Selasa, 31 Januari 2012

2009 Impala Electronic Problems

2009 Impala Electronic Problems

The 2009 Chevrolet Impala has one recall on the vehicle, but it has 35 technical service bulletins (TSBs), including electronic problems, according to Edmunds.com. Since the Impala is controlled by electronic systems, its general operation is affected when parts of the computer system aren't functioning.

Fuel Gauge

    One of the nine TSBs on the 2009 Chevrolet Impala concerns an electronic problem with the fuel gauge. The float arm inside the gas tank affects the operation of the electronic sending unit, which tells the Impala's operator how much fuel is in the tank. The fuel information is incorrect by up to five gallons, which can cause the Impala to run out of gas unexpectedly. The electronic sending unit should be replaced by the dealership to ensure the electronics don't continue to send false information to the fuel gauge.

Automatic Door Locks

    The 2009 Chevrolet Impala has electronic problems with the automatic door locks. The electronic actuators affect the solenoid, which controls the operation of the automatic door locks, by burning both units out prematurely. This door lock problem causes the Impala to remain locked; the operator can't manually or remotely unlock the vehicle. The front doors of the Impala are affected by the electronic problem. The actuator and solenoid must be replaced to correct this issue.

Passenger Side Airbag

    The passenger side airbag in the 2009 Chevrolet Impala has a TSB posted on the electrical device that controls the airbag. A connection between the actuator assembly, which engages the airbag during a crash, is coming loose from the electronic controls. The airbag will not deploy during a front-end crash because this loose connection will not inform the airbag to engage. The Impala owner needs to take the car to a dealership to correct the issue.

Car Problem Diagnosis for a Saturn

Car Problem Diagnosis for a Saturn

The most common problems you may experience with your Saturn would be with the engine, steering and suspension and the fuel and exhaust systems. Without the components of these features working properly, your Saturn may not operate well.

Engine Troubles

    Your Saturn's engine is the life of your car. The most common problem any car's engine may exhibit is when it lacks power. Usually this issue is caused by components that are attached to the engine block, such as faulty spark plugs, a clogged exhaust system or a faulty fuel injection system. Otherwise, weak acceleration may be due to low cylinder compression within the engine.

Steering and Suspension Troubles

    Suspension symptoms are often sensed while steering. Experiencing problems with one means you should have both checked. For instance, your Saturn's alignment is both a steering and suspension function. Difficult steering may require your steering column and linkage examined, along with your Saturn's struts and springs.

Fuel and Exhaust System

    Once again, fuel and exhaust system problems could be coupled with engine problems, such as engine backfiring might be both a fuel and exhaust issue. One major concern to have about your Saturn's fuel system is if you notice excessive fuel consumption or leakage.

My S40 Volvo Cranks, but Won't Start

My S40 Volvo Cranks, but Won't Start

The S40 is a compact vehicle from Volvo that has been in production since 1995 and is available in both sedan and wagon body styles. Early model S40 owners, like all owners of aging vehicles, sometimes encounter engine-related issues as their cars age. There can be instances when the S40's engine cranks, but doesn't start. When this happens, there are simple diagnostic checks that can be performed to rule out the most common troubles.

Instructions

    1

    Put the key in the S40's ignition and turn it all the way to the right without starting the vehicle. When the vehicle's electronics power up, listen for the fuel pump to engage. If no audible noise can be heard, the fuel pump may be bad.

    2

    Check the fuel tank to ensure that you have enough gas, even if the gauge indicates adequate levels. Being out of gas is a very common reason that an engine will crank but not start.

    3

    Pop the hood and inspect the timing belt, making sure it hasn't snapped.

    4

    Test each spark plug with a spark tester, replacing any faulty plugs.

1993 Dodge D150 Troubleshooting

Dodge has been manufacturing trucks since 1917, but the look and makeup of the Dodge lineup of trucks has changed significantly since the company's first trucks were produced. The 1993 Dodge D150 included a 5.9-liter eight cylinder gasoline engine and the option to take delivery of the vehicle with a 30 gallon fuel tank. Because the D150 is such a complex truck made up of so many different parts, bolts and belts, it can be challenging to troubleshoot a problem, some of which are realized by changes in the way the truck feels to the driver.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the air filter on your truck when it feels sluggish as you drive. The air filter may be clogged or dirty.

    2

    Find the clutch disc if the truck is slipping gears while you are driving. The disc may be contaminated with transmission fluid, worn or damaged and should be replaced. Examine the components of the clutch assembly, including the clutch disc springs, pressure plate diaphragm fingers and pressure plate to see whether any of these parts are broken, missing, damaged or worn.

    3

    Check the timing specifications for your Dodge if the truck feels like it misfires as you accelerate. The timing may need to be adjusted. Inspect the spark plugs for signs of damage or deterioration. If the misfiring occurs primarily while the engine idles, find the engine's wireset to see if any of the spark plug wires are worn or damaged.

    4

    Gauge the amount of power steering fluid you have in your truck when the steering wheel becomes difficult to turn. If you have sufficient fluid, find the power steering pump to look for signs of wear or damage. The power steering hose may also be clogged or damaged. Inspect the tie rod ends for wear or damage and confirm that the power steering belt is properly routed and adjusted.

    5

    Examine the radiator hose if your engine is overheating while you driving. The hose may be ruptured, cracked or leaking. Check the head gasket, thermostat and radiator cap for damage or wear. Find the water pump belt to confirm that it is functioning properly and examine the heater core for antifreeze leaks. If the water pump persists, the intake manifold gasket and radiator fan motor may be faulty or there may be missing fan blades on the radiator fan.

2004 Ford F150 Airbag Light Blink Code 18

2004 Ford F150 Airbag Light Blink Code 18

One of the greatest ironies about automobiles is that, while they're designed to take you places, the two most important systems on any car are the ones that makes you stop and the one that saves you when you stop a little too quickly. The airbag is, by necessity, one of the sturdiest, simplest and most redundant systems on your Ford F-150 truck. After all, how many other computers will tell you when you've got a light bulb out?

Passenger-Side Airbags

    An airbag can kill a child just as quickly as it can save an adult. When manufacturers size and install airbags, they do it based upon a certain statistical average; they use a certain size airbag and amount of propellant to decelerate a certain mass, which is positioned it to hit the occupant in the face. During an accident, a child of half the weight of an adult will exert half the impact force on the airbag, meaning that the airbag will hit the kid with effectively twice as much force as it should. Right in the face. It is for that reason that manufacturers like Ford started installing airbag-deactivation switches.

Code Recording

    The double-digit coding systems used with airbags hearken back to the old fuel-injection computers used before the current Onboard Diagnostics, Series II. Back then, manufacturers would often communicate codes to drivers by causing the check-engine light to flash in a certain sequence. Generally, one series of flashes for the tens digit, a pause, and another series of flashes to indicates the ones place. When OBD-II came around, manufacturers were left with huge stockpiles of old computers and quickly put them to use monitoring the airbags. Even a decade later, several manufacturers still use the old blinky-light system for coding, even though the computers may be networked into the primary vehicle controls.

Code 18 Interpretation

    Code 18 could means that there's a problem with the passenger-side airbag illumination light. Not the airbag deactivation circuit itself, mind you -- just the light on the dashboard. Often times, such a code indicates a burned-out light bulb. The PAD indicator bulb is wired in series into the indicator line, so, when it blows, power stops flowing through the line and the computer knows the light is out. You can observe this for yourself even if you never deactivate the passenger-side airbag. When you turn the key on, the airbag light should illuminate to show you that it's working.

Associated Codes

    These days, airbag systems still use simple, stand-alone computers that are networked into the vehicle's OBD-II computer. The OBD-II computer can do everything that the airbag computer can -- and often better -- but works as a nice redundancy to help with diagnostics. Case in point: An ABS Code 18 will also trigger either code B1884 or B1890 in the main diagnostics computer. A code B1884 indicates an open circuit or a short to the body ground. Often times, Code 18 plus Code B1884 means a burned out light bulb. But it can also indicate that short circuit in the light ground wire. Code B1890 indicates a short circuit in the power supply, which will usually mean that the insulation on the lamp power wire has chaffed through and shorted out on something metal.

Senin, 30 Januari 2012

My '99 Cherokee's Check Engine Light Is on and the Cruise Is Jerky

The 1999 Jeep Cherokee was available in both two- and four-wheel-drive drivetrains. It came equipped with either a 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder engine or a 4.0-liter V-6 engine, based on the model package. The 1999 Cherokee uses an onboard diagnostic computer called an OBD-II control computer to collect data from several sensors on the Jeep. If your "Check Engine" light is on and you are having intermittent cruise control issues, an OBD-II scan of the vehicle is needed. The cruise control system does create OBD-II codes that will cause the "Check Engine" light to illuminate.

Instructions

    1

    Open the driver's door of the Cherokee. Locate the OBD-II scanner port below the driver's side dashboard. The port is identical in shape to the plug end on your OBD-II scanner. Plug the scanner into the port. Turn the ignition key to the "II" accessories position without starting the Jeep. Press the power button on your scanner to boot it, if needed.

    2

    Use the "Up" and "Down" arrow keys on the scanner to select your vehicle's year, make and model. Select "Read Codes" or "Read Trouble Codes" from the scanner menu. Use the "Read" or "OK" button on the scanner keypad to accept your answers. Allow the scanner to communicate with the Jeep.

