Rabu, 31 Agustus 2011

The Effects of a Bad Intake Manifold

The Effects of a Bad Intake Manifold

The intake manifold serves as a temporary reservoir and mixing chamber for atomized fuel that comes from the carburetor or throttle body. It also serves as a sink and cooler to keep excess heat from boiling the fuel in the carburetor or throttle body. Some manifolds have a vane construction to direct precise amounts of vaporized fuel into the cylinders while other manifolds have single tubes to direct fuel flow into each individual cylinder.

Plastic Intake Manifolds

    Plastic intake manifolds were constructed for several Ford and GM cars with V-6 and V-8 engines. Some of the problems associated with them deal with the angles cut into their mating surfaces on the manifold that do not align with the block angles. Once they have been torqued together, the manifold distorts to fit the block. Gaps and cracks can result, which can cause vacuum leaks, rough idle and misfire. This can also cause water leaks in the manifold coolant passages.

Casting Problems

    Intake manifolds made of aluminum or cast iron may have casting irregularities or imperfections pertaining to their molecular makeup. The most obvious signs will be cracks along the casting seams where the metal has weakened because of expansion and contraction. Hissing or sucking noises will be heard from the crack or seam split. The engine will run rough, particularly at idle. The carburetor mixture screw will also fail to adjust.

Central Port Injection Intake Manifolds

    On General Motors' 4.3L V6 Vortec engine, the intake manifold has a central port injection system. This injection system has a plenum cover hiding it from view. A problem sign with the intake manifold will be fuel pressure regulator leaking raw fuel into the passenger's side of the manifold while the fuel supply and return lines may leak inside the manifold on the driver's side. Additionally, the main single injector and the spray nozzles can leak. This results in too much fuel sent to the cylinders, causing a miss and a very detectable smell of gas in the engine compartment.

Manifold Water Leaks

    Intake manifolds can fail at the mating surface with the block or suffer a gasket failure. Intake manifolds that contain internal coolant passages can split at the gasket edge and allow water to leak externally from the manifold into the valve cover area. This depletes the coolant level in the overflow reservoir and can cause the engine to run hot and misfire. A gasket failure can happen when a water jacket breaks and crosses with the intake port to the cylinder, which can short out the spark plug electrode. Both conditions will cause overheating, engine miss and noticeable water vapor exiting the tailpipe (for the internal break).

Defective Motor Mount Symptoms

Defective Motor Mount Symptoms

Engine mounts keep your vehicle's engine in the right place and help absorb the vibration caused by combustion and general part movement. When an engine mount fails, its symptoms can range from obvious shaking within the engine block to wear and tear on parts grinding against one another. A damaged engine mount should be immediately replaced to avoid damage to other integral engine and exhaust components.

Engine Rocking

    According to the automotive repair website AA1 Car, a defective motor mount may cause your vehicle's engine block to twist back and forth when the vehicle is accelerating or under heavy load. This condition likely stems from the rubber components of the motor mount separating from its steel components. The broken mount may be able to keep the engine from falling out of the vehicle, but it's not a good idea to risk it by delaying repairs.

Thumping or Rattling Noises

    A broken or damaged motor mount may cause loud rattling or thumping noises from underneath the hood of your vehicle. These noises are indicative of over-stressed components and can be the precursor to serious engine problems, such as a damaged radiator, torn hoses, damaged wiring connections and even exhaust system damage. In a rear-wheel mounted engine, a broken motor mount may cause the radiator fan to contact the radiator. Pulleys and drive belts also may contact other engine components, increasing wear and tear.

Throttle Performance, Tears and Leaks

    A front-wheel drive mounted engine with a damaged motor mount can experience throttle or shift linkage problems, which impair acceleration and fuel economy. The broken mount may also cause a separation in the exhaust system where the head pipe meets the engine manifold. If the damaged mount is an end mount, it can create a condition known as torque steer, which causes rapid degradation of your vehicle's CV joints.

Chevy Impala Won't Start Security Light

Chevy Impala Won't Start Security Light

If you've had trouble starting your Impala then you may have a common problem with the pass lock engine immobilized system. This system prevents the car from starting when someone is trying to steal it and can occasionally activate when you try and start the car with a key. Before heading to the dealership for what could be a costly repair, try having the system relearn your codes. This procedure takes about 30 to 40 minutes and may save you money.

Instructions

    1

    Attempt to start the car. If it does not start, or dies very quickly after it started, then leave the key in the ignition in the "ON" position and wait 10 minutes. Make sure the security light is flashing. After 10 minutes the security light will stop flashing and either turn off or stay on steadily. When it does, then turn the ignition off, wait 20 seconds and attempt to restart the car.

    2

    Repeat this procedure three times in quick succession without removing the key from the ignition.

    3

    Start the car following the third 10-minute waiting period. The car should start and stay on. If it stays running, then the codes have been relearned and the problem is solved. If the car still does not start then you may need to have all or part of the passlock system replaced.

Senin, 29 Agustus 2011

Symptoms of Water in a Carburetor

Water in your vehicle's carburetor can cause serious problems. Water will prevent the fuel from properly combusting in the engine and can cause your vehicle to run badly or even not run at all, depending on how much water is present in the carburetor. There are several ways you can wind up with water in your carburetor; one of the most common is accidentally using watered-down fuel from a gas station that has water in its fuel tanks. You can also get water in your carburetor by leaving your hood open in the rain or by driving though a flooded area. If your carburetor has water in it for too long, it will rust and you will have to replace it.

Rough Idling, Bogging and Surging

    The carburetor's job is to create the ideal fuel mix for your motor and supply your vehicle with the proper amount of fuel. If the carburetor is supplying your vehicle with watered-down fuel, or just has small droplets of water mixed in occasionally, your vehicle will be getting a mixture that does not burn effectively in the motor. It will cause the motor run badly, bog down when accelerating or surge as the vehicle alternately receives good fuel and fuel with water mixed in.

Damaged Float

    The float in your carburetor may be damaged by water in the fuel. This tends to happen more frequently if you live in a cold climate and the water manages to freeze inside the carburetor and dents or damages the float. You must remove the carburetor from your vehicle to check the float, which controls how much fuel enters the carburetor and is used by the motor at one time. Check the float for damage if your vehicle seems to be getting too much fuel or too little.

Won't Start or Run

    If there is a large amount of water in your carburetor your engine will not run at all. Engines require a combustible substance in order to start up and fire; since water is not combustible, too much of it will completely prevent the motor from operating. A large amount of water can enter the carburetor if the motor is accidentally submerged, which can happen if you drive through a severely flooded area, attempt to cross a creek offroad or get in too deep when you are launching a boat or canoe into the water. This can also happen if the vehicle's hood is up when it starts raining.

Rust

    If your carburetor is rusting, you can bet it has been exposed to water at some point. Several pieces inside the carburetor can rust and cause different symptoms; check for rust if you are having any kind of carburetor problems.

How to Know If You Have Transmission Trouble

How to Know If You Have Transmission Trouble

The transmission is an important part of all cars. However, many people do not think about their transmission until they notice something is not right under the hood of their car. The job of the transmission is to send the energy generated by the engine, to the drive wheels and to keep that energy within the proper RPM's. Within the transmission there are a number of gear systems. When one of these gear systems stop working properly, you will notice a number of problems. Keep track of these problems so you can report the problem appropriately, to your repair person.

Instructions

    1

    Listen for any noises you normally would not hear, coming from either under the hood or from the rear of your car. These noises include any humming, clanking, knocking or whining.

    2

    Put your car into drive and press down on the drive pedal. Notice if the car either does not move or moves more slowly than it should. The same problem could arise if you place your car in reverse.

    3

    Look underneath your car for any signs of fluids leaking. It is also important to check the transmission fluid dipstick every time you change the oil. If it is low or smelling burnt, it needs to be replaced.

    4

    Drive the car a short distance, if possible. If you notice any slipping in shifting, where the car either shifts too soon or too late for the speed you are driving at, or if you notice a strong smell, stop driving.

    5

    Take your car to a repair shop if the Check Engine light on your dashboard comes on. Pay attention to whether your car jerks while in either Park or Neutral.

How Can I Tell if the Microchip in My Car Key is Good?

How Can I Tell if the Microchip in My Car Key is Good?

The microchips that are included in most car keys are part of a theft prevention system. The keys will not work in the car unless the microchip can connect electronically with the car's system. If you car's microchip does not work properly, you will not be able to use it in your car. There are several reasons a microchipped key may not work, including situations where the microchip has been damaged or was not programmed properly.

Instructions

    1

    Insert the key in the car's ignition. Make sure it goes in smoothly. If the key is not cut right or has been damaged, it may not work in your car and may be causing problems with your vehicle's starting.

    2

    Turn key to the on position and attempt to start car with key. If the key will not turn, your microchip may have a problem and not be reading properly. If an error light comes on or your security light, your key microchip may not be functioning properly.

    3

    Start the car and drive it. If the car starts and drives properly, there is no problem with your key's microchip. If the car will not turn over, stay running or operate with the key, there may be a problem with your microchip, or with something else in your car's ignition system.

    4

    Take your key to your vehicle's local manufacturer dealership if it will not work or has stopped working in your vehicle. There is no way to examine a car key and tell if the microchip is good, nor is there a proper way to remove your microchip without damaging it. Your local dealership's service and parts department will be able to test the key and microchip to determine if they are working properly without risking causing damage to the key.

