which additive, if any, would most likely solve or help the specific problem your vehicle is experiencing with your mechanic.

Transmission Fluid

    The first thing you should do if your vehicle is experiencing transmission problems is check your transmission fluid. Low or worn-out transmission fluid is one of the most common causes of transmission shifting problems. If your fluid is old, discolored, contaminated with another fluid or low, you will want to have your fluid flushed and changed. Make sure the correct type of transmission fluid is used in your vehicle. Using the wrong type can lead to premature failure of the transmission. Some transmissions are very sensitive to the type of fluid that is run in them. Replacing old transmission fluid with new may solve your transmission shifting problem.

Stopping Leaks

    If your vehicle's reversing problems are being caused by continually low transmission fluid due to a leak, you may be able to extend the life of your transmission by using a transmission additive designed to stop leaks in the transmission.

Reduce Friction

    There are several different brands of additives that lubricate the gears to help improve shifting. These additives claim to be able to reduce friction in between gears.

Minggu, 15 Mei 2011

How to Troubleshoot a 2000 Chevy Astro

Troubleshooting your 2000 Chevrolet Astro is an easy procedure when you use the proper automotive diagnostic equipment. The Astro's engine and components are equipped with an onboard diagnostic computer which will output unique error codes when different components of the Astro fail. You can usually get your onboard diagnostic computer scanned for error codes for free at auto parts retailers, however you can also purchase a code scanning device that will allow you to do it yourself.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the onboard diagnostic port below your steering wheel, positioned at the top of the foot well on the driver's side.

    2

    Attach the code scanning tool to the diagnostic port by firmly plugging the code scanner port into the diagnostic port.

    3

    Turn on your Astro's ignition and allow the engine to idle. If your engine will not start, it's still OK to turn your ignition to the position before the starting position.

    4

    Take note of any error codes that appear on the display of the code scanning tool while your car's electronic system is running. These error codes will represent unique points of failure within your Astro and allow you to narrow down what is behind any symptoms you might be experiencing.

My Clutch Pedal Won't Move

My Clutch Pedal Won't Move

Driving a manual car gives you better gas mileage. Manual cars can feel sportier and more responsive than their automatic counterparts. However, they are susceptible to clutch problems which can essentially immobilize them. While you can drive a manual car without using the clutch it is very difficult and puts a lot of wear on the transmission. Fortunately, If you have clutch problems there are a few fixes you can use to get home or to get the vehicle to a repair shop.

Instructions

    1

    Pump the clutch pedal. If it will move up but not stay up then pumping may move enough fluid into the system that you can use the clutch for long enough to get you to a safe place. If the pedal is stuck in the up or down position then check around the joint at the top of the pedal for anything that may be blocking, broken or holding the pedal in place. Particularly check for a broken return spring that may have wedged the pedal in position.

    2

    Open the hood and check the fluid level in the reservoir. In some cars the clutch reservoir is shared with the brake reservoir. Look at the fluid to see whether there is any discoloration or clouding. This could indicate foreign objects or substances in the fluid which could suggest a leak. If the fluid is low then top it up to the fill line.

    3

    Check the master cylinder and slave cylinder for leaks. Leaks will appear as clutch fluid on the outside of the cylinder. They may appear around cracks or dents in the cylinders, or it may just be around the seal. If you find a leak then both the master cylinder and slave cylinder will need to be replaced.

    4

    Follow the lines from the cylinders as best you can. They will run downwards towards the transmission. Check for leaks by looking for clutch fluid on the outside of the line, particularly around joints. Duct tape over any leaks, replace the clutch fluid lost and drive the car straight to a certified repair facility.

I Can't Get the Key Out of the Ignition Because My Car Will Not Engage Into Park

I Can't Get the Key Out of the Ignition Because My Car Will Not Engage Into Park

If your vehicle does not shift into park, you will not be able to get the key out of the ignition. This is a safety feature on all cars so that if the vehicle is still in motion, the battery and engine can be safely operated. If the car cannot be shifted into park, you will need to have repairs made to the shifter belt. This can be done yourself if you are comfortable working on your own vehicle but may require the services of a mechanic.

Instructions

    1

    Instruct an assistant to depress the brake pedal firmly.

    2

    Remove the shifter bezel by unscrewing the top plastic piece with a flat head screwdriver. In most cars, there is a small opening covered by a cap. Underneath this cap is the screw that needs to be removed. If you cannot locate a screw, refer to your owner's manual to find out how to remove the shifter bezel cover.

    3

    Locate the shifter cable once the shifter bezel is opened. You will see a white or black lift tab on the cable. Pull the tab up and manually move the shifter to the "Park" setting.

    4

    Release the tab and tell your assistant to release the brake. The car should be fully engaged in park now, and you should be able to safely remove the key from the ignition.

    5

    Call an auto repair shop and notify them of the issue you are having. You will more than likely need to have the shifter cable repaired, or there may be another issue with the shifter, or the transmission may need to be serviced.

Sabtu, 14 Mei 2011

Road Noise in the Wheelwell

Road Noise in the Wheelwell

Noise coming from a wheel well can be an annoyance, but it can also be a sign of a potential safety hazard. Noises should be identified and corrected quickly to avoid an accident as well as further damage and repair expense.

Tire and Wheels

    Tire and wheel problems can create many noises. Tires should be checked for proper inflation. The tire's tread should also be inspected for tread wear, bulges, and objects stuck in the tire. Loose trim pieces can also flutter or contact the wheel, causing noise.

Axle and Brake Components

    Noise from worn axle and brake components will often correspond to the speed at which the vehicle is moving. Noises will be louder or more frequent at higher speeds. Some of the likely sources are brake pads (squealing noises), CV joints (popping or clicking noises), and wheel bearings (grinding noises).

Suspension Components

    Shocks and struts that are worn or that have become loose can also create noise in the wheel well. To test shocks and struts, push down on each corner of the vehicle and quickly let go. The vehicle should settle back to its original position without bouncing. If the car bounces or noise is heard, the cause of the noise is likely the shock or strut.