    3

    Read the OBD-II codes provided by the scanner. Use the code definition on your scanner to help diagnose and repair the vehicle. The scanner will give you either a generic definition or a complete definition and repair information, depending upon your scanner's quality.

My 1997 GMC Sierra K1500 Won't Start

My 1997 GMC Sierra K1500 Won't Start

There is nothing worse than running late for work or for an appointment, hopping into your car and finding that it just won't start. There a few things you can try to get your 1997 GMC Sierra K1500 running and get you on your way. After you get the vehicle started, you will want to have it checked out by a mechanic to see if there is a larger underlying problem that should be addressed.

Instructions

    1

    Check the fluids, including the amount of gas you have in your Sierra. If your engine is very low on oil, there is a possibility that it may have seized. If the oil is at the proper level and there gas in the tank, you will need to check for other problems.

    2

    Open the hood of your Sierra and inspect the battery cables. You want to make sure the cables are securely connected at the battery, starter motor and the solenoid on the starter. If any of these connections are loose or have a lot of corrosion on them, remove them from the connection point and clean the cable connection and post on the battery, starter motor or solenoid with wire brush. Reconnect the cables and tighten them.

    3

    Place the key in the ignition and turn it to the first position. Look to see if the lights on the car come on. If so, this is an indication that your battery has power. If the lights do not come on, your battery may be dead or there is an electrical problem. Try jump-starting your Sierra with the help of a friend.

    4

    Turn the ignition all the way to start the engine, listen for a clicking noise coming from the engine. This is generally an indication that the starter motor needs to be replaced.

What Makes a Hydraulic Cylinder Groan?

What Makes a Hydraulic Cylinder Groan?

A hydraulic cylinder's job is to apply force in a single direction, through the repeated strokes of a piston. The power comes from a fluid (usually oil) kept under pressure inside the sealed chamber that the piston is constantly filling and then emptying.

Check the Filter

    If you hear groaning (or another unusual sound) coming from your machine's hydraulic cylinder, turn it off. If the noise is coming from the pump, check the incoming line. Also check the filter and make sure you have a clean one in the cylinder.

Air in the System

    A new hydraulic cylinder has a seal around the piston that keeps air from coming into the pressurized part of the cylinder. However, over time, air can work its way into the pressurized area, which can cause groaning. Bleed the entire hydraulic system of air and check all the connections for gaps.

Fluid Levels and Temperature

    If your system runs low on hydraulic fluid, your cylinder may also start to groan. As part of your preventive maintenance, keep an eye on your fluid levels. Another possible cause for groaning can be cooled hydraulic fluid. If your system sits idle for too long, the fluid will cool down from its operating temperature, and when you start it again, you may initially hear groaning because of the low temperature. Let the devices warm up to the normal operating range to avoid damaging the cylinders or other parts of the system.

Minggu, 29 Januari 2012

What Are the Causes of 4-Wheel Brake Failure in a Ford E-150?

What Are the Causes of 4-Wheel Brake Failure in a Ford E-150?

Brakes determine a vehicle's stopping power in normal driving or rapid stopping situations. Failure of the braking system in any form poses a danger. Four-wheel failure presents a major opportunity for catastrophe. The Ford E-150 uses a power booster, master cylinder, front-wheel disc brakes and rear-wheel drum brakes. Simultaneous failure of the entire system stems from only a few sources.

Air

    A simultaneous failure indicates a problem in the master cylinder or power booster. A major air bubble in one of those two systems results in all four brakes not functioning properly. You will notice this issue by having to pump your brakes several times to get them to work. Bleeding the air out takes time but easily fixes the issue.

Leaks

    Front brakes and rear brakes connect to the master cylinder individually. A massive leak near or at the master cylinder will cause all of the brakes to fail immediately. A small leak near one of the brakes will initially cause pulling as the other brakes hold on better before all four start to lose power. No amount of pumping will stop a vehicle when a sufficient amount of fluid leaks out of the system, whether at the master cylinder or close to one of the brake lines.

Power Booster or Master Cylinder

    Instant failure without any indication of an issue (signs of leaks or pulling) indicates the master cylinder has malfunctioned. Engineers design the master cylinder to operate so that should a portion of the cylinder fail, such as power to the front brakes, you can still maintain pressure for the other set of brakes. Immediate failure of all four brakes indicates a total failure in the master cylinder, typically characterized by leaking fluid. A sign of imminent failure would be feeling the pedal slowly sink to the floor when you apply pressure to it. You will notice a severe loss of power, and the brake pedal will become very hard to depress when the power booster fails.

Pedal Disconnect

    The only other potential cause of four-wheel brake failure would be a disconnect at the pedal. The pedal pushes a rod through the firewall and into the master cylinder or brake booster. Should that rod and the pedal disconnect, your brakes will immediately fail to respond.

Bad Flywheel Symptoms

Bad Flywheel Symptoms

Clutches are complex mechanisms and can fail in any number of ways. The most difficult part about troubleshooting clutch problems is that several different types of failure can manifest similar symptoms. Diagnosis isn't exactly rolling the dice, but it certainly does require careful observation and some understanding of the mechanism.

Slipping

    The most common of clutch problems isn't usually in the flywheel; it's in the clutch assembly itself. All clutches eventually wear out and begin to slip, but that's not the problem. Allowing a clutch to slip excessively will affect your flywheel the same way that riding the brakes will affect your discs and rotors; it'll overheat the metal, weaken, warp and crack it. Even slippage because of oil, grease or water contamination can damage the flywheel. A soft pedal and a delay in engagement after release are the basic signs of slippage.

Clutch Drag

    Clutch drag is the opposite of slippage, a phenomenon that occurs when the clutch fails to release completely. Clutch drag will cause the clutch assembly to remain closer to engine rpm during shifting. This will start out as mild grinding when shifting and may eventually result in a failure to engage first gear when starting. Clutch drag isn't a result of flywheel failure per se, rather, failure of the pilot bearing or bushing in the flywheel or crankshaft assembly will cause the clutch to drag and refuse to fully release.

Pulsation

    Because flywheel and clutch assemblies are similar in function to disc brake assemblies, they'll also exhibit similar symptoms after warpage. A certain amount of warpage or "run out" is normal, a result of constant heating and cooling. There's no hard and fast line between the flywheel with an acceptable run out, and one that's just warped; the distinction is in the symptoms. A warped flywheel will cause a steadily worsening pulsation in the brake pedal, accompanied by an intermittent rise and fall in engine rpm in later stages of warping.

Chattering

    Clutch chatter is a common problem, and it could arise from a number of malfunctions in the assembly. Clutch chatter is what happens when the clutch "skips" on the flywheel, rapidly grabbing and releasing instead of engaging smoothly. Clutch chatter can come from burned or glazed clutch disc friction material, a worn pilot bearing or bushing, or damaged or distorted clutch disc. Grooves in the flywheel and missing or damaged flywheel dowel pins can also cause chatter, but flywheel-related symptoms also mimic the symptoms of a bad engine mount.

Dual Mass Flywheel Problems

    A dual-mass flywheel is a two-part unit. A smaller-diameter flywheel bolts to the engine and sits inside of a drum-brake-like outer flywheel. The smaller flywheel engages the larger one via a set of springs. This design offers a bit of buffering between the engine and transmission to enhance smoothness during clutch engagement. A failing dual mass flywheel will first rattle when depressing or releasing the clutch, then proceed to exhibit symptoms similar to clutch chatter even after full engagement. This malfunction will typically occur during initial engagement and while shifting through the lower gears.

Sabtu, 28 Januari 2012

How to Tell if a Water Pump Is Broken

How to Tell if a Water Pump Is Broken

Cars require a great deal of maintenance, as every component plays a role in ensuring that your vehicle functions properly. The water pump's job is to support the cooling system. It carries out a circular process, moving coolant from the radiator, throughout the engine and then returning to the pump. However, this comprises only a small part of your engine's cooling system, which also includes the radiator, thermostat and hoses. With this in mind, it is critical that you diagnose a problem with your water pump so that you can confirm or rule out its role in a malfunctioning cooling system.

Instructions

    1

    Listen to your car. If you hear a screeching sound emanating from your engine, a broken water pump is a possible cause.

    2

    Look under your car. If you notice puddles or drops of coolant on the ground under your car's engine, then the coolant is leaking. This is an indication of a broken water pump. This is actually a safeguard designed into the water pump. Known as a "weep hole," this hole leaks to indicate that some of the pump's seals are broken.

    3

    Monitor your engine's heat. All vehicles have gauges indicating the engine's heat level. If you notice that the thermometer indicates a higher heat level than you normally see, then there is a problem with your cooling system. One potential cause is that the water pump cannot circulate coolant properly.

Jumat, 27 Januari 2012

How to Replace a Broken Fuel Cap

How to Replace a Broken Fuel Cap

You might think your gas cap is just another lid, but it does more than just keep your gas from spilling out out of your car. One of your gas cap's main jobs is to keep your car's fuel from evaporating into the air. If your gas cap is missing or broken, you can experience up to a 2 percent loss of fuel economy because your fuel is evaporating into the air instead of being used by your car. If your gas cap is lost or broken, replace it as soon as possible.

Instructions

    1

    Drive to your local auto parts store. Almost every auto parts store will have a wide assortment of gas caps in stock.