How to Troubleshoot the Service Engine Soon Light on a Trans Am

How to Troubleshoot the Service Engine Soon Light on a Trans Am

When the "Service Engine Soon" light comes on, your Pontiac Trans Am is trying to tell you it has a problem. Thankfully, the car likely knows what the problem is, and you just need to access its computer to find out. Cars have an On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) coding system for this purpose. How to read these codes depends on the year of the Trans Am. If it was manufactured after 1996, then it will be using OBD-II codes. If it was made before 1996, it may be using OBD-I codes. However, if the age of the car predates the OBD system altogether, you may need to drive it to a professional mechanic.

Instructions

    1

    Purchase an OBD scanner appropriate to your vehicle. This may be pricey at first glance, but it will save you from paying a mechanic's diagnostic fees in the long run. However, you have to buy the right type of scanner. An OBD-II scanner will not work on a car predating 1996.

    2

    Hook the scanner up to the Trans Am. The scanner comes equipped with a cable that will fit into the Trans Am's diagnostic outlet. This plug is beneath the dashboard on the driver's side of the vehicle.

    3

    Switch the diagnostic scanner on.

    4

    Put the key into the Trans Am's ignition and turn the automobile on.

    5

    Wait for the code to show on the scanner. This should only take a second or two. Look up the code either with the printed material that came with the diagnostic tool, or online. You can enter the exact trouble code into a search engine and find its meaning fairly easily.

Sabtu, 27 Agustus 2011

Common Oil Leaks on BMWs

Common Oil Leaks on BMWs

Engine oil never goes anywhere or gets used up. Therefore, it is important to check the oil in your BMW regularly, as low levels can signify leaks. If all oil is lost, the damage to a BMW engine will be extensive and costly and may even require a new engine. According to AutohauzAZ, engine oil is dark or honey-colored and greasy. Signs of leaking oil are a burning smell or the presence of wet spots and/or drips underneath the engine and/or car.

Valve Cover Gasket

    Leaks from the valve cover gasket are common in many BMW engines. Valve covers sit at the top of the engine to protect the valves and rocker arms. The covers are bolted to the engine and sealed by a cork or rubber gasket. Leaks or seeps can occur even with a new valve cover, but are more common on older cars. According to RepairPal, valve cover gasket leaks are common after 60,000 miles. Applying sealant can sometimes fix the problem, but it is best to check with a certified mechanic.

Oil Pan Gasket

    Many BMW engines feature an oil pan that allows for easier access for engine repairs and overhauls. However, it is common for the gasket on the pan to leak as the BMW ages. Replacement will require removing the car's front suspension.

Rear Main Seal

    It is common for the rear main seal on a BMW's engine to leak. According to members of the BMW Car Club of American, rear seals fail when there is too much wear on the crankshaft and the lip is unable to control the output of fluid.

Synthetic Oil

    It is common for oil leaks to occur in older BMWs when drivers use synthetic oil in the engine. This is generally due to older seals, which tend to leak with synthetic oil. Pelican Parts recommends that drivers use non-synthetic oil in older BMWs.

How to Reset the Trouble Indicator on a Jetta 2006

How to Reset the Trouble Indicator on a Jetta 2006

Once you have completed repairs on your 2006 Volkswagen Jetta, you must clear the trouble code from the car's computer. This process may almost seem like an afterthought, as it does not take long to complete. However, if if you fail to clear the code, the "Check Engine" light will remain lit on the dashboard---even if you successfully completed the repair work. To clear the code, you can use the same On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) scanner you used to diagnose the original problem.

Instructions

    1

    Connect the OBD-II scanner to the Jetta's data terminal. Look for the terminal under the driver side dash, near the trunk release/opener.

    2

    Turn your car on.

    3

    Turn the OBD-II scanner on.

    4

    Press the "Clear" button.

    5

    Turn the scanner and car off, then disconnect the scanner.

Starter Solenoid Symptoms

The solenoid in an automobile's starter manages the voltage needed for the larger component to send power to crank the engine. Unfortunately for most drivers, the first symptom of a starter problem is actually the outright failure of the part. An automobile with a bad starter typically has a no-start condition and a lack of engine noise when attempting to start the vehicle.

No Start When Jumped

    A damaged solenoid can prevent a vehicle from starting even when the battery is being jumped by a second car. This is due to the starter pulling too much voltage into its components, causing the system to lock up. Use a voltmeter on the solenoid and the starter's connectors to determine if the starter is carrying a high resistance which would cause this voltage drain. According to AA1 Car, the maximum allowable voltage drain for the starter circuit and solenoid is about .06 volts or less.

Clicking Sounds When Attempting to Start

    A starter that doesn't have enough amps to spin properly will make a clicking sound. This noise may be coming from the solenoid as it attempts to begin the starting process and is unable to do so. Unfortunately, that clicking sound is the only sound your vehicle will make because without proper power the starter cannot operate, and your car cannot start. A voltage test of the starter's components is necessary to determine if the solenoid is the culprit. This test determines the flow of voltage from the battery to the starter and through the ignition system. If the solenoid is the cause of the problem, voltage will not be able to pass through it.

No Headlight Dimming

    Headlights may seem an odd thing to pay attention to when your car is not starting, but watching how they react during the ignition process can help determine if the solenoid is the root cause. Headlights that do not dim, while starting the vehicle, are an indication that voltage is not reaching the starter. This can be caused by a faulty solenoid within the starter.

Kamis, 25 Agustus 2011

How to Troubleshoot a Mercedes Window Switch

How to Troubleshoot a Mercedes Window Switch

Mercedes-Benz door windows are operated with electric motors. Switches control the motors. All four windows can be controlled by the driver and there's a control for all of the windows on the driver's door or the center console. Each passenger has a control, too. If the switches are not operating the windows, you can correct the problem with some troubleshooting.

Instructions

    1

    Press the correct button if the window you want to open won't open and another one opens instead. On the driver's door set of switches the top-left switch operates the left front door window, the top-right switch operates the right front door window, the bottom-left switch operates the left rear door window and the bottom-right switch operates the right rear door window. The switch on each other door opens the window on that door.

    2

    Release the override switch if the rear windows won't open. The override switch is designed for safety to stop children from operating the windows. The switch is located on the driver's door (or console), and newer models include an indicator lamp that will illuminate when it's activated.

    3

    Press the lower part of the switch past the resistance point if express opening won't work. During express opening, the window opens without you having to keep the switch pressed down. Pressing the upper part past the resistance triggers express closing.

How to Test a 1998 Nissan Altima Alternator

How to Test a 1998 Nissan Altima Alternator

When an alternator starts to go bad, you'll notice a loss of power in your 1998 Nissan Altima, followed by trouble starting the engine. Though the battery starts the engine, the alternator recharges the battery while the engine is running to get it ready for the next crank. If the alternator doesn't have the power to provide the battery with a charge, the battery suffers and so does your car's reliability. Test the alternator to see if it's the cause of the trouble.

Instructions

    1

    Connect a volt meter to the positive and negative battery posts while the engine isn't running. The positive test lead of the volt meter is red and the negative is black, similar to the battery cable connections on the posts. The battery also has a "+" beside the positive post and a "-" beside the negative, to make identifying them easy.

    2

    Read the volt meter screen before starting the Altima. The volt meter tests the power in the battery. It's good to know that your battery is in good condition when testing the alternator, just in case the battery is responsible for the loss of power. A healthy battery will show a reading of 12.5 to 12.8 volts.

    3

    Crank the Altima. Check the volt meter again. If the reading is between 13.6 and 14.3 volts, the alternator is producing good voltage.

Rabu, 24 Agustus 2011

How to Troubleshoot a Low RPM Throttle Position Sensor in a Ford

The throttle position sensor on a Ford, located on the throttle body, senses where your foot is on the throttle. It sends the signal to the computer. The computer uses the signal to adjust the fuel mixture in the vehicle. If you press on the gas, the computer tells other sensors that you need more power and adjusts fuel injection timing and ignition timing accordingly. If you lift your foot off the gas, it tells the computer you need less power and adjusts the fuel injection and ignition timing accordingly for that instance.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood. Connect the voltmeter's red lead to the middle wire -- the throttle position signal wire. Connect the voltmeter's black lead to a known good ground -- this could be the battery's negative terminal or anything metal, but not aluminum.

    2

    Start the vehicle. At this time, the throttle is closed and the rpm is low. The voltmeter should read from 0.70 volts to 1.10 volts.

    3

    Open the throttle, located on the side of the throttle body. As you open it, the voltage should increase smoothly. The voltage should be at 4.50 volts when the throttle is wide open, so at half throttle, it should be about 2.25 volts. The voltage should not drop or have other glitches. If it does, replace the throttle position sensor.

Heating Core Symptoms on a Honda Civic

Heating Core Symptoms on a Honda Civic

The heater core on a Honda Civic, located under the dash on the passenger side of the automobile, heats the vehicle's cab. Water runs from the water pump and into the heater core, which works like the radiator by incorporating small, thick tubes heated by by water running through them. Several potential symptoms can arise when the heater core fails in the Civic.

Sweet Smell Inside Cab

    The heater core in the Honda Civic transforms engine heat into cab heat. Since the heater core sits under the dash behind the engine firewall, the first symptom of a leak in the heater core is a sweet smell inside the cab. This smell comes from the coolant that runs through the heater core, indicating a small leak has developed there. The seals and tubes to the heater can easily develop a pinhole leak from overheating or deterioration. If this sweet smell develops inside the cab, the Civic owner must take the vehicle to a qualified technician before more expensive damage occurs.

Wet Carpet

    The Honda Civic heater core can cause the carpet inside the cab to become wet --- an indication that coolant has leaked out onto the passenger side and onto the carpet and floor mats. In this case, a more severe leak has likely occurred in the heater core and will continue to leak coolant into the cab until repaired. The radiator and engine will continue to lose coolant and will begin to run hot or overheat because of lack of coolant. You should also notice a sweet smell because more coolant has leaked into the Civic. You must have your heater repaired in this case before the engine becomes damaged.

Windows Fogging

    A sure symptom of the heater core in the Honda Civic going bad occurs when the inside windows fog up for no apparent reason. The heater core is not losing liquid coolant in this case; instead, heated coolant will be flowing up through the dash of the Civic and onto the front windshield. In this case, your heater core has likely began leaking or broken a seal, or a hole has developed in one of the hoses. If your windshield begins to fog up while you drive, you must have the heater core repaired immediately to avoid future problems.

How to Troubleshoot a Monte Carlo

Chevrolet manufactured the Monte Carlo from 1970 to 2007. The 2007 Monte Carlo LS coupe came equipped with a 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine. The Monte Carlo included many different standard features, such as cloth bucket front seats, power mirrors, a rear spoiler, 16-inch, all-season steel tires, cruise control, a rear defogger, remote power door locks, power steering, front seat-back storage and a remote trunk release. Because the Monte Carlo consists of so many different parts, it can be challenging to troubleshoot the vehicle. Two ways to troubleshoot the Monte Carlo are by looking at manufacturer recall data and following some general troubleshooting tips.

Instructions

    1

    Determine whether your particular Monte Carlo is subject to any manufacturer recalls by searching the United States' official recall website: www.recalls.gov.

    2

    Inspect the steering knuckles on your Monte Carlo's steering system when the front wheels do not respond to turns of the steering wheel by the driver while the vehicle is moving. The knuckles may be faulty aftermarket parts that were manufactured by the Dorman company and are prone to breaking near the hub of the wheels. If the steering knuckles break, you can lose control of the steering of the vehicle and possibly cause an accident. Have the knuckles replaced by Dorman to avoid losing steering control of the vehicle while you drive.

    3

    Check the spark plugs of your Monte Carlo when the car feels like it lacks power while you are driving. One or more of the spark plugs could be damaged or broken and should be replaced. Look also at the PCV hoses to see if any of them are collapsed and make sure that the distributor is still working properly. The catalytic converter may be faulty or clogged or the knock sensor may need to be replaced. Make sure that the piston ring set inside your engine does not have any worn or broken piston rings and that the fuel filter is not clogged or overly dirty.

    4

    Find the timing gear inside the crankshaft and see if it is worn when you hear a pinging noise inside the engine compartment while you are accelerating. The heater control valve could also be leaky or faulty or the timing chain may have slipped. The engine may also have the incorrect cylinder timing and need to be readjusted. Make sure that the carburetor is not overly dirty or has not stopped working.

How to Troubleshoot a Key Ignition Problem

How to Troubleshoot a Key Ignition Problem

Having to deal with key ignition problems can be frustrating, especially if you have to reach an appointment or be someplace else on time. Although most ignitions last a long time, some may start to show signs of problems at some point. Resolve some problems by changing the ignition if it becomes faulty, while others may just need a few troubleshooting steps to fix it. Before considering getting it replaced, there are a few troubleshooting tasks that you can perform.

Instructions

Identifying Key Ignition Problems

    1

    Check the ignition switch for corrosion if the ignition switch and steering column heat up while driving. When the ignition switch comes in contact with corrosion it causes resistance. To correct the problem, eliminate the corrosion.

    2

    Start the engine of the vehicle by turning the key in the ignition to the "On" position. If the ignition switch heats up when you start the engine, look for loose connections or broken ignition switch wires. Tighten all connections that are loose and replace broken wires.

    3

    Determine if the car starts easily, but when you try to shut it off it does not shut off. This is generally as a result of a fault in the link of the ignition lock and the switch. You may need to replace the ignition switch and key tumbler assembly.

    4

    Check the battery connections and look for corrosion if the car won't start. If the battery is okay, remove excess keys from your key chain, as the weight from the keys can cause the ignition switch to malfunction.

How do I Tell If It Is a Dead Battery or the Alternator?

How do I Tell If It Is a Dead Battery or the Alternator?

You've been out shopping, you hop in the car and turn the key, and nothing happens. It could be because you left the headlights on, which drained the battery, or it could signify a problem with the charging system. When it's operating correctly, the car's alternator provides a steady flow of current to charge the battery when the motor is running. Without this charge, the battery quickly drains, even while the car is in use. Repairing the alternator and replacing the battery are not difficult jobs, but first you have to know which of them to do.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the ignition key. If there is any power left in the battery, the warning lights on the dashboard should come on. If the alternator light, which is sometimes identified as "Charge," doesn't come on, the alternator is probably not working.

    2

    Open the hood and check for a loose or broken alternator belt. It is connected around the engine block and the alternator, and is also hooked up to a cooling fan in some models. If you can lift it more than about 1/4 inch from any of the pulleys with your finger, it is probably too loose too turn the alternator and needs to be tightened or replaced.

    3

    Charge the battery, or hook your car up to another car with jumper cables, and start the car. If the alternator light doesn't go off, then the charging system needs servicing.

    4

    Stop the engine, turn on the headlights, then start the car. If they dim significantly, that is another indication of a charging problem. If the lights get brighter when you rev the engine, the alternator may be partially supplying the battery with power. If there is no change in the headlight intensity when you start the car or rev the engine, the alternator is functioning normally.

    5

    Set a voltmeter to read DC volts and connect the leads to the battery terminals while the engine is running. It should read approximately 14 volts. If it reads less than 12 volts, the alternator is not supplying charge. If the meter reads 14 volts but dips to less than 13 volts when you turn on the heater, rear window defogger, lights and radio at the same time, it may be only supplying a partial charge.

Selasa, 23 Agustus 2011

Troubleshooting Vehicle Belt Problems

Troubleshooting Vehicle Belt Problems

The belts on a vehicle are important, as they go around the pulley, which is attached to the flywheel and controls other components. Belts power important vehicle parts, including alternators, water pumps, air conditioner compressors and power steering pumps. Some vehicles have one belt that controls all of the components, while others may have more than one. It is important to know the types of belts on your vehicle and how to troubleshoot.

Instructions

    1

    Listen for unusual sounds coming from the engine, such as squealing or screeching. This indicates the belt is slipping off the pulley. The belt will need to be replaced as soon as possible.

    2

    Visually inspect the belts for cracking or fraying. The best way to do this is to use a mirror and flashlight. If there are cracks that measure more than 1", the belt should be changed immediately to prevent breakage.

    3

    Check the belt to ensure it is not soaked by leaking engine oil. Engine oil leaks can rapidly damage vehicle belts. Fix worn seals or gaskets before replacing the old belt.

    4

    Look for excess smoke coming from the exhaust. It could be a sign that the timing belt is ready to be replaced. When the timing belt is worn, the engine comes under extra pressure while operating.

Senin, 22 Agustus 2011

How to Troubleshoot the Fuel Sending Unit in a 1993 Jeep Cherokee

How to Troubleshoot the Fuel Sending Unit in a 1993 Jeep Cherokee

An accurate reading on your gas gauge is important. Primarily, it can prevent you from ending up on the side of the road with a hefty towing charge and an expensive trip to the shop. Maybe the gauge is indicating that your tank is full, when it's really empty. Worse yet, maybe it no longer moves at all. One common cause for this is a faulty fuel sending unit. But before you spend money for another unit, it's best to troubleshoot it and confirm that it's to blame.

Instructions

Removing the Fuel Tank and Pump

    1

    Remove the fuel cap and the fuel pump relay in the engine compartment to relieve fuel pressure.

    2

    Crank the engine, in an attempt to start it. It may start for a moment and die, or it may not start at all. Then turn the key off and reinstall the relay and disconnect the negative battery cable.

    3

    Siphon out the fuel from the tank and into an approved gasoline container, with a siphoning kit.

    4

    If the vehicle has a trailer package, remove the service connector from the rear bumper with a ratchet and socket.

    5

    Remove the optional equipment (if equipped), such as the skid plate, tow hooks or trailer hitch, and the exhaust tailpipe heat shield.

    6

    Disconnect the fuel hoses, their retainers and the fuel pump electrical connector. A screwdriver can be used to release the connector.

    7

    Place a block of wood on the floor jack plate and slide it under the fuel tank for support. The wood block will help to protect the tank from damage.

    8

    Remove the nuts from the tank retaining straps and move the straps out of the way.

    9

    Remove the filler hose and return hoses from the tank and slide the tank away from the vehicle.

    10

    Take note of the position of the fuel pump module to the fuel tank. If it or any new module is not reinstalled the same way, the fuel level float might get stuck on the side of the tank, causing another inaccurate reading on the gauge.

    11

    Use a pair of pliers to turn the lock nut counterclockwise to release the pump module from the tank.

    12

    Remove the module carefully, to avoid damaging the float.