    2

    Remove your car's gas cap and take it with you into the store. The customer service rep behind the counter will ask you for basic information about your vehicle, including make and model. Give her this information and she will tell you what brands and model number gas caps will fit your car.

    3

    Select a gas cap for your car. You might want to select a locking gas cap to provide added protection against having your fuel stolen.

    4

    Place your new gas cap on your car while you are still in the store parking lot. This will ensure the cap fits properly.

How to Diagnose Alternator Faults

How to Diagnose Alternator Faults

The first sign the alternator in your vehicle is weakening is a loss of power and difficulty cranking the engine. Though the battery is responsible for cranking the engine, it falls to the alternator to recharge the battery while the engine is running. If the alternator isn't strong enough to do that, the battery won't be able to handle cranking the engine.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the cover from the battery with the engine off and identify the positive and negative posts. The positive has a "plus" sign next to it and a red cable connection. The negative has a "minus" sign next to it and a black cable connection.

    2

    Attach the red lead of the voltmeter to the positive battery post and the negative lead to the negative battery post. Turn the voltmeter on. A reading will appear while the engine is off; this is an indication of the voltage in the battery itself, which should be between 12.5 and 12.8 if the battery is in good condition.

    3

    Crank the engine and take another look at the voltmeter. While the alternator is working to supply power to the battery, the voltmeter reads its voltage instead of the battery. The reading should be somewhere between 13.6 and 14.3 volts if the alternator is producing sufficient power.

    4

    Visually inspect the alternator and the battery cable connections. Loose or corroded connections prevent electrical flow from the alternator to the battery, which makes the alternator work too hard to provide the battery with voltage.

    5

    Listen for noises coming from the alternator while the car is running. Noises can be an indication of bad bearings and shorted diodes. Take the alternator to a mechanic or auto parts store for further diagnosing.

Rattle Noises From the Back of My Truck When I Pick Up Speed

Rattle Noises From the Back of My Truck When I Pick Up Speed

People who have an ear for cars are like hunters in the wood; a keen awareness of what should be transposed upon a real-time observation of what is allows the hunter to track his quarry regardless of its attempt at stealth. Tracking down mystery noises is one of those skills that any good mechanic develops with experience, and can mean the difference between a three-minute fix and a very expensive mistake.

Exhaust Issues

    There's a very good chance that the rattling you hear has something do do with the exhaust system, particularly if you hear it while sitting still. There are very few things moving under your truck while stationary, and the exhaust system is one of them. Vibrations from the engine can rattle loose exhaust clamps, slip-on pipes and mufflers, internal muffler components, heat shields and the pipes themselves. If you've bent one of your exhaust hangers for any reason, the pipes may have gotten close enough to the frame, suspension or fuel tank to rattle against them.

Leaf Springs Sprung

    Leaf springs don't stick together by themselves; a steel band or rectangular bracket wrapped around the spring pack keeps the individual spring leaves together and keeps the nylon or rubber insulators between them from slipping out. If these clamps or bands loosen, the insulators may get dislodged, allowing the leaf springs to smack against each other. This may result in a rattle that gets worse over imperfect road surfaces, wash-boarded dirt roads and after hitting road reflectors. You may be able to temporarily reduce the rattle by injecting a liberal amount of heavy-weight chain oil or grease between the leaves, but band or bracket replacement is a better option.

Sticks and Stones

    Any number of things can get lodged under a truck or tossed in the space between your truck's wheel covers and the steel wheel behind them. Rocks trapped behind the wheel cover are a notoriously insidious fault for any car, and may emit a blood-curdling rattle that might otherwise indicate that something very expensive has gone wrong. Sticks, vines and even bits of baling wire -- you'd be surprised how often it happens -- wrapped around axles, driveshafts and suspension components can emit a rattling noise if they end up tapping on the truck bed or frame.

Random Faults

    Loose hubcaps, lug nuts, brake calipers, fuel tank straps, unsecured fuel lines or e-brake cables tapping against the frame, broken or cracked brake mounts, and any number of loose fasteners in the suspension and frame can cause random rattling. You might also want to look into the rear drum brake mechanism to ensure that the return springs are working, the brake shoes aren't damaged and the drum isn't cracked. If you've got rear disc brakes, check to make sure that the spring clips on the brake pads remain intact and secured to the pad. Finally, check the shaft seal in your shock absorber; once oil leaks out of the seal, the internal damping valves will cause a constant rattling as you drive.

1992 Dodge Ram Charger Has Lights But Won't Start

If your 1992 Dodge Ram Charger does not start, even though the headlights operate, there could be several different reasons. The starting circuit begins at the ignition switch to a starter fuse and relay. The battery supplies power, not only to the starter and accessories, but to the fuse and relay as well. A battery with a bad cell can still illuminate the headlights but have diminished amperage, insufficient to operate the starter.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the battery terminals for corrosion, loose or broken terminals. If the battery terminals are corroded, remove the terminals with a wrench and use a battery terminal cleaner to remove the corrosion from the terminals. Reinstall the terminal connectors and tighten them with the wrench. Try to start the truck again.

    2

    Check the charge in the battery with a voltmeter. Connect the black lead to the negative battery terminal and the red lead to the positive terminal. The voltmeter should read 12.3 to 12.7 volts if the battery is fully charged. If the voltage is below 10.5 volts, recharge the battery then try to start the vehicle. If the battery shows the right voltage, have a helper try to start the vehicle while you watch the voltmeter. If the voltmeter drops to below 10.5 when attempting to start the engine, the battery has a bad cell and needs to be replaced. If the battery was low on voltage to start with, the alternator may be bad and not charging the battery. If the battery voltage rises to an acceptable value once it is charged but the vehicle still will not start, check the fuse in the fuse and relay center on the driver's side fenderwell.

    3

    Inspect the fuse and replace it if necessary. If it is good, check for voltage to the starter by connecting the black lead to a good ground and using the red lead to probe the large red primary power wire on the starter solenoid. There should be battery voltage. If not, the cable is bad. If there is voltage, probe the small wire on the S terminal while a helper attempts to start the engine. If there is battery voltage as the key is turned to start, the starter is bad, and you need to replace it. If there is no voltage, either the relay or ignition switch is bad.

    4

    Pull the starter relay out of the fuse box. Use the voltmeter's red lead to probe all four of the female terminals vacated by the relay. One terminal should have power continuously, key on or off. A second terminal should show power only when a helper turns the key to start. This terminal should show no power when the key is released. If the second momentary terminal has power, the relay is bad. If there is no power at the second terminal when the key is turned, the ignition switch is bad.

A Grinding Noise in the Alternator

A Grinding Noise in the Alternator

An automotive alternator is responsible for providing the vehicle with electrical power while the engine is running as well as charging the battery. A grinding noise coming from the alternator is likely a sign that the alternator is about to fail.

Cause of Grinding Noise

    As alternators age, the bearings that the pulley and the internal rotor turns on can become worn. As the bearings wear, the pulley begins to have slack that allows it to move side to side while spinning, creating the grinding noise. In addition to the noise, the alternator's electrical output will begin to decline.

Testing Alternator

    The simplest way to test the alternator is to drive the nearest auto parts store. Most auto parts stores will test the alternator for free and can test it without it removing it from the car. If this option is not available, the drive belt can be removed and the alternator pulley turned by hand to listen for the noise and feel for play.

Replacement

    Alternators can be expensive, but they are relatively easy to replace, which will reduce labor costs. Car owners with basic mechanical ability should be able to change their own alternators. Part stores sell both new and re-manufactured alternators for most cars, with the re-manufactured units being considerably less expensive.

How to Troubleshoot a 1993 Chevy Blazer

How to Troubleshoot a 1993 Chevy Blazer

The 1993 Chevy Blazer was manufactured in the full size K1500 model with a 5.7-liter V8 engine and the smaller S-10 version with a 4.3-liter V6. Both vehicles have a box-style body with two rows of seats. The full-sized version provides more power for towing; the S-10 remains powerful enough for light duty applications. Troubleshooting for both vehicles requires basic mechanical observations to pinpoint issues.

Instructions

    1

    Test the power if the engine is completely dead. Turn on the lights and watch the dash lights for flickering. Attach jumper cables to the car battery and a fresh battery to try to start the vehicle. If the battery continues to die, replace it with a new one. Also, test the alternator with a voltage meter and replace it if it fails to charge the battery.

    2

    Open the hood and attempt to start the vehicle. If the engine does not crank but it makes a clicking sound, the starter is bad and must be replaced. The problem can be temporarily solved by hitting the starter with a hammer to unlock the teeth.

    3

    Attempt to start the vehicle. If the engine cranks but does not start, replace the spark plugs. If the plugs do not fix the problem, the fuel pump and fuel injection assembly are likely in need of repair or replacement.

    4

    Drive the vehicle on a flat surface to test the transmission's performance. Accelerate and decelerate to force shifting. If the Blazer stalls while shifting, the transmission must be serviced. Grinding and skipping gears are also indicative of transmission problems.

    5

    Take sharp turns after using the four-wheel drive. If the vehicle is difficult to turn, it may be stuck in four-wheel mode. The electric shift on the transfer case is a common cause of this issue with the 1993 model Blazer; have the vehicle serviced by a mechanic.

Rabu, 25 Januari 2012

2001 Mustang Electrical Problems

The Ford Mustang, a sport performance coupe available with a V6 or V8 engine, was introduced in 1964. Edmunds.com reports that the Mustang is the only original American muscle car to have a continuous production run. Despite its longevity, the Mustang is not exempt from problems. In particular, the 2001 model suffers from a number of electrical problems.

Air Conditioning

    Ford technical service bulletins from 2003 and 2004 report that air conditioning problems are common with the 2001 Mustang. TSBs indicate that a "thumping" noise may be heard while using the A/C. Thumping noises likely indicate a faulty A/C compressor.

Power Windows

    Ford TSBs from 2001 indicate that the 2001 Mustang is prone to inoperative power windows and falling door glass. The primary cause of the problem is a failing window regulator, which enables the window to go up and down.

Recalls

    Ford has issued six exterior lighting recalls from 2006 to 2009 on the 2001 Mustang. More than 92,600 vehicles were affected by the recalls. The main cause of the recalls were defective combination lamps that were not equipped with amber side reflectors, which can result in improper road illumination.

Selasa, 24 Januari 2012

Symptoms of Bad Injector O-rings

Symptoms of Bad Injector O-rings

Injector O-rings are flat plastic or rubber rings in a vehicle's fuel injectors. Injector O-rings provide vacuum pressure for the injectors to work properly so that no outside air leaks into the injectors. They also prevent the car from leaking oil. Bad fuel injector O-rings can damage a car over time and inhibit the vehicle's performance.

Idling and Misfires

    If your car is idling roughly, too fast or misfiring, this could be an indication that your vehicle's fuel injector O-rings are faulty.

Leaking O-rings

    When performing a check under the hood, inspect the fuel injectors. If they are leaking, this is a sign that the fuel injectors need to be replaced. If this is the case, the O-ring fuel injectors are not providing a proper seal. If you have difficulty finding the O-rings, first look for the fuel injectors. There will be a metal tube that holds the fuel injectors in place. At the bottom of the fuel injector, you will see the circular O-rings. They are held in place by a spring clamp.

Leaking or Spraying from Injectors

    When idling the car, look under the hood. See if there is any leakage or misting from the fuel injectors. If so, this may be an indication that it is time to repair the fuel injectors' O-rings.

Cracked O-rings

    Sometimes, the only way to make sure your fuel injectors' O-rings are not damaged is to take them out and inspect them. If the plastic or rubber ring is split or stretched, it needs to be replaced. Cracking also indicates a worn O ring.

Faulty Ignition Switch Symptoms

Faulty Ignition Switch Symptoms

An ignition switch has several purposes, but its main function is to initiate power to a vehicle. It connects the starter to the battery, allowing the transmission of electricity between these parts. If the ignition switch malfunctions, electricity is not properly transmitted through the ignition system and various symptoms may develop.

Power Issues

    Since the ignition switch is essential for vehicle power, the most common indication of a faulty switch is a vehicle that has power problems. The engine will not turn over when the ignition switch is turned. The engine may start when you hold the key in the correct position, but when the key is released, the car loses power again. Also, the vehicle may suddenly lose power while in idle.

Overheating

    An ignition switch may become overheated if it is damaged. The switch may become extremely hot, preventing you from touching it. This happens when an electrical circuit within the switch malfunctions. If the ignition switch overheats, it will not turn to initiate power to the vehicle. In some cases, the switch may become hot enough to spark a fire. In 1996, Ford Motor company recalled over 8 million vehicles due to fire hazards caused by faulty ignition switches, according to the CrashWorthiness website.

Functional Lights

    Sometimes a vehicle that will not start indicates a battery problem; however, working interior and exterior lights when there is no power will often signal an ignition problem. If the headlights and dashboard lights are working but the vehicle still does not start, the ignition switch is most likely the problem. In contrast, if the oil, charge or brake lights are not visible when the ignition switch is turned into the start position, the switch may be faulty. Also, the dashboard lights may turn off when the vehicle loses power, but the speedometer and tachometer lights will come back on again.

How Do I Drive With the Check Engine Light On?

Automobile technology is at the point where cars can tell us what is ailing them. This is accomplished via the check engine light, a dashboard warning light that comes on when something isn't functioning properly.

Reading Your Check Engine Light

    There is an interface near the pedals on your car. An OBD-II, or on-board diagnostic, scanner plugs into the interface. A code is given, relating to the problem with your car. A code reference program will tell you the exact issue with your engine. It might say, for example, "Car's transmission is failing to shift into 4th gear. Possible causes: low transmission fluid, low engine oil, faulty transmission solenoid." All of this can be done at your local mechanic or auto parts store.

Can I Drive With The Check Engine Light On?

    The check engine light will consistently blink if the car's issue is an emergency. You should cease running your car immediately if this is the case. A solid check engine light may not be an emergency, but it is still bad practice to run your engine for long with the check engine light on as it may lead to more issues. There are stories of people who run there car for thousands of miles with the check engine light on and it is relatively fine. But those people probably had relatively small problems and didn't get the best performance or life-span out of their engine. For example, if you have a faulty oxygen sensor you can still run your car but your gas mileage will be reduced and carbon will build up.

Verdict

    Don't be caught turning a cheap repair into a major engine issue. If your car shows a check engine light, take it to your nearest mechanic or auto parts store and get it checked.

Senin, 23 Januari 2012

Electric Problems With Headlights

Electric Problems With Headlights

Your car's headlights are electrical fixtures that run using power generated by your car's engine and battery. Electrical problems with your headlights can be caused by a variety of vehicle problems, including bad fuses, malfunctioning charging systems or bad wiring. Fixing electrical problems is an issue best handled by experienced, certified vehicle mechanics.

Fuses

    Fuses control many aspects of your vehicle's electrical system. A bad fuse will stop your headlights from coming on, even if your headlights have no actual problems. You can check your fuse by locating the fuse that controls the headlights in your fuse box and replacing it with another fuse of equal rating.

Charging System

    Your vehicle's charging system powers your headlights. If your charging system is not working properly, possibly due to a dead cell in your battery or a malfunctioning alternator, your headlights may not have their usual power or brightness.

Wiring

    Electrical wiring problems in your car can cause the headlights to work intermittently, weakly or not at all. Electrical issues can be as simple as a disconnected ground or a short. Electrical wiring problems can typically be diagnosed by having a mechanic check the amount of voltage that is coming from the wiring.

Overheating in a '55 Chevy

Overheating in a '55 Chevy

Even given the relative simplicity of the '55 Chevy cooling system, diagnosing a overheating issue can be challenging. First, determine is whether there is an external leak. Generally, there will be liquid puddles beneath the vehicle or the characteristic odor of antifreeze if there is an exterior leak. If, after examining the area under the vehicle for liquid, there is no sign of an external leak, the next step is to check the engine cooling system for possible reasons for overheating. A service manual for this vehicle will provide specific, step-by-step directions for changing the thermostat or removing the radiator, if required.

Instructions

    1

    Check the coolant level to verify that coolant is present and circulating. Remove the radiator cap while the engine is off and cool (do not remove the radiator cap when engine is hot) and verify that coolant is visible.

    2

    Observe the condition of the fan belt and radiator hoses. Replace belt if worn or frayed. Replace swollen or misshaped radiator and heater hoses.

    3

    Start the vehicle with radiator cap still removed, and while engine is warming up, observe the operation of the belts and fan. If the fan belt is excessively loose, turn off the engine and adjust the belt tension. If the fan does not turn, shut off engine immediately. Loosen or remove the fan belt and attempt to turn the water pump by hand. If the fan will not turn, the water pump is faulty and will need to be replaced.

    4

    Shut off the engine if the fan turns freely while the engine is running but water does not circulate, even at full operating temperatures, as the thermostat may be stuck. There is no simple way to check the thermostat without removing it. After draining the coolant, disconnect the upper hose and remove the thermostat. Refer to the service manual for directions as needed.

    5

    Replace the thermostat If it cannot be operated manually. Fill it with coolant, start the engine and recheck to see whether coolant now circulates properly.

    6

    Check radiator flow if overheating persists. If the radiator is partially or completely plugged, coolant will not circulate. Generally, if water is not circulating and the engine begins to overheat, there will no water moving through the upper radiator hose if the radiator is plugged. Often the hose will not feel "full," which may serve to verify lack of flow through the radiator.

    7

    Allow the engine to cool, and then remove the lower radiator hose at the radiator end. Remove the top hose from the water pump, and see whether water will flow freely through the radiator and drain from the lower hose when added at the top hose. If the flow is slow, the radiator is most likely plugged. If the flow is restricted, remove the radiator and have it repaired.

    8

    Attach a pressure tester to the radiator with the engine cool and the coolant level full if problems persist. Pump the pressure regulator to maximum pressure; then allow it to sit. If there is a leak that was not visually detected earlier, it may now become apparent. If the pressure goes down with no evidence of an external leak, there may be an internal engine issue, such as a leak in the head gasket or a crack in the engine block or head.

    9

    Ask another person to visually check the exhaust color when the engine is started. Some head gasket leaks may be identified by tell-tale white smoke from the exhaust at startup.

How to Troubleshoot the Transmission in a '91 Honda

How to Troubleshoot the Transmission in a '91 Honda

The Honda Accord is a reliable automobile and is widely popular throughout the world. There will most likely be a time in the life of your Honda where it will need to be checked for transmission problems. After performing these simple steps, you can confidently approach a mechanic in order to further fix the problem with your vehicle.