Testing the Fuel Sending Unit

    13

    Connect the leads from an ohm meter to the module's electrical connector, with one to the signal wire and one to the ground wire.

    14

    Measure the resistance with the float in the down position, which simulates an empty tank. Compare your reading to the factory specification for an empty tank, which is 105 ohms.

    15

    Raise the float to the top to simulate a full tank. Compare this reading to the factory specification of 5 ohms for a full tank.

    16

    Replace the unit if the resistance is incorrect, or if it does not change smoothly as you move the float up and down. Since the sending unit is not available separately, the entire module must be replaced if it is faulty.

    17

    Follow the same steps in reverse order to reinstall all parts.

Minggu, 21 Agustus 2011

How to Test a Taurus PCM

Depending on the year Taurus on which you are working, the powertrain control module (PCM) could be located in one of any number of places. Look in the passenger-side kick panel or under the carpet on the passenger floor. It may also be located under the seat, on the fenderwell or on the firewall. The computer cannot diagnose itself -- you will not be able to use a scanner in the conventional manner to test it. It is up to you to follow "clues" about the computer to determine if it has malfunctioned.

Instructions

    1

    Plug the code scanner into the data link port, which is usually located under the driver's-side dash. If it is not under the dash, check on the driver's side of the engine compartment. The location depends on the year and model Taurus on which you are working.

    2

    Turn the key to the "On" position, then press the "Read" button on the scanner. Write down all the codes, then compare them to the code sheet that comes with the scanner. If you have several codes for things you know are working, or it is just not possible that all the components listed by the scanner are bad, the computer is suspect. It is also suspect if the scanner gave you codes that do not exist.

    3

    Disconnect the negative battery cable, using the appropriate wrench. Discharge static electricity by grounding yourself -- touch metal. Remove the computer from its bracket, using the appropriate socket. Unbolt the wiring harness connectors, using the appropriate socket. Pull the wiring harness connectors straight off the back of the computer. Take care not to bend the pins.

    4

    Remove the cover from the back of the computer. Inspect the circuit boards -- look for burned circuits. Smell the computer. If it smells like dead fish, it is highly suspect. If it has burned circuits -- the circuits will have brown or black marks on the circuit board -- replace the computer.

Signs That Calipers Are Going Bad

Signs That Calipers Are Going Bad

The calipers on a vehicle are pneumatic pistons that engage your brakes. The pressure created by depressing the brake pedal compresses the fluid forcing the calipers to engage. A problem with the calipers translates to reduced or no stopping power for the vehicle. Identifying a damaged caliper requires a visual inspection of the elements. Calipers operate in similar manners regardless of the make or model of your vehicle.

Seals and Connections

    Look at the caliper with the wheels removed. Look at the back side of the rotor, the bleed screw and the hydraulic line connections. Any sign of fluid on the rotor or inside disc would imply a damaged dust boot or piston seal. Leaks around the bleed screw and hydraulic line connections are obvious and easy to replace. Cracks on the caliper housing will allow fluid to escape and requires replacement.

Pistons

    Ask someone to depress the brake pedal and spin the rotor. Spinning the rotor with ease or grinding indicates that the system has air in the line or the piston is frozen in place. Excessive heat from worn pads can fuse the piston to the caliper. A C-clamp can often free up the piston. Remove the brake shoes and look at the inner aspect of the pistons. Look for signs of damage, such as cracks in the base or scratch marks at the tips.

Signs While Driving

    Pulling to one side while engaging the brakes indicates that one wheel is gripping better than the other. Bleeding the system will typically correct this. If the issue continues, the caliper is failing to engage the brake, which usually means a bad seal. Bleeding your brakes with any form of frequency indicates that air is pulling into the system from either the hydraulic lines or caliper. Leaks are not always obvious. Brakes locking up when engaging them or remaining locked also indicates caliper malfunction.

How to Reset an ABS System

How to Reset an ABS System

You cannot access the anti-lock braking system with a simple on-board diagnostics scanner. The two codes are different, and on your vehicle's dashboard, there are different trouble indicator lights for each. For late-model vehicles, ABS diagnostics have become simpler. There are tools available to troubleshoot the braking system, and depending on how much you're willing to pay, you can find code readers that can read both OBD-II and ABS trouble codes. Either way, with a scanner, resetting the ABS system is fairly simple to do.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the data link connection on your vehicle. It is an angular outlet made of hard black plastic, and it should be near the underside of the steering wheel.

    2

    Hook the diagnostic tool up to the data link outlet.

    3

    Turn the key in the ignition to the "Accessories" position.

    4

    Wait for the code reader to turn itself on. If it doesn't, then you have a brake code scanner that needs to be turned on manually. Find the "Power" button and press it.

    5

    Read the code as it appears on the scanner. Make sure that all of the problems with the brakes have been fixed.

    6

    Clear the codes. You will find a dedicated button on the scanner labeled "Clear" or "Erase." Press that button to wipe the trouble codes from the system.

Sabtu, 20 Agustus 2011

How to Read Codes for a 2006 GMC Duramax

Checking the codes on a 2006 Chevrolet Duramax diesel can give you pertinent information about the engine and emissions of the truck. The 2006 6.6-liter Duramax was built with a higher torque and horsepower, along with reduced emissions with the help of an iron cylinder block and lower compression ratio. In 2006 the Duramax was given the engine brake option with controls attached to the turbo charger. Checking the trouble codes on your Duramax should take no longer than 30 minutes. The tool needed for this job is available at most auto parts stores or online.

Instructions

    1

    Plug the OBD-II scanner or equivalent computer diagnostic scanner into the port at the bottom of the dashboard. The scanner port is a triangular-shaped port that matches the male end of the scanner plug.

    2

    Turn the engine key to the "Accessories" position. Turn the power on for the code reader.

    3

    Press the "Read" button on the scanner. Read all of the codes and write them down. Make sure you write down pertinent information that the code reader gives you. Some code readers give a definition of the code, and others give you a definition and location of the source problem.

    4

    Turn the ignition key off. Remove the scanner from the truck.

2002 Hyundai Elantra Rotor Removal

The rotors on the Hyundai Elantra are part of the braking system designed to slow down the vehicle. When the brake pedal is depressed, the brake caliper piston forces the brake pads together, clamping them down tightly onto the brake rotor. This friction between the brake pads and rotor is what slows the vehicle down. Over time, brake rotors can become warped, excessively grooved and worn thin. Replacement rotors are available from auto parts stores and certified Hyundai dealerships.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the ignition key to the "Off" position and place the transmission in park. Apply the parking brake and open the hood. Disconnect the negative battery terminal using a battery terminal wrench.

    2

    Loosen the lug nuts on the affected tire with a 1/2-inch breaker bar and a metric socket. Raise that corner of the vehicle using an automotive jack and support it with a jack stand. Chock the opposing wheels. Remove the lug nuts with the 1/2-inch breaker bar and a metric socket. Remove the tire.

    3

    Remove the brake caliper mounting bolts with a 3/8-inch ratchet and a metric socket. Slowly pry the brake caliper off of the rotor using a small pry bar. Remove the caliper from the rotor and tie the brake caliper to the coil spring so it's not hanging by the brake hose.

    4

    Tap the rotor lightly with a hammer to loosen it and slide it completely off of the wheel studs.

Symptoms of a Bad Fuel Pump on a 1988 Volvo

If your 1988 Volvo will not start up or run, there is a chance that its fuel pump is faulty. A malfunctioning fuel pump can completely prevent a vehicle from running or cause a vehicle to run very badly and stall frequently. Replace the fuel pump on your 1988 Volvo if you believe it is broken, otherwise your Volvo will not run smoothly and is subject to coughing, sputtering and stalling.

Volvo Won't Start

    If you attempt to start your Volvo and it tries to start but never actually fires up, a bad fuel pump may be to blame. The fuel pump provides fuel to the motor and without fuel, your Volvo's engine will not be able to turn over and run. You will hear its starter turning, but the car will not fire.

No Gas

    The car is acting like it is almost out of gas or completely out of gas, when you know it has a full tank. Because the fuel pump is not delivering fuel to the vehicle regularly or systematically, the 1988 Volvo is going to spit, sputter and stall like it's running on empty, even though it isn't.

Can't Hear Pump

    The Volvo's electric fuel pump kicks on if you listen carefully enough. Turn the key to the "ON" position without actually starting the vehicle and listen carefully to see if you hear a a rhythmic pumping, hissing or whining noise coming from the area around your gas tank. Since the tank on the 1988 Volvo is on the driver's side, there is a good chance you will be able to hear it. If you don't hear anything, your fuel pump may have stopped working.

Signs of Needing a New Speed Sensor

Signs of Needing a New Speed Sensor

Speed sensors share information about the vehicle's speed with other systems in the car through multiplexing. They also maintain directional stability to determine the height of the ride and are instrumental in ensuring the healthy functioning of your vehicle. There are some signs to be aware of that signal the need for a new speed sensor.

Poor Transmission Shifting

    If you feel that the torque converter clutch is kicking in at the wrong moment, such as when you give the vehicle some gas and feel it shift upward and then down suddenly, this is a sign that the speed sensor is causing problems with the transmission shifting. Another tell-tale sign of transmission problems with a failing speed sensor is that if you try to brake suddenly, the pedal may not go down quickly enough and feel as if it's bogged down.

Speedometer Fault

    When the speedometer or the odometer stops working intermittently while you drive, something may be wrong with the speed sensor. At this point, the "Check Engine" light should turn on, signaling a problem. In order for the speedometer to work again and the light to go off, you will need to get a new speed sensor.

Error Codes

    When the conductive surface of the speed sensor starts to wear off, error codes will begin to appear next to the speedometer. As the surface of the sensor wears down, the speed sensor will stop working and start producing error codes. Typically, two error codes will be generated: the Check Engine Light (CEL) and the Transmission Control Unit (TCU). If these lights remain on as the vehicle is running, there is a high chance that you need to replace the speed sensor in your vehicle.

Kamis, 18 Agustus 2011

How to Use Engine Dye to Find Oil Leaks

How to Use Engine Dye to Find Oil Leaks

Sometimes when you are sure your engine is leaking, it can be nearly impossible to find the leak. You might see the evidence on your driveway, but not know where exactly the leak has sprung from. If so, running UV dye through the system can help you pinpoint the leak's location.

Instructions

    1

    Put your car in the garage. Open the hood and remove the oil filler cap. Pour the UV dye into the opening where you would normally add oil. You don't need to add a lot of dye.

    2

    Jack your car up and place it on jack stands in the factory-approved position, as described in your owner's manual. While jacking the car up, place cinder blocks in front of and behind every wheel. This keeps the car from rolling while you are jacking it up.

    3

    Turn the car on and let it run for a while. Make sure your garage door is open while you do this, or you could die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

    4

    Turn the lights in the garage off and slide under the vehicle. Make sure you are wearing clothes that can get dirty, or cover the floor with newspaper or a cloth. The car must be secure in order for you to be safely under it.

    5

    Shine a UV light around while you are under the car. The dye will shine brightly where the oil is leaking. Make a note of the location.

Rabu, 17 Agustus 2011

Signs of a Broken Rear Sway Bar

Sway bars are metal struts that connect opposite wheels to increase stiffness. As a vehicle goes into a corner, its tendency is to roll around due to inertia. Sway bars keep the vehicle's body from wallowing by providing more resistance. These sway bars are subject a lot of abuse because of the torsion put on them, and because the bars can get hit by debris.

Dropped Sway Bar

    The most obvious sing of a broken rear sway bar would be if it had physically dropped from the undercarriage of the car. The sway bar is supported by a series of bushings that are in turn held up by metal supports. If the metal supports have sheared their bolts, and if the sway bar itself has snapped, then the sway bar would be laying on the ground between the rear wheels. Do not operate a car with a dropped sway bar -- it must be unbolted from either side's suspension setup and removed.

Scraping Noise

    A scraping noise from the rear of the car could mean the sway bar has broken free and is scrapping on the ground during bumps. If the bolts on either end break, the sway bar could swing down too far and make contact with the road. Visually inspect the sway bar if you hear the noise.

Banging Noise

    If the sway bar breaks but stays locked in the bushings, the broken ends can bang against each other. You will hear the banging more often during hard turns where the most roll takes place. The bangs will be rather quiet, so you may not be able to hear them, especially if you are using a performance muffler.

Excessive Roll

    The sway bar serves to minimize roll in corners so if it is broken, you will experience more roll during hard corners. This will be hard to tell at slow speeds, but taking any curve over 30 mph should tell you whether the bar is broken. If you have variable suspension, engage the race mode to minimize the bounce in the shocks.

Selasa, 16 Agustus 2011

How to Troubleshoot Engine Problems for the 1996 Ford Taurus

How to Troubleshoot Engine Problems for the 1996 Ford Taurus

A 1996 Ford Taurus features an engine that is compliant with the current, second-generation On-Board Diagnostics system. This system can greatly help troubleshooting the Ford's engine once the Taurus begins to develop problems. You can access both trouble and pending codes with an OBD-II scanner. Accessing the system, however, is not the silver bullet of engine troubleshooting. It's just an efficient way to start the process. Armed with a scanner, you can make a list of potential problems that will guide your investigation.

Instructions

    1

    Open the driver's door on the Taurus and plug your OBD-II scanner's cable into the the vehicle's diagnostic port. You will find this data link connection below the dash and to the left of the steering column. It will be uncovered and next to the parking brake.

    2

    Turn the scanner on. Some of the next couple of steps will be slightly different depending on the brand and model of scanner you own. Your particular scanner may auto-activate and automatically retrieve codes once sensing a stream of data from the Taurus. Always consult and defer to the exact instructions detailed in your scanner's user manual.

    3

    Place your key into the Ford's ignition and turn to On. This will turn on the electrical system, as well as the diagnostic computer. Depending on the scanner you own, you may need to crank the engine.

    4

    Look at the codes retrieved. On a piece of paper, copy all the codes down and make a list. Place all the trouble codes at the top of the list. These are the reasons why a check engine light comes on. Below the trouble codes, add the pending codes. While these may not have appeared as often as the trouble codes, they are still recorded instances of a malfunction. They could be anomalies, or they could also be issues that will classed as "trouble codes" later.

    5

    Turn the Ford's engine off and remove the key from the ignition. Turn the scanner off and remove the cable from the diagnostic outlet.

    6

    Consult your OBD-II scanner's user manual for coding definitions. Most manuals have a list of codes general to all post-1996 vehicles. You may also need to look up Ford's supplemental OBD-II coding (see Resource section). Write the relevant definitions next the codes on your list.

    7

    Return to your Taurus and open the hood. Begin to investigate the engine based on your list. Draw a line through the code and definition once you have eliminated it from consideration.

How to Find an Evaporation System Leak

How to Find an Evaporation System Leak

The evaporation system, also called EVAP on an automotive vehicle, traps and captures hydrocarbon vapors in the fuel system, which is related to emission control. The EVAP system recovers gas tank vented vapors, along with excess vapors expelled during engine running and refueling. If the hydrocarbon vapors do not remain contained and recycled, they can leak to the atmosphere, contributing to ozone pollution. A smog check, or emission control inspection, along with a code scanner, can determine a small or large EVAP system leak. A vehicle owner can use a smoke machine to pin-point the exact location of the leak and make the repair himself.

Instructions

    1

    Take your vehicle to a certified auto repair facility and have a technician hook up a code scanner to your vehicle. He will confirm that you have an EVAP emission control leak by looking up the trouble code. You can rent a code scanner from an auto parts store and perform your own scanner check. Hook up the code scanner to the universal jack under the dashboard and start the engine. If you find a trouble code displayed on the screen, write it down and look up the number in a trouble code book.

    2

    Place the vehicle transmission in "Park" for an automatic, and "Neutral" for a standard. Apply the emergency brake and raise the hood. Use a floor jack to lift the vehicle at both ends and place two jack stands under the front chassis frame, and two more under the rear frame. Slide under the vehicle, and check the fuel vapor vent hose that exits the fuel tank and runs along the chassis to the engine. The hose should have no cracks or sharp bends in it. Check the mounting bracket locations for scuffing or chaffing.

    3

    Refer to your owner's repair manual for the location of your EVAP system inside the engine compartment. Look for the charcoal canister, vent cap, vent solenoid, purge flow valve and EGR valve. Find the two small plastic lines that form a double port and attach near the vent cap. Remove the double port valve by pulling it off the nipples, which will leave two small holes in the port body. Attach an adapter cone, with hose, from a smoke machine to the top port hole, which should be the vacuum or intake manifold line.

    4

    Wedge a screwdriver in the throttle linkage to keep the throttle open. Turn on the smoke machine and let it pressurize the system for 2 to 3 minutes. If you see smoke coming out of the cold air intake hose, it means the system has pressurized. Use a strong flashlight to look at all the hoses, both large and thin, connected to the intake side of the emission control system. Check for small streams of white smoke coming from the hose connections and cracks in the hose. Once you find a leak, mark the hose with a piece of masking tape, so you can replace the hose.

    5

    Turn off the smoke machine and place the adapter cone into the lower double port hole. Turn the machine on and let the system pressurize. The lower port line will lead to the charcoal canister, so look for leaks in the line going to it and the connection points. Ignore the small amount of smoke emanating from the top of the vent cap -- this will be normal. Check high and low, all hoses, lines and connections. Tape any leaking hose with masking tape to identify the source of the leak. When finished, remove the smoke machine adaptor and hose and replug the double port back into the nipple connection.

Locks on a 2008 Pontiac G6 Won't Lock and Unlock by Remote

In 2005, Pontiac began phasing out the aged Grand Am and bringing in the new G6. In 2006, the G6 officially took the Grand Am's position in Pontiac's lineup. All trim levels of the 2006 G6, except the value leader trim level, came standard with a keyless entry system. This system used a remote to unlock and lock the doors, open the trunk and engage the G6's alarm. There are four main causes for the keyless entry remote not to lock or unlock the G6's doors.

Testing The Signal

    Using a keyfob testing tool -- which can be rented for a small deposit from some auto parts stores -- determine if there is a signal coming from the remote. If the tester does not indicate a signal from the keyfob, replace the battery and retest the keyfob -- see the section titled "Remote Buttery" for additional information. If the remote continues to not lock or unlock the 2008 G6's doors after replacing the battery, replace the keyfob.

Remote Battery

    The 2008 G6's keyless entry remote uses a CR2032 battery as a power supply. As the remote ages, this battery loses its charge. The driver's information center displays a "KEY FOB BATT LOW" message prior to the complete failure of the battery. If the battery completely fails, the remote will not lock and unlock the G6's doors. Remove the battery by separating the two halves of the fob with a flat-head screwdriver and pulling the battery from its slot. Insert a new battery, positive side up, and press the two key fob halves together.