Instructions

    1

    Turn on the car engine and shift the gear into the "drive" position. If the gear shift won't move properly into gear, there could be a problem with the shift linkage. Although it is not a common problem, the chances of this being the issue are increased when the vehicle is at or above 100,000 miles. As a result of extended use, the bushings and linkage may need to be replaced.

    2

    Put the car in gear and remove your foot from the brake pedal. The car should move forward. If it does not, the torque converter might need to be replaced due to high mileage on the vehicle. In the case of a standard transmission, there will be no torque converter. Call a qualified mechanic to have the torque converter replaced, unless you have a standard transmission.

    3

    Drive the Honda to make sure it remains in gear. Serious automatic transmission problems can be a problem if it won't stay in gear while you are driving it. A worn clutch disc can be the cause with a standard transmission, but with automatic transmissions there could be a number of problems including missing teeth on the gear system or a worn clutch in the torque converter. Contact a professional mechanic for either of these problems.

Minggu, 22 Januari 2012

How to Troubleshoot Vehicle Trailer Wiring in a Nissan

How to Troubleshoot Vehicle Trailer Wiring in a Nissan

Your Nissan is equipped with trailer wiring as part of the towing package. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation requires that all trailers must be equipped with a basic system of brake, marker and signal lights. These are powered through the four-pole connection to the vehicle. The four wires that make up this connection are color-coded. The white wire is the ground wire; the green wire is the right turn signal; the yellow wire is the left turn signal; and the brown wire is for the marker lights. Troubleshooting requires narrowing down the problem and then tracing it back to the source.

Instructions

    1

    Turn your Nissan's ignition key to the "On" position and switch on the marker lights.

    2

    Attach the alligator clip on the 12-volt test light to the white wire on the four-pole plug. This will be the only male prong on the plug.

    3

    Probe the female connection for the brown wire on the four-pole plug with the probe lead on the test light. If the test light doesn't illuminate, it indicates there's a problem with the power wire for the marker lights. Repeat this procedure to test the left and right signal wires.

    4

    Trace the wire back to its source if the issue is localized to one wire. Start where the wire meets the harness and follow it along its path, looking closely for any damage to the insulation. If you discover a damaged wire, make repairs as necessary.

    5

    Test the connection where the problem wire meets the vehicle electrical system, using the 12-volt test light and the same method you used to test the plug. If you discover there is power on the vehicle side of the connection, remove the existing Scotchlok connector by prying open its latch with your hands. Replace with a new Scotchlok connector, reversing the method you used to remove it.

    6

    Check the vehicle's fuse panel for a blown fuse on the problem circuit. Refer to your Nissan owner's manual for the exact location of the fuse panel and for guidance on which fuse powers the area in question. Open the fuse panel by removing the cover with your hands and locate the fuse number on the panel. Remove that fuse and look at the thin wire inside; if the wire is broken, replace the fuse with a new fuse of equal amperage.

Tips For Troubleshooting My 1995 S10 Chevy

Diagnosing a problem with a car is no easy task for the amateur mechanic with few or no tools at his disposal. A tiny tick in the engine can irritate a driver for months while he attempts to figure out what is wrong with his truck, only to find out that a screw just needs to be bolted down firmly. 1995 S-10s are no different from any other vehicle when it comes to troubleshooting, except that on occasion you can use a diagnostic computer to assist you.

Diagnostic Computer

    The 1995 Chevy S-10 has a computer that monitors the vehicle as it runs. This computer stores codes, which are error codes, from all over the entire truck. There is a small plug for a year-appropriate diagnostic computer to be plugged into. Plug the diagnostic computer into the vehicle and run a full scan of the system. The codes are usually specific enough to tell you the part that is malfunctioning, if not the exact way in which it is malfunctioning. A code book is included with the diagnostic computer. You can also find the meaning of the codes in the owner's manual or any repair manual for your 1995 Chevy S-10.

Smell

    Using your sense of smell to diagnose your Chevy is a quick way to give you a general idea regarding the problem your truck is experiencing. Is there a smell at all? What does it smell like? If it smells like hot or burnt oil, there is likely something wrong with the engine or the lines that circulate the oil. If the truck simply smells "hot," turn the vehicle off for two hours, then check the radiator fluid. Sometimes, temperature gauges are not accurate if the radiator fluid is severely low or entirely empty. If the truck smells like burning or there is smoke, turn it off! Do not run a truck that is producing smoke. Tow it directly to your nearest mechanic.

Sounds

    Sounds can also be helpful in diagnosing your S-10, though these will likely only help you in helping your mechanic. Clunking and grinding are usually engine or suspension problems. Screeching is usually caused by belts not getting the proper grip, which causes them to screech as they try to. If the steering wheel grinds, there is usually a problem with the suspension or the ball bearings.

Go to an Expert

    Sometimes it is best to take your S-10 to an expert to troubleshoot problems that you simply cannot figure out. If you are taking the vehicle in to a professional mechanic, make a detailed list of all the troubleshooting methods you have tried, and your result. This will save them time.

Envoy Headlight Socket Problems

Envoy Headlight Socket Problems

The General Motors Corporation (GMC) Envoy has technical service bulletins (TSB), recalls and complaints about the headlight socket problems. The headlight socket causes the bulbs to blow out, burn the wiring or even melt the terminals, according to many automobile review and report websites. The tail lights are also having similar problems as the headlight sockets.

Headlight Socket Defect

    The 2003 GMC Envoy has a recall from the manufacturer because of a headlight socket defect. The socket was manufactured at an angle deforming the shape of the socket. This defect causes the angle of the bulb to point away from the front of the Envoy, decreasing the illumination of the headlight. The headlights are dimmer than the applicable safety standards required. The defect can also cause the bulbs to blow out prematurely. The Envoy must be taken into a dealership to have new headlight sockets installed on the front of the GMC.

Headlight Socket Terminals Melting

    A TSB is published by the manufacturer about the headlight socket terminals melting on the GMC Envoy. According to Edmunds.com, the daytime running lamps (DRL) use the low-beam setting on the Envoy that run at a low voltage. The wires running into the terminal connections on the back of the headlight sockets are melting and burning because the voltage is running higher than specifications, causing the wires to get hot and burn. The only correction for this headlight socket problem on the Envoy is to have the wiring harness running to the headlight sockets to be replaced.

Headlight Socket Contacts Burn

    The Envoy is reported to have a problem with the light controls, which can run high and low beams simultaneously. When the headlights are turned on, the dimmer, low beam and high beam settings engage, causing the headlight socket to overheat and melting the contacts. These contacts can also melt to the bulb, causing the bulb to blow out. The Envoy owner can remove the bulb and visually inspect the headlight socket to see whether the contact points look burnt. If the sockets look burnt, the control switch inside the cab of the Envoy should be inspected to determine whether it is turning all settings on at the same time. The control switch needs to be replaced if this is the cause of the headlight socket problem.

How to Read the Check Engine Light of My Jetta

How to Read the Check Engine Light of My Jetta

Volkswagen Jettas sold in America have On Board Diagnostic (OBD) coding systems that are mandated by law. Europe also has a version of these codes, either way, if the "Check Engine" light has come on, reading the trouble code is not a hard task. All you need is an OBD-II scanner.

Instructions

    1

    Insert the OBD-II's sixteen pin plug into the Jetta's diagnostic outlet. The outlet should be beneath the under the dashboard, in the area where the gas pedals, the brakes, and the hood and trunk openers are located.

    2

    Turn the scanner on.

    3

    Insert the Jetta's key into the ignition and turn the car on.

    4

    Read the code when it appears on the scanner. The scanner itself should have come with a chart of definitions. If not, these definitions are easily found on the sites such as OBD-Codes.com and OBD-II.com (see Resources). Simply type the Jetta's code into a search engine, and its meaning should be forthcoming.

Sabtu, 21 Januari 2012

How to Fix Driveline Vibration

Any number of factors can cause driveline vibrations in a vehicle, including issues with the suspension, the drivetrain or secondary components such as brakes and tires. Diagnosing driveline vibrations will entail checking major components to identify damage or system wear.

Instructions

    1

    Track when the vibrations occur. A important part of diagnosing the source of vibration is knowing when it manifests itself. For instance, if the vibration comes and goes with engine revolutions, that points to an engine issue. If the vibration appears only at certain speeds, this points toward drivetrain components. If it occurs when you are turning, your suspension or steering, or even your tires or wheels, could be at fault.

    2

    Check your tires and wheels. Make sure your tires are not very worn and that they are properly inflated. Carefully inspect the wheels to see if there is any damage to the edge of the wheel or if any part of the wheel is bent. A bent rim or worn tire can cause drivetrain vibrations.

    Replace worn rubber with new tires. If you do find a bent wheel, most tire and wheel shops can have the wheel repaired, though it may take a few days for the repair to be completed.

    3

    Check your ball joints and bearings. Bearings and ball joints wear out over time and thus require periodic replacement. Bearings will typically get louder as your speed increases. You can raise your vehicle on jack stands and see if there is play in a wheel by vigorously shaking the wheel from the side to see if the top will wobble to and from you, which is an indication of worn components.

    While the specific process varies by vehicle, you will need to remove the brake caliper and rotor to gain access to the wheel hub assembly, which will contain the wheel bearing. The wheel hub assembly will be held in place by bolts that attach from behind the assembly. Remove the bolts and use a rubber mallet to unseat the assembly.