Remote Parameters

    The 2008 G6's remote keyless entry system runs through the vehicle's body control module. This allows you to connect a scan tool with a keyfob function to check whether the correct signal is coming from the remote. Plug the scan tool into the diagnostic port under the dashboard and enter the keyfob program in the scan tool. Press the "Lock" or "Unlock" button on the keyfob and read the keyfob parameter on the scan tool. If the parameter does not match the button pushed, replace the keyfob.

Remote Control Door Lock Receiver

    The 2008 G6 has a remote control door lock receiver that receives the signal from the remote and converts the signal to the correct function. After converting the signal, the RCDLR sends the command to perform the selected function. If the remote and battery test as operating correctly, the RCDLR has failed and requires replacement.

Senin, 15 Agustus 2011

How to Check for Warped Brake Rotors

How to Check for Warped Brake Rotors

One of the most vital components of your vehicle's braking system is its rotors. When you apply the brake pedal, you effectively engage a hydraulic system that compresses the vehicle's brake pads against the moving rotor. The resulting pressure and friction help slow the momentum of the vehicle. Of course, this friction creates a great deal of heat. It is this extreme heat and wear that have the potential to warp the brake rotors. If you fear your brake rotors are warped, check them immediately and replace them if needed.

Instructions

    1

    Take the vehicle for a short drive and apply the brakes. If you notice that the brake pedal pulsates or vibrates, you should check the rotors immediately, as this is a sign that the rotors may be warped.

    2

    Park your vehicle on flat ground or in a garage and set the emergency brake. Turn the vehicle off and retrieve your car jack and lug wrench. You must check both the driver and passenger sides in order to ensure the rotors are in good shape. If you have four-wheel disc brakes, check the rotors in the rear as well.

    3

    Use the lug wrench to loosen the wheel's lug nuts on the side you have chosen. Only break the nuts loose; don't remove them entirely.

    4

    Situate the jack under the car or truck and lift it so that the tire is an inch or so off the ground. Then adjust your jack stand and place it under the frame or axle of the vehicle.

    5

    Unscrew the lug nuts completely and remove the tire. If the rotor is extremely dusty or dirty, spray it down with brake cleaner.

    6

    Hold the straight edge of your ruler lengthwise against the surface of the brake rotor. Look between the rotor and the ruler. If you see a gap between the two, it's a good sign the rotor has been warped. A warped rotor must be replaced with a new one. It cannot be turned or resurfaced. If the rotor isn't warped, be sure to check the brake rotor on the other side as well.

VW Beetle Troubleshooting

VW Beetle Troubleshooting

Diagnosing and troubleshooting problems with a VW Beetle is relatively straightforward. If you have basic repair knowledge and a set of common shop tools, you should be on your way in no time. Most troubleshooting involves starting or electrical problems. Other problems occur when driving or braking. While this is not an exhaustive list of diagnoses or solutions, these are general troubleshooting procedures to help you handle some of the most common problems you might experience with your Beetle.

Instructions

Difficulty Starting

    1

    Check for fuel in the gas tank. Check the gas gauge reading and fill if empty. A full tank and an empty reading indicates a broken fuel gauge sender. If this is the case, remove and replace following the manufacturer's instructions.

    2

    Turn the ignition key but do not start the car. Verify operation of oil and generator indicator lights. Open the rear deck lid. Check for spark by removing one spark plug wire and plugging in a spare spark plug. Have a helper turn the ignition to crank for a moment as you hold the spark plug 1/4-inch or less from bare metal. The color of the spark determines the condition of your ignition: blue or white is best and yellow is weak, and includes problems with plugs, wire, points or coil. Remove and check each of these parts and replace as needed.

    3

    Check for fuel flow by starting the engine and looking at the transparent fuel filter. The fuel pump visibly draws fuel through the filter if it is working properly. Remove and replace the filter if it is dirty or clogged. Blow air into the supply end to verify an unblocked fuel line. Beetle models equipped with a carburetor may occasionally suffer from a stuck fuel float. Give the carburetor a light knock with the handle of a screwdriver to free it.

    4

    Remove a spark plug with a plug socket and wrench to check for compression. Insert the compression tester in place of the spark plug. Have a friend crank the engine a few times. Note the compression and replace the spark plug. Repeat this step at all spark plugs. Uneven, high or low compression indicate a problem with the condition of the upper engine, including heads, rings or pistons. No compression indicates a broken piston or rod.

Electrical Problems

    5

    Verify the battery electrical connections are secure. Use the voltmeter to verify six or 12 volts, depending on the battery. Use the jumper cables to jump-start the battery if necessary. Replace the battery if it cannot be charged. Test the ground connection by using the resistance setting of the voltmeter between the negative terminal at the battery and the bare chassis. Remove the ground strap and use a file to clean the strap where it connects to the chassis. Use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the chassis where it connects to the strap and reinstall it.

    6

    Inspect all wires visually for loose or broken wire or connections. Splice in new sections of wire of matching size at any frayed wire and wrap with heat shrink tubing or electrical tape. Replace broken push connectors.

    7

    Verify 12 volts at the starter switch, all fuse terminals, the ignition coil and the carburetor solenoid if equipped.

    8

    Inspect the fuse box and replace burnt fuses. Remove and lightly sand all other fuses to ensure consistent electrical contact. Reinstall the sanded fuses.

    9

    Turn the light switch to driveway setting if equipped. Inspect driveway lamps at headlights and taillights for operation and remove and replace if needed. Turn the light switch to the headlight setting, inspect sealed beams and replace if needed. Switch the headlamps to bright setting and replace if needed. Check interior lighting at all settings and replace if needed. Test the brake lamps, turn signals, reverse lamps and hazard flashers and replace as needed.

Driving and Stopping

    10

    Test the air pressure of the tires with an air pressure gauge. Adjust tire air pressure as recommended in the owner's manual. Inspect the treads for damage and replace immediately with the spare tire if any is found. Use the tire wrench to check that all lug nuts are firmly tightened. Pull emergency brake lever to test its operation prior to driving. Drive the car slowly and test the brakes.

    11

    Raise the front of the vehicle with a jack and rotate the front wheels by hand, listening for rumbling. Push and pull on the wheels by hand to determine if the front bearing is worn. Replace the bearing if the bearing rumbles or moves significantly. Rotate the front wheels by hand to test for resistance. Remove the wheels to adjust or replace the brake shoes if there is significant resistance or squealing. Rotate the wheel and listen for a light knocking sound. If you hear any sounds, take the vehicle to a shop for repair. Repeat the steps for all four wheels. Visually inspect underneath the front end for worn or broken rubber covers on the steering components. Fill tie rod ends and steering components with grease.

    12

    Start the engine and drive the car. Listen carefully for knocks from the motor, suspension, wheels or brakes. At idle, only the engine should be heard. Thumping from the tires while driving indicates wheel or suspension problems. Vibration from the indicates unbalanced or damaged wheels. Take the wheel to a mechanic for repair or balancing.

    13

    Depress the brake pedal and release while the vehicle is at a complete stop. If the brake pedal does not return to the original position, or is squishy, tow the car immediately to the shop for brake work. At speed, feel for pulsation in the pedal or steering wheel when applying the brakes to determine front or rear brake problems.

    14

    Check for operation of all gears in normal sequence. Feel for hard shifts or knocks which indicate shifter or linkage trouble. Missing or popped gears indicate transmission problems that a transmission specialist may be able to diagnose further.

How to Troubleshoot Fuel Injectors When They are not Pulsing

How to Troubleshoot Fuel Injectors When They are not Pulsing

Fuel injectors are connected to pressurized fuel lines. The fuel injector controls the injection of fuel into the combustion chamber through an electronic pulse. The incoming electricity charges a solenoid that briefly opens a valve. When the valve is open, the pressurized fuel passes through the fuel injector into the combustion chamber. A single charge of the solenoid and the subsequent opening and closing of the valve is what is considered the "pulsing" of the fuel injector. Electrical failure, electrical shorts and bad fuel injectors may all result in pulse failure.

Instructions

Injector Lead Testing

    1

    Turn the ignition key to "Start," but do not start the engine.

    2

    Set your multimeter to measure volts.

    3

    Disconnect the electrical plug from the non-pulsing fuel injector. Pull the electrical plug and wired lead away from the fuel injector to allow access to the metal tabs in the plug.

    4

    Touch the red and black multimeter leads to each side of the electrical plug. You can place either lead on either side of the plug.

    5

    Measure the voltage being passed through the lead. The multimeter should display approximately 12 volts. If the lead is not producing the correct voltage, and the other leads are producing correct voltage, replace the electrical lead.

Electrical Plug Corrosion

    6

    Pull the electrical plug from the fuel injector.

    7

    Inspect the metal connections on both the electrical plug and the fuel injector. The electrical plug and fuel injector terminal should both be free of corrosion and moisture.

    8

    Use a small wire brush to clean the terminal contacts, if corrosion is found.

    9

    Apply a small amount of dielectric grease to the terminal of the fuel injector.

    10

    Reconnect the electric plug to the fuel injector. Start the engine and test for a pulse.

Fuel Injector Pulse Testing

    11

    Start the engine.

    12

    Touch the tip of a screwdriver to the fuel injector. Press your ear to the handle of the screwdriver.

    13

    Listen for a clicking sound through the screwdriver. The solenoid and valve operation will create an audible click that can be heard through the screwdriver when the fuel injector is pulsing. On some fuel injectors, you can feel the clicking as soon as you touch the screwdriver to the injector.

Short Circuit Testing

    14

    Disconnect all fuel injector leads from the injectors.

    15

    Set the multimeter to measure volts. Connect the black multimeter lead to the vehicle battery positive terminal. Connect the red multimeter lead to the electrical plug of one of the fuel injector leads.

    16

    Have an assistant turn the ignition key to attempt to start the engine.

    17

    Measure the incoming voltage. The voltage will alternate between 12 volts and 0 volts.

    18

    Connect one of the other electrical plugs to the respective fuel injector and repeat Steps Three and Four. You will only test the original lead. This test helps you determine what fuel injector is creating a short circuit. Continue connecting fuel injectors and retesting the original lead until all fuel injectors are tested. A short circuit will cause non-alternation of current on the fuel injector system. Lack of current pulsing results in non-pulse of the injectors.

    19

    Replace any fuel injector that results in a short circuit of the electrical leads.

    20

    To test the final fuel injector, connect it and pull a prior connected electrical plug. Repeat the voltage test on the newly disconnected plug to confirm the final injector is not short-circuiting the injection system.

Resistance Testing

    21

    Disconnect the fuel injector electrical plugs from each of the fuel injectors.

    22

    Set the multimeter to measure ohms.

    23

    Connect the red and black multimeter leads to each side of the terminal end of the fuel injector. Either colored lead can be connected to either side of the terminal.

    24

    Measure the ohms, or resistance, of the fuel injector. Write down the measurement.

    25

    Repeat Steps Three and Four on all of the remaining fuel injectors.

    26

    Compare all the resistance measurements. All of the ohms measurements should be roughly the same. Any fuel injector with a significantly higher or lower resistance measurement is failing or has failed.

    27

    Replace failed fuel injectors.

Minggu, 14 Agustus 2011

1995 Mercedes Engine Code P0141

1995 Mercedes Engine Code P0141

Error code P0141 on a vehicle with a Mercedes engine indicates there might be an issue with the heated circuit of your oxygen sensor. This issue can cause severe fuel economy problems.

Definition

    Error code P0141 refers to the second oxygen sensor, located beside the Mercedes' engine's No. 1 cylinder. When you see this error, it means the sensor is not correctly gauging the temperature of the exhaust surrounding it, or not addressing it properly.

Causes

    An error P0141 could be caused by a short in the wiring harness or the heating element, an issue with the oxygen sensor heater wiring, or problems with the heating element resistance.

Repair

    Because the internal wiring cannot be repaired in the oxygen sensor, in many cases the only repair option is to replace the sensor.

Can Cold Weather Affect the Engaging of Gears in Pickup Trucks?

Can Cold Weather Affect the Engaging of Gears in Pickup Trucks?

Vehicles, as a whole, are hot-blooded beasts; they're generally designed more to tolerate extremes in upper temperatures than those in lower ranges. The differentials and gearboxes used in pickup trucks and cars are no exception, and may suffer when subjected to extremely low temperatures like those often encountered during the winter season.

The Basic Problem

    You probably recall from grade school that materials expand at high temperatures and contract at lower ones. That's true and it isn't. It's not so much that the physical molecules of the material get larger, but rather that those molecules either get closer together or further apart according to temperature. Because the molecules and atoms of the substance get closer together, the material shrinks and becomes denser and harder. But hardness is a bad thing when you need the material to absorb shocks and spring back into place, rather than to simply break with the impact.

Effects on Gear Material

    The typical gearset uses a tough, slick, hard-wearing metal alloy composed of carbon, chromium, molybdenum, nickel, phosphorus, silicon and sulfur. All of these ingredients are contained within a crystalline matrix of iron. The problem is that each of these materials expand and contract with heat at different rates. At higher temperatures, they all kind of meld together, maintaining most of their original properties. At lower temperatures, all of these ingredients can create tiny cracks in the iron matrix, forming pathways for larger cracks and subsequent shattering.

Effects on Gear Clearances

    On a larger scale, severe contraction of the gear metal will cause the gears in your differential to shrink very slightly overall. Under normal circumstances, the gears would mesh perfectly together with either no clearance or exactly the right amount, with most of it being taken up with the gear lubricant. But when the gears shrink, clearances between them get bigger and the gears are able to build up a bit of momentum before they touch. This creates a sort of "hammering" effect between the gears, when they should just slide smoothly together.

Effects on Gear Oil

    Gear oil reacts to low temperatures in much the same way that metal does, but often in a far more extreme manner. Gear oil is already a very thick fluid, resisting flow through its high viscosity. When the spaces between the gear oil molecules shrinks, the oil goes from a thick liquid to a solid with about the consistency of linoleum tile. Even when the oil is well above its freezing temperature, the oil will often refuse to flow into the clearances between the gears. Thus, while the gears themselves may be completely immersed in oil, they're running dry on a molecular level until the oil warms up.

What it Means to You

    Brittle gears, combined with large clearances and oil that doesn't lubricate, make for a gearbox that winds up on the verge of serious failure at very low temperatures. This is particularly true for heavy-haulers like pickup trucks, which regularly put some pretty extreme loads on differential gears. The immediate possibilities include broken gear teeth and shattered gears; long-term problems are about the same, owing to massively increased wear resulting from excess clearances and lack of proper lubrication.

What You Can Do

    The most important thing you can do it to avoid putting too much stress on the truck without driving it for a few minutes first to warm the gear oil. Because of the large friction forces in your diff, the gear oil will come up to temperature and start doing its job pretty quickly; it should be doing its thing within about the first mile of driving. So, in the winter, avoid pulling up any tree stumps before you get a chance to drive the truck around the block a couple of times. Apart from that, you might consider switching to a fully-synthetic gear oil. Full synthetics typically exhibit far better flow characteristics at low temperatures than standard gear oils and can go far colder without freezing.

Jumat, 12 Agustus 2011

Problems With a 1992 F150 Xlt Instrument Panel

Problems With a 1992 F150 Xlt Instrument Panel

The 1992 Ford F-150 has several recalls and technical service bulletins (TSB) concerning the problems some truck owners are experiencing with the instrument panel. Most of the instrument panel problems can be attributed to the wiring harness recalls on the Ford F-150, but the fuses are also creating concerns.

Under Hood Wiring Harness

    Ford Motor Company has published a TSB concerning the wiring harness located under the hood of the 1992 Ford F-150. This wiring harness is rubbing against the engine components, such as the back of the hood assembly and engine block, causing the instrument panel to work intermittently. The instrument panel monitors the condition of particular engine components such as oil pressure, RPM, battery voltage and engine temperature as well as the truck's speed and amount of fuel. When the wiring harness under the hood chafes, it can cause the signals from these devices to be interrupted. The wiring harness needs to be replaced or repaired by the dealership to stop this chafing problem.

Fuses

    Edmunds.com has published some of the TSBs and one of these TSBs concerns the fuses that protect the gauges on the instrument panel of the truck. When voltage overloads or there is a power surge from the battery, the fuses protect the electrical components of the instrument panel gauges by burning out, stopping the power surge from reaching these components. Once the fuse or fuses burn out, the gauges quit working. Most of these fuses are located under the dash of the F-150 on the driver's side, just beneath the steering wheel. Each fuse is labeled with the gauge or system the fuse controls. The F-150 owner can easily find the fuse, take it out and replace it.

Transmission Control Indicator Lamp

    The instrument panel also provides the operator with warning lights that illuminate when there is a problem with one of the systems such as the transmission. A TSB is published by the manufacturer concerning a faulty transmission control indicator warning light when there is not a transmission problem. The transmission control indicator lamp or warning light informs the driver of low transmission fluid, excessive internal transmission temperature or other major problems. No reason has been given for this instrument panel problem, but the TSB states the problem could be coming from the wiring harness problems.

Kamis, 11 Agustus 2011

What Happens if I Drive My Car With a Bad Knock Sensor?

What Happens if I Drive My Car With a Bad Knock Sensor?

Knock sensors are just one of the things that separate the newest generation of internal combustion engine from the previous. The knock sensor is your computer's "ear" on the engine; while it is important in terms of optimization, your computer still won't quite end up flying blind without it.

Knock Sensor Basics

    A knock sensor is essentially a piezoelectric microphone, just like the pickups on an electric guitar. A piezoelectric, or PE, is a material that turns shock load or kinetic energy directly into electrical current. Applying mechanical pressure to a PE like lead zirconate crystal, bone, silk or even tooth enamel causes the substance's magnetic domains to rapidly align and re-align, which creates electricity. Sound energy affecting a PE sends a tremor of compression through it, which causes the PE to emit an electrical output of a certain voltage and frequency.

Engine Noise

    Engines make a lot of noise, and not just the powerful bangs associated with the combustion event. Subtler notes flow all through the engine block -- the sound of the crankshaft spinning, the percussive tap of the valve train and harmonic reverberations vibrating the block like a bell. The computer knows and recognizes most of these sounds, but sends up an alarm when it hears the sour note of fuel pre-igniting or detonating in the cylinder. The knock you hear from the driver seat is just the loudest of a range of subtle sound waves emitted by abnormal combustion.