    4

    Check the driveshaft and rear U-joint if your vehicle has rear-wheel drive. With the vehicle in park, check the rear U-joint, which is at back end of the driveshaft. If you can rotate it by hand left and right, that is an indication of worn bearings in the U-joint. A damaged driveshaft can also introduce vibrations, so make sure the driveshaft is not bent and that road debris has not caught on it. In rare cases, some vehicles were built with two-piece drive shafts. Such shafts use a swing bearing in the middle. A worn swing bearing will create driveline vibrations, too. Check the swing bearing for wear, and replace it if necessary.

    To replace the U-joint you must drop the rear of the driveshaft, which is attached to the rear differential output shaft via a flange. The U-joint will be secured to the driveshaft with clips you can remove with a pair of pliers; then use a U-joint tool to press out the old U-joint bearings and replace them with new ones, or install a new U-joint assembly complete with new bearings.

Jumat, 20 Januari 2012

How to Troubleshoot 89 Chevy S10 Engine

How to Troubleshoot 89 Chevy S10 Engine

Troubleshooting a 1989 Chevrolet S10's engines can be a complicated task. The engine itself has many hard to reach spots, and since every symptom can have multiple causes, the process can be time consuming. There is a way to streamline the process. Even though S10 predates 1996 and the contemporary On-Board Diagnostic system, you get troubleshooting leads from the truck's computer. To do this, you will need to put the S10 into a self testing mode and count how many time the check engine light flashes at you.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the Assembly Line Diagnostic Link. The ALDL outlet will be below the S10's steering wheel.

    2

    Straighten out a paper clip and then bend it into the form of a long "U." Place the ends of the paper clip into the "B" and "A" slots on the ALDL. These slots are next to each other, and are at the far right end of the ALDL's top row.

    3

    Insert the key into the S10's ignition and turn to "On." Leave the engine off.

    4

    Count how many times the check engine light flashes. Chevrolet's flash codes consist of a first and second number. The first is represented by a long flash, and the second is represented by a shorter flash. For example, code 55 will be five long flashes and five short flashes. There will be a pause to signify the end of a code and a beginning of a new one. Ignore code 12 once the flashing starts. It is always the first one relayed. Write the codes down as you count them.

    5

    Turn the S10's electrical system off and remove the paper clip from the ALDL.

    6

    Consult either a Haynes Repair Manual or locate the old Chevrolet flash codes online (see Resources). Read the definitions and make a list. Group the codes in clusters by where they will be located in the engine.

    7

    Open the S10's hood and begin troubleshooting the engine with your list of problems.

How to Detect Car Problems

How to Detect Car Problems

Cars are complicated pieces of machinery with many different moving parts. If you suspect your car has a problem, get help. Leaving a problem alone can often lead to an increased amount of damage to your vehicle. If you are able to detect a car problem early on, however, you can save a lot of money. If you're a car owner, there are several tips you can use to detect an issue with your vehicle before it transforms into a major problem.

Instructions

    1

    Analyze your exhaust smoke. If your car is running smoothly, you should not see any exhaust when driving. If there is a problem, however, you may see colored exhaust coming out of your vehicle. Detect a problem using the exhaust smoke by turning on your car and looking at the exhaust. If you see blue smoke, your car is burning oil. If you see white smoke, your car is burning coolant or transmission fluid. If you see black smoke, your air/fuel mixture is too rich (see Tips).

    2

    Analyze a starting problem. Attempt to turn on your car. Normally when you turn on a car you can hear the engine make a sort of skipping noise just before it starts. This noise is referred to as cranking. If you hear the engine crank, but the car won't start, you may have a bad fuel pump. If you cannot hear the engine crank at all, you may have a low battery, bad starter, loose battery cables or a seized engine (see Tips). If none of the electronic components in your vehicle are working, such as the clock or interior lights, you either have a low battery or loose cables. If your electronic components are working you have either a seized engine or bad starter.

    3

    Detect an overheating problem. Start your car and look at your temperature gauge. If it reads over the halfway mark, you may have a bad thermostat, coolant leak, leaky head gasket, broken fan, leaky water pump or a damaged radiator. To check for a coolant leak, leaky head gasket, leaky water pump or damaged radiator run your car for a few minutes and then turn it off. Cars normally leak some water when they sit after running, but if your car is leaking an excessive amount of water you may have a leaky water pump. If the car is leaking a fluid that does not look or smell like water, it is either coolant from the coolant tank, engine fluids from the head gasket or coolant from the radiator.

    4

    Detect car problems based on tire wear. Run your hand along the tread of your tires. To run smoothly and safely, the tires and axles of cars are aligned at certain angles. If your tread feels feathered, or feels as though it has several curved lips across it, you may need to have your car realigned. If the tire wear is uneven on the tread then you may have collapsed bushings, loose ball joints or a bent strut.

Transmission Seal Problems

Transmission seal leaks often start as a slow seep, but the seal can fail and cause a total loss of transmission fluid, leaving a motorist stranded. When a problem is found in a transmission seal, it should be repaired quickly before the problem gets worse.

Signs and Symptoms

    When a transmission seal begins to fail, the transmission will start to lose fluid. Slow leaks may not be noticed until the transmission begins to not work properly due to a low fluid level. More serious leaks may be seen on driveways and garage floors where the vehicle is parked for long periods of time.

Transmission Stop Leak

    Transmission stop leak is a transmission fluid additive that works to recondition the gaskets and seals in the transmission. The stop leak works by making the seal more flexible and causing it to expand and stop the leak. Transmission stop leaks will not repair broken seals, but may stop a minor leak and prolong the life of the seal.

Seal Replacement

    Transmission seals that have become broken will need to be replaced. Transmission seals are not expensive, but extensive and complicated work may be needed to reach the seal which can make the repair expensive.

Kamis, 19 Januari 2012

How to Troubleshoot a Slipping Powerglide

How to Troubleshoot a Slipping Powerglide

The Powerglide transmission, produced by General Motors during the 1950s and into the early 1970s, had a 2-speed automatic gearbox and used a hydraulic-operated torque converter. It was known for its durability and simplicity, especially admired by race car enthusiasts. It was replaced by the Turbo Hydramatic, but the Powerglide was still used during the 1970s and was offered in the V8 and 6 cylinder engines. Troubleshooting a slipping Powerglide transmission involves a process of elimination, using some basic steps and tools.

Instructions

    1

    Start and run the engine until it reaches operating temperature, which is warm enough for normal driving conditions. Put the transmission selector in the "Drive" position and accelerate smoothly. Notice if any slippage or lag results from take-off, or just after placing the transmission in drive. Stop the vehicle and put the selector in "Reverse." Back up slowly, noticing if any lag results between acceleration and transmission movement. Slippage in either gear indicates a fluid level or transmission pump problem.

    2

    Take your vehicle to a large parking lot, free of traffic and obstructions. Begin by driving in a straight line at low speed -- 10 to 15 mph. Make a tight accelerating right or left turn and notice if the transmission disengages temporarily, or if the engine races. If slippage occurs, it means fluid has sloshed to one side of the transmission case, temporarily draining the transmission pump. This results when the fluid level is low or contaminated, or pressure has been temporarily lost in the pump.

    3

    Place the vehicle in "Park" and then shift into drive. Accelerate swiftly and listen for the shifting of the transmission. Drive fast enough to put strain on the transmission, with increasing acceleration, but do not exceed the speed limit. Look for slippage between gear shifts, where the engine races momentarily then catches again in gear. This likely results from a low or contaminated transmission fluid level.

    4

    Place the vehicle in park and firmly set the emergency brake. Raise the hood and locate the transmission dipstick. Pull the dipstick from the tube and examine the condition of the fluid. The fluid should have a translucent red or amber color. If the fluid has a burnt smell and appears brown or black, or contains any white or brown foam, the fluid is contaminated and must be replaced. Any metal shavings appearing on the dipstick that reflect sunlight, or the rays of a strong shop light, indicates excessive bearing and gear material wear. Small dark particles will point to deterioration of the clutches and bands.

    5

    Turn off the engine. Wipe the dipstick clean and reinsert it into the the transmission filler tube. Pull it out and check the "Cold" level line on the stick. Any reading below the line, or absent from the line, indicates insufficient fluid in the transmission. Fluid should be replaced to the line.

    6

    Run the vehicle at an idle and in park over a clean, white piece of poster board for at least 15 minutes. Use a floor jack to lift the front and rear sections of the vehicle and place two jack stands under each side of the frame -- front and rear. Slide under the vehicle and look for any fluid droplets on the poster board. Examine for leaks the transmission pan bolts and gasket, the weep hole at the bottom of the bell housing, the tail shaft and the transmission lines leading to the cooler on the radiator. Any leaks must be repaired.

    7

    Check the vacuum modulator on the side of the transmission. It will look like a small diaphragm with a hose connected to it. Examine the hose connection for a tight seal, and trace the vacuum line back to the intake manifold for kinks, splits or cracks. Any hissing noise coming from the vacuum modulator denotes a bad seal at the hose or a ruptured diaphragm. Re-splice any defective hose, and use a slot screwdriver to make sure all connection clamps are tight.

    8

    Connect an adapter hose from a pressure gauge to the pressure port on the transmission. Refer to your owner's service manual for the location of the pressure port. Let the vehicle idle. Read the PSI (pounds per square inch) on the gauge. The PSI should read between 140 and 150 for a standard (stock) Powerglide transmission. Any reading above or below will indicate a problem with clogged lines, stuck check balls in the transmission or a defective pump.

Rabu, 18 Januari 2012

Standard Transmission Won't Go Into Gear Sometimes

Standard Transmission Won't Go Into Gear Sometimes

Manual vehicle transmissions require the operator to manually shift through a range of gears, starting from a low gear and progressing to the highest gear, in order to propel the vehicle. By using a foot pedal, a clutch mechanism engages with a pressure plate to transfer the engine power to the drive line then onto the wheels. Sometimes the vehicle will not go into gear properly, which means there is a problem somewhere between the stick shift and the out-put drive line.

Low Lubricant

    An automotive manual transmission uses a special high viscosity gear oil, unlike that in the crankcase. When the viscosity level thins out, it loses its lubricating qualities, especially under high temperature. The gears cannot rotate on their shafts properly, producing friction which can promote hard shifting or a vehicle that will not go into gear. Dirty, low or contaminated gear oil can have the same effect.

Linkage and Cables

    The stick shift on a manual transmission connects with linkage rods and cams attached to the side case of the transmission. The rods and cams have nut and bolt fasteners, or cotter pins, that hold them in place. If these fasteners become loose, the shifting dynamic changes, causing misalignment and non-activation of the levers. No lubrication and broken or detached linkage rods will make shifting difficult or impossible. Vehicles that have shifting cables, which pull on the shifting fork to change the gears, can refuse to shift when a dry cable binds within its sheath or stretches beyond its maximum tolerance.

Synchronizers

    Synchronizer gears have the same dimensions as the interior transmission gears but only thinner. They retard the speed of the main gear, by forming a "mesh" to bridge to another gear. They function as small transition gears to allow a smooth shift. If the small synchronizer teeth have become worn, cracked or broken off, it will result in a hard or no-shift condition, sometimes accompanied by an audible grinding noise. It is quite common for one synchronizer to fail, which causes a shifting problem in only one gear.

Clutch and Pressure Plate

    When the clutch engages, it applies force on the pressure plate, which turns the flywheel. Broken pressure plate springs or a worn or misaligned plate can cause a hard or no-shift condition. A worn clutch disc, or one contaminated with grease or oil, can cause a general to severe slippage and prevent forward or reverse movement of the vehicle.

Motor and Transmission Mounts

    Generally, two motor mounts hold the engine in place while a transmission mount secures the tail shaft or transmission case. The motor and transmission mounts have thick rubber dampers that allow for engine torque and stress while also keeping the motor aligned with the transmission. When the mounts break at any location, it causes a misalignment and binding. The binding can bend the transmission linkage, making shifting difficult in one or all gears. A heavy "thunk" sound, which accompanies the release of the clutch in low gear, usually indicates a bad mount.

Gear Teeth

    A manual transmission that has broken or chipped main gear teeth can grind or refuse to engage in gear if the damage has been extensive. This problem involves the gears on the main cluster shaft and can be quite expensive to repair.

Clutch Master or Slave Cylinder

    The clutch master or slave cylinder are hydraulically operated components that allow hydraulic force, via the clutch pedal, to push a rod against the clutch fork. The clutch fork then activates the pressure plate. If the clutch master or slave cylinder blows a seal and leaks fluid, it allows air to enter the system. The air produces a non-firm, spongy clutch pedal response. If too much air exists in place of the hydraulic fluid, the clutch will not engage at all, leading to a no-shift condition. Usually, all gears will be affected.

Ford Ranger Pickup Troubleshooting

Ford Ranger Pickup Troubleshooting

The Ford Ranger has been manufactured every year since 1983. The small pickup is designed for fuel economy and light duty applications. It is manufactured in two and four-wheel drive versions and in standard and extended cab models. Troubleshoot the Ranger by examining the functioning parts and eliminating them one-by-one as possible causes of the problem. The owner also must monitor the vehicle for new sounds and changes in the general feeling. Some of the changes may reflect a mechanical issue that must be addressed.

Instructions

    1

    Insert the key in the ignition, and turn it to start. If the truck does not start, test the dome light and radio for power. Clean the battery terminals with a wire brush, and use jumper cables to start the vehicle if the power is weak. Replace the battery if it continues to drain.

    2

    Turn the key to start the vehicle. If the engine does not crank but the battery is good, the problem may be the starter. Crawl under the engine compartment and locate the cylinder shaped starter. It is attached to a smaller cylinder with a wire connection for power. Hit the main cylinder with a hammer to unlock the starter teeth. If the vehicle starts successfully, the starter must be replaced.

    3

    Drive the vehicle at variable speeds on a low traffic highway. Feel and listen for mechanical issues. If the truck experiences violent vibrations at speeds over 40 miles per hour, the four-wheel drive may be partially engaged. This is especially common in the 1998 to 2000 models with vacuum locking hubs. The vehicle must be repaired immediately if the lockers will not fully separate from the hubs.

    4

    Accelerate and decelerate the vehicle to test the transmission. The transmission will shift smoothly when you change speeds if it is in good condition. If the transmission grinds and pops, it must be serviced immediately.

    5

    Clean the carburetor or fuel injector tips if the engine cranks but does not fire. Also test the fuel pump, and replace the spark plugs. The engine is either not receiving a spark or it is not receiving fuel.

How to Check the PS Fluid on a 2005 Grand Caravan

Checking the power steering fluid level in a 2005 Grand Caravan is a simple task. Checking the power steering fluid in your own vehicle is a great preventative maintenance tool just like checking your oil level or filling your washer fluid bottle. The process of checking the power steering fluid should only take five minutes, even if you have never looked at your engine before.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood.

    2

    Locate the power steering reservoir on the drive belt side of the engine compartment. The power steering reservoir has an actual picture of steering wheel on it, or will say "power steering fluid" on the cap.

    3

    Remove the cap from the power steering fluid reservoir. There is a dipstick on the other side of the cap. Read the dipstick, judging yourself whether the engine is warm or cold.

    4

    Add power steering fluid to the reservoir if necessary.

How do I Troubleshoot an Automatic Transmission in a 1985 Toyota 4Runner?

How do I Troubleshoot an Automatic Transmission in a 1985 Toyota 4Runner?

The automatic transmission in a 1985 Toyota 4Runner transfers the engine's power to the rear wheels, allowing the vehicle to have enough power to operate at both low and high speeds. The use of transmission fluid aids in lubricating the interior of the transmission and acts as a hydraulic fluid in the control of circuits within the transmission assembly. The problem with an automatic transmission is that, because of the interdependence of the different functions and the fluid that services these functions, one small, cheap problem can quickly become several expensive problems.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the torque converter. It is the spherical metal case that appears to have been flattened on opposite sides. This is the piece that rotates while the engine is running and replaces the clutch system. If the 4Runner is having trouble idling while parked or there is an issue with the transmission shifting between gears smoothly, or if there is a delay between the time the gears shift and the time the transmission responds, the issue is likely related to the torque converter.

    2

    Locate the shift solenoids. You can use a vehicle manual by Chilton's to find them. The solenoids in the transmission are like mini-electromagnets. When the vehicle is started, the small charge of electricity that goes to the transmission solenoid completes the circuit and allows shifting of the gears automatically. If you notice your gears are hesitating when they shift, or you find that you cannot shift into one of the gears when your engine is on, the problem could be the shift solenoids. Repairing these is not a difficult procedure and is explained in the Chilton's manual.

    3

    Locate the hydraulic control system. This system uses hydraulic fluid to manage the pressures necessary to operate the valves and throttle to maximize the use of the engine's power output. The vacuum line which is a part of this system helps control the downshift surface on the shift valve. If you notice your RPM is not responding to the automatic shifting without delays or hesitation, you may want to consider a transmission flush or check for leaks of the fluid.

    4

    Drive your 4Runner after the transmission has been flushed and filled. If you notice the shifting is still not fixed, your problem may not be the transmission at all. If your 4Runner is a four-wheel drive, you will have what is called the transfer case. The transfer case is the part that allows shifting between two-wheel and four-wheel drive. If you have problems shifting from two-wheel to four-wheel, or only certain gears on the vehicle work in either drive, your problem is the transfer case.

How to Determine if Your Catalytic Converter is Bad?

How to Determine if Your Catalytic Converter is Bad?

A malfunctioning catalytic converter can create major problems for your vehicle. It causes your engine to run less efficiently, which will reduce power. The catalytic converter also changes carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides emitted by your vehicle into nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water. When it doesn't work, the compounds exhausted from your vehicle are much more harmful to the environment. Replacing a catalytic converter is usually expensive, so it's important to verify the symptoms do not indicate a different problem.

Instructions

    1

    Watch the tachometer for readings lower than normally produced by your vehicle. The decreased engine power from a bad catalytic converter will cause the tachometer to show a lower rpm reading.

    2

    Track the gas mileage obtained by your vehicle. Automotive website AA1Car says catalytic converter problems often reduce a vehicle's fuel economy. If your car requires more gas to travel familiar distances, the catalytic converter could be the cause.

    3

    Observe the engine temperature of your vehicle. The reduced engine efficiency of a vehicle with catalytic converter problems causes energy that would have been used to power the vehicle to instead turn into heat. The temperature of the engine will go up or down as the vehicle moves. But when the catalytic converter has problems, the temperature will stay higher than it normally would while moving at a constant speed.