Computer Reaction

    Upon detecting knock, or any of the subtle vibrations that precede it, the computer adjusts engine timing and air/fuel ratio to get rid of it. Many modern engines are actually tuned to run right at the limit of knock to optimize engine power according to the fuel octane and altitude. In fact, the knock sensor is a vital tuning aid for "flex fuel" engines that may see fuels with an octane range from 84 through 112, from the poorest mule-urine-grade gas to highly refined ethanol.

Bad Senors

    Engineers don't expect your sensors to last forever, which is why they program the computer to self-diagnose most of its sensors. If the knock sensor fails or its readings go far out of range, the computer will likely switch to a default program that doesn't rely on input from the sensor. You're almost certainly going to lose power, but how much you lose depends on how close the computer runs the engine to its octane limit and how heavily it relies on knock sensor input.

Applications

    Turbo-charged, high-compression and flex-fuel engines stand to lose the most power and may severely retard timing and keep the transmission out of overdrive until the knock sensor's been replaced. This, the dreaded "limp home" mode, is designed to make the car practically useless until you get the sensor fixed. Manufacturers do this intentionally because the default program produces higher emissions than the standard feedback program -- a no-no where the EPA is concerned.

Rabu, 10 Agustus 2011

How to Troubleshoot the Power Steering System on a 1975 Chevy C-10

The power steering system used in a 1975 General Motors Chevy C-10 truck is still utilized on some trucks today. It consists of a power steering pump that is driven by a belt, a high-pressure hose that carries power steering fluid to a steering sector (often called a steering box) and a fluid return hose. All of these parts comprise the power steering system and must work together to control the vehicle.

Instructions

    1

    Raise the hood of the truck. Inspect the drive belt. On older models there are multiple belts, and each one must be tight. If the belt is cracked and weathered or loose and slipping, replace it.

    2

    Inspect the power steering hoses. There are two hoses attached to the back of the pump. One is a high-pressure hose that is threaded into a large, 1-inch nut. This reinforced hose sends fluid to the steering sector. Because it is under high pressure, it is prone to develop leaks over time and is a common repair item. Replace it if it is leaking.

    3

    Examine the low-pressure hose. It seldom leaks since it is strictly a fluid return hose that brings fluid from the sector to the pump. It does not have a threaded fitting on the back of the pump and is held in place by a clamp. Although unlikely, replace the hose if it develops a leak.

    4

    Inspect the steering sector. There is only one location that can cause severe problems, that being the output seal located directly above the Pitman arm. This arm transmits left and right steering motion, and power steering fluid can leak out after years of service. Replace the steering sector if there is a leak.

    5

    Check the pump. If it is leaking from the front seal located behind the pulley, replace it. If it is full of fluid and whines or makes a grinding noise, replace the pump. If the pulley is bent and wobbles, replace it.

How to Troubleshoot the Rear Heat on a 2002 Ford Explorer

How to Troubleshoot the Rear Heat on a 2002 Ford Explorer

Ford's 2002 Explorer SUV uses throughput of heated or cooled air to provide comfortable cabin temperatures. The vehicle includes vents and registers placed strategically around the vehicle, including the rear foot wells, to aid with this process. Air is input into the cabin through an air intake grille at the base of the windshield. Problems with the Explorer's rear heat can be corrected.

Instructions

    1

    Remove any loose objects that might be blocking the rear foot well ventilation registers if the rear heat doesn't work. Coats, shopping, first aid kits and other objects can block the air from moving through the vehicle.

    2

    Look for fixed objects that may have become dislodged that could be blocking the vents. After-market automobile sound installation professionals often install audio equipment like amplifiers under the seats. Make sure such equipment hasn't become loose and is blocking the vent. An amplifier positioned in front of a hot air vent can become overheated.

    3

    Select the correct zone position on the airflow direction control. Look for a control on the dash that incorporates icons of a person seated. Identify an icon with the arrow pointing at the feet of the person and select it. Turn the fan (blower) switch to a high position, ensure the heater control is in the red area, close the center dash vents and try to heat the rear again.

    4

    Look for auxiliary controls for the rear heating. Some Explorers have a climate control feature in the console above the front seats for the second row, and in the headliner for the third row. Make sure these are on in addition to the front controls on an analog-style heat system. They are independent if the heat system is the digital type.

Symptoms of a Bad Oxygen Sensor in a Passat

Symptoms of a Bad Oxygen Sensor in a Passat

The oxygen sensor in a Volkswagen Passat detects oxygen levels in the exhaust. It uses that information to alter fuel-to-air mix in order to maintain efficient combustion in the engine. Depending on what year a specific Passat was built, it will have one or several oxygen sensors. Those built prior to 1996 have only one, but the later models have multiple sensors. There are several symptoms that can indicate a faulty oxygen sensor.

Indicator Lamps

    Some cars have a specific warning light for the oxygen sensor, but on a Volkswagen Passat the applicable warning light is either the "check engine" or "service vehicle soon" light. There are other problems that can cause these lights to illuminate, but the oxygen sensor is high on the list, particularly if other symptoms are present.

Performance

    Decreased performance may be one of the first symptoms detected when the oxygen sensor is faulty. A Volkswagen Passat can become sluggish or hesitate from a bad oxygen sensor. It may stall or be difficult to start, or the symptom can be as subtle as a little less acceleration than normal. Loss of performance, though, is a likely symptom of a faulty oxygen sensor.

Other Signs

    A decrease in fuel efficiency can also indicate a problem with one or more of the oxygen sensors on a Volkswagen Passat. Failing an emissions test is another possible symptom. Smelling "rotten eggs" in the exhaust could be caused by a bad oxygen sensor, too. The smell of unburnt gasoline can also indicate an oxygen sensor failure.

Selasa, 09 Agustus 2011

How to Diagnose An Automotive Drive Belt

Automotive drive belts are easy to diagnose because you can see most damage. These belts are made of a rubber-type material. After time, the material can dry rot from the heat of the engine. There is also a lot of stress on the belts because of the tension needed to prevent the belts from slipping around the pulleys. If the belts slip around the pulleys, the accessories will not work properly and the car's performance will suffer. You can diagnose an automotive drive belt in a few steps.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood and locate the belts on the front of the vehicle. The number of belts depends on the year, make and model of your vehicle. Some vehicles have a single serpentine belt. Others have two or more belts. These could be all V-belts or a combination of serpentine belts and V-belts.

    2

    Twist the belt so you can see the underside. Look for small cracks. If you see the cracks, replace the belt as soon as possible.

    3

    Check the tension on the belt. When you twist it, it should not twist past 90 degrees. If it does, and it is a V-belt, you can loosen the slider bolt for that particular accessory and pull the accessory away from the engine to tighten the belt. If you can twist the belt past 90 degrees and cannot tighten it further, replace the belt. If you have a serpentine belt, it has an automatic tensioner. If it twists past 90 degrees, remove the belt.

    4

    Spin the tensioner by hand. If you feel resistance or if the tensioner pulley grinds, replace the pulley. Reinstall the serpentine belt. If the tensioner is fine, then the belt is stretched past its useful life and needs to be replaced.

    5

    Inspect the belts for glazing. If the belt is glazed, replace it because it could slip on the pulleys and will eventually break.

Not Enough Fuel Pressure in My 2000 Blazer

Not Enough Fuel Pressure in My 2000 Blazer

The 2000 Chevy Blazer requires a fuel pressure of between 58 and 64 pounds per square inch. A pressure level below that range may indicate a problem with the fuel pump, fuel filter or fuel pressure regulator.

Fuel Pump

    The fuel pump and fuel sending unit are located in the fuel tank. These components are responsible for sending fuel to the engine and producing the necessary fuel pressure in the system. If either of these units is faulty, the pressure level in the fuel system will likely drop below recommended levels.

Fuel Filter

    The fuel filter is located underneath the vehicle, mounted to the inside of the frame rail. If this filter becomes clogged, it can prevent the fuel pump from delivering an adequate flow of fuel to the engine and reduce the fuel pressure.

Fuel Pressure Regulator

    The fuel pressure regulator valve is a cylindrical, metal canister located on the fuel rail, near the intake manifold. It contains a spring-actuated valve that bleeds excess fuel and pressure. If the valve becomes clogged, it can stick in the open position, allowing too much fuel to return to the tank and reducing the fuel pressure.

Why Would a Heater Core Leak?

Why Would a Heater Core Leak?

Automotive heater cores are radiatorlike devices that use hot engine coolant to provide warm air to the heater and the windshield defroster. Heater core leaks should be identified and repaired, as the leaking coolant may cause the engine to overheat.

Hose Leak

    The flexible hoses that run from the engine to the heater core can develop leaks. The hoses may crack from age or be damaged from abrasion. Hoses that show damage should be replaced. Hoses may also leak at the connection to the heater core due to a loose or defective clamp.

Core Corrosion

    The metal body of the heater core will corrode over time and will eventually create a leak. Radiator core leaks often drip into the passenger cabin of the vehicle. Radiator stop leak can be used to treat minor leaks, but the stop leak may only be a temporary repair as new leaks are likely to develop in the corroded metal body.

Frozen Coolant

    If the mix of anti-freeze and water used for engine coolant contains too much water, the coolant may freeze in cold temperatures. When the coolant freezes, it expands and can crack the heater core. Heater cores that are damaged by frozen coolant will require physical repair or replacement.