    4

    Accelerate the vehicle. The easiest way to spot catalytic converter problems is by paying close attention when the car accelerates. Watch for bucking or stuttering motions as the car or truck moves forward. The vehicle may hesitate to move for a moment when you press the gas pedal. This is usually followed by a strong jolt as the vehicle jerks forward. A bad catalytic converter may cause the vehicle's engine to stall. It will usually start without trouble and otherwise seem fine but stall immediately when the gas pedal is pressed.

    5

    Look at the exhaust from your vehicle. This would normally be filtered by the catalytic converter. More smoke being emitted than usual points to problems with the catalytic converter. Some vehicles with catalytic converter problems emit black smoke.

    6

    Smell the air behind the car. Malfunctioning catalytic converters often emit hydrogen sulfide. This compound smells like rotting eggs and can be strong.

How to Fix Leaky Fuel Injectors on Jeeps

How to Fix Leaky Fuel Injectors on Jeeps

The Jeep's fuel injectors control the injection of pressurized fuel into the combustion chamber of the engine. Fuel injectors are electronically controlled and spray the fuel in a fine mist to allow the fuel to combine more evenly with the air in the combustion chamber. Fuel injectors are fitted into your Jeep's engine and fuel lines and are secured in place with O-rings. Vibration and decomposition of the O-rings can result in leaks at the high pressure fuel line or from the point of connection to the engine. Pressurized fuel lines will trickle a constant flow of fuel through leaking seals, unless repaired.

Instructions

Leak Identification

    1

    Turn the Jeep's ignition key to the "electronics only" mode. The fuel pump will pressurize the fuel system.

    2

    Inspect the fuel injectors for leaks. Vibration, corrosion and material decomposition can result in failure of O-rings securing the injector to the fuel rails or engine. If the fuel is leaking at the fuel rail connection, the O-ring should be replaced. If the fuel is leaking inside the engine -- which may be evidenced by the Jeep's on-board computer reporting lean or rich fuel to air ratios for a cylinder -- the injector should be replaced. Both O-ring replacement and injector replacement will require removal of the injector.

    3

    Remove the key from the ignition.

Fuel Injector Removal

    4

    Depressurize the fuel system. Disconnect the fuel safety cut-off switch -- which disables the fuel pump -- and start the Jeep to consume the fuel in the lines to reduce the pressure, then disconnect the battery.

    If your Jeep is not equipped with a fuel safety cut-off switch, disconnect the battery and remove a fuel line to reduce the pressure on the line. Catch any fuel in a clean cup and return to the tank. Replace the fuel line.

    5

    Remove any components required to access the fuel rails or fuel lines connected to the fuel injector. Air intake tubes, vaccuum tubes, electrical plugs and bolt on-devices should be carefully documented to allow replacement when the injector has been serviced.

    6

    Disconnect the fuel rail from the engine. Some fuel rails are bolted to the engine to reduce vibration. Remove the bolt and set aside.

    7

    Disconnect the electrical plug on the fuel injector. Move the plug away from the injector.

    8

    Remove the fuel rail from the top of the injector. Rock the fuel rail back and forth and pull directly away from the injector. The injector is secured in place with an O-ring. Once the fuel rail is removed, inspect the injector to ensure the O-ring is in place. If the O-ring is not on the injector, retrieve the O-ring from the fuel rail connection.

    9

    Remove the injector from the engine. Grasp the injector with your hand and pull directly away from the engine. Remove the O-rings from the injector and discard.

Injector Servicing

    10

    Inspect the injector for leaks or damage. If the injector has already been confirmed as damaged, or inspection reveals damage, discard the injector.

    11

    Install new O-rings on the injector. The injector nozzle and fuel rail connection point will each have an O-ring installation point. Before installing the new O-rings, coat them with a thin layer of motor oil. The motor oil will lubricate the O-ring during installation to reduce the likelihood of tearing. The lubrication will also assist in the proper seating of the O-ring in the fuel rail or engine. If replacing the injector, the new injector may have O-rings installed. Lubricate the O-rings before installing the injector on the engine.

    12

    Press the injector, nozzle end first, into the injector hole on the engine. You may feel a slight popping sensation as the injector O-ring is seated in the fuel injector hole. A correctly seated injector will resist removal from the engine.

    13

    Install the fuel rail onto the fuel injector. Press the fuel rail onto the connection point until the injector is full seated into the fuel rail. Correctly seated rails will resist removal.

    14

    Replace any engine components removed to gain access to the fuel injector.

    15

    Connect the Jeep's battery. Turn the ignition key to electronics only mode and wait 10 seconds to allow the fuel pump to pressurize the system. Inspect the fuel rails and fuel lines for leaks. Start the Jeep to confirm installation.

Selasa, 17 Januari 2012

2001 Ford Explorer Won't Idle

Auto manufacturing giant Ford released the Explorer in the early 1990s to meet consumer demand for sports utility vehicles. Like all vehicles, sometimes mechanical problems can arise that can hamper performance. If you own a 2001 Explorer that won't idle, there may be a few culprits to consider when figuring out the problem.

Instructions

    1

    Park the Explorer on level ground, set the parking brake and chock the front wheels to keep the Explorer from moving while you work. Open the hood and prop it up; locate the fuel filter on the engine, turn it to remove the cover and remove the old filter. Place a new filter in the cover, screw it back on and start the vehicle; if it idles, you simply had a clogged filter that needed replacing.

    2

    Turn the vehicle off to safely inspect the battery connections should the above not remedy the problem. Gently pull on each battery connector cable (do not touch the exposed metal ends) to ensure there's a snug fit. If not, screw the connectors in place.

    3

    Consult the Explorer's owner's manual to determine the location of the vehicle's spark plugs. Hold a spark tester against every spark plug and read the meter: a weak spark will register on the tester, meaning the plug is bad. Replace any bad plugs as directed in the manual.

    4

    Take the Explorer in to a licensed mechanic should all DIY methods prove not to be effective.

How to Use a Diagnostic Computer on a 2002 F250

How to Use a Diagnostic Computer on a 2002 F250

The 2002 Ford F-250 has built-in On-Board Diagnostics, or OBD reporting system. The specific year contains the second generation of the system, utilizing a new connecting plug, known as "OBD II." By obtaining an OBD II code reader, it is possible to read the trouble codes produced by the computer when irregularities are detected in your 2002 F250 truck. When selecting an OBD II reader, it is important to ensure that it can read the trouble codes for your specific engine type, as many code readers are made specifically for gasoline or diesel. Some code readers are programmed to read codes from both, and can be worth the investment.

Instructions

    1

    Find the OBD II plug in the driver's compartment. Right below the steering wheel on the knee bolster, note the plug is in the shape of a trapezoid.

    2

    Plug the OBD II code reader in with the truck ignition set to off. Turn on the scanner and insert the truck's key into the ignition.

    3

    Turn the key to the "On" position, without starting the motor. Allow a few minutes for the scan tool to read any trouble codes the diagnostics computer may have stored within. On most code readers, a series of numbers and letters will be displayed on the reader, requiring you to look up the associated description through a service manual or database. Many major auto parts stores have access to such a database, and can look up the description in store or over the phone for you.

    4

    Remove the code reader and turn it off. Turn the power to the truck off, and remove the key from the ignition.

    5

    Use the code to diagnosis the truck's problem and repair it.

Water in Oil Head Gasket Vs. Cracked Block

Water in Oil Head Gasket Vs. Cracked Block

Water and oil do not mix. Finding water in engine oil indicates a serious problem that can result in a disabled vehicle. Check the engine immediately for damage when water is found in the oil.

Blown Head Gasket(s)

    A blown or damaged head gasket can cause water to get into the oil system. Remove the heads of the engine to check the gaskets. Use a small flat metal scraper to remove any old gasket adhesive from the engine block and head before replacing the gasket and reinstalling the head.

Cracked Cylinder Head

    If the head gaskets are not damaged or blown, take the heads to an automotive machine shop where they can be checked for cracks or other damage. Replace the heads when cracks are found.

Cracked engine block

    A cracked engine block is the most serious issue. If the head gaskets or heads have no damage or cracks, the entire engine block must be removed and stripped down the core and taken to an automotive machine shop to be checked for cracks or damage. Replace the engine block when cracks or damage is found.

Senin, 16 Januari 2012

Causes of Airflow Sensor Damage

Causes of Airflow Sensor Damage

A fuel-injection system delivers fuel to a vehicle's engine via a series of highly tuned components. The mass airflow (MAF) sensor, one of these components, measures the amount of air flowing into the engine. A number of conditions can damage the airflow sensor, all of which can lead to the dreaded "check engine" light's appearing on your car's instrument panel.

Road Salt

    Cars driven in colder regions of the country where road crews regularly salt pavement during the winter can be especially susceptible to airflow sensor damage. Road salt can get inside the airflow sensor's clean-air section and clog the sensor, resulting in an incorrect reading.

Oil Particles

    Oil can contaminate an airflow sensor through several different sources. Excessive oil spray from the crankshaft ventilator has a tendency to foul the clean-air side of the airflow sensor. Oil from some sports air filters (which come from the factory covered in oil) often finds its way into the airflow sensor and may damage the delicate elements inside.

Dirt, Sand and Dust

    The airflow sensor contains a sensitive film element that dirt and sand particles can damage. Contamination by dirt, sand or dust can lead to incorrect sensor readings. If dirt particles collide with the sensor element at a high enough velocity, they can destroy it altogether.