Sabtu, 31 Maret 2012

Chevy Silverado Interior Vibration Problems

The Chevrolet Silverado was introduced in 1999; it is a full-size pickup available in four-wheel drive. Edmunds.com reports that the Silverado is flexible in terms of its trim options and body styles. Additionally, Edmunds.com argues that the Silverado is a solid consumer choice whether it is for utility or towing purposes, sport endeavors or family use.

Steering

    Chevrolet Technical Service Bulletins report steering vibration issues with multiple Silverado models. TSBs indicate that the Silverado suffers from a "clunking" underneath the hood, which is felt through the steering wheel/column while driving. Additionally, TSBs state that steering wheel "shuddering" may be experienced while executing parking lot-type driving. The appropriate repair measure is to replace the Silverado's steering shaft.

Suspension

    TSBs indicate that interior vibrations may be felt due to faulty front or rear suspension system. TSBs report that suspension vibration may be felt while driving between 40 and 60 mph. The likely culprit is failing springs and/or poor wheel alignment.

Powertrain

    An automatic transmission or a manual transmission experiencing problems may also cause Silverado drivers to experience vibrations. Clutch problems with a manual transmission may result in vibrations felt while depressing the clutch pedal. Automatic transmission issues might cause a driver to experience vibrations or shuddering while shifting gears.

Jumat, 30 Maret 2012

An Automatic Transmission Leak in a Ford Escort

The Ford Escort, a compact car available with an automatic transmission, was manufactured from 1981 to 2003. The Escort experienced numerous mechanical issues, including with its transmission. In particular, multiple third generation (1997-2002) models suffer from transmission oil leakage.

Problem

    Ford technical service bulletins indicate that automatic transmission oil leaks are common on certain Escort vehicles. The leakage usually occurs due to a crack at, or around, the transmission seals. Transmission oil leakage is visible as either a red or brown liquid.

Symptoms

    Aside from visually seeing red or brown transmission oil in your driveway, there are several symptoms to be aware of when diagnosing a transmission leak. Unusual grinding or rattling noises may occur due to leakage. Additionally, the leakage may create insufficient lubrication, which might result in difficulty shifting.

Solution

    Prior to repairing your transmission seals you can use a transmission stop-leak, which typically costs less than $5. The stop-leak will provide temporary relief before you replace the seals. When replacing the seals, replace your transmission fluid as well.

How to Troubleshoot a 1999 GMC Envoy

The base trim of the 1999 GMC Envoy is equipped with a 4.3-liter, six-cylinder engine that produces 250 foot-pounds of torque at 2,800 rpm. The Envoy comes standard with an antitheft alarm system, cruise control, power steering, fog lights, a lighted entry system, power brakes, 15-inch wheels, air conditioning and power door locks. Because there are so many different systems and components that make up the 1999 Envoy, it may be difficult to determine what part or parts should be fixed or replaced when you need to make a repair. One way to troubleshoot your Envoy is by noticing how the car feels as you operate it.

Instructions

    1

    Check the power steering unit when the Envoy's steering wheel is difficult to turn as you drive. Make sure that the power steering fluid is at an acceptable level, that the power steering pump is not worn or damaged and that the power steering hose is not clogged or damaged. You should also inspect the tie rod ends and engine belts to see if these parts are worn or faulty. If the steering wheel is particularly difficult to turn when the Envoy is moving at a slow speed, find the upper and lower ball joints to see if they are malfunctioning or damaged in any way.

    2

    Look at your GMC's brake pads and shoes if the brake pedal travels further than it should when you press it down. These parts may be worn or damaged. Look at the air hydraulic system to see if it is leaking brake fluid as well, and find out whether the master brake cylinder is working or not. If these parts are functioning properly, then inspect the brake caliper, drums and wheel bearings on all four wheels to see if there is excessive wear or if the part was improperly installed on your Envoy.

    3

    Find the PCV hose and PCV valve of your Envoy when the engine feels like it hesitates as you try to accelerate the vehicle. Either of these parts may be clogged, collapsed or damaged. You should also inspect the fuel injectors and fuel filter and check for excessive dirt buildup that would prevent the injectors from functioning correctly. Other possible causes for the vehicle's hesitation include a damaged accelerator pump diaphragm, worn carburetor and fouled spark plug.

Kamis, 29 Maret 2012

How to Troubleshoot a Defective Ignition Coil

How to Troubleshoot a Defective Ignition Coil

The ignition coil is an important component that the car depends on to start. Its function is to convert the voltage coming from the battery into sufficient power that is needed to fire the spark plugs. Over time, problems may occur, causing the coil to malfunction. Some of these problems may be simple enough to be fixed, while others need to be checked and repaired by a certified mechanic. The first step to fixing problems with the ignition coil is to troubleshoot it.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the distributor cap and rotor if the car won't start. Look for a buildup of moisture inside the cap, and for debris, charred terminals or a worn rotor button. Replace anything that is damaged immediately.

    2

    Check the rotor retaining screw to determine if it is loose or misaligned. If it is is loose, securely tighten and align it correctly, or replace it.

    3

    Perform an ignition coil test by connecting an ohmmeter to the coil while the engine is off. Connect it to the positive and negative terminal. The results of the test should be a reading between 0.4 to 0.6 ohms

    4

    Have your car checked to determine if the crankshaft position sensor is bad. The crankshaft position sensor is needed to trigger the ignition coil.

Rabu, 28 Maret 2012

Problems With a 2003 Lincoln Town Car

Problems With a 2003 Lincoln Town Car

The 2003 Lincoln Town Car has only one known recall, dealing with the rear suspension of the automobile. This recall by the manufacturer resulted from a wheel bearing failure that caused the rear axle to break, stalling the vehicle, according to Repair Pal. The other known problems with the 2003 Lincoln Town Car have come from customer complaints.

Fuel Filter Problems

    Customer complaints about the 2003 Lincoln Town Car include premature failure of the fuel filter. The fuel filter prevents debris from entering the fuel line that serves the fuel pump and injectors. The manufacturer makes no recommendations on how often the Town Car's fuel filter should be replaced, but Repair Pal recommends changing it every 30,000 miles to prevent premature damage to the fuel pump or injectors.

Corroded Battery Cables

    Corrosion buildup on the battery cables sometimes causes electrical problems with the 2003 Lincoln Town Car. This includes failure to engage the engine during ignition. Corrosion on the battery cables develops over time and can migrate under the cables, cutting off power. The battery also fails to charge if the cables are corroded. The problem is correctable by frequent use of a wire brush to remove corrosion from the battery cables.

Air Filter Problems

    The air filter in the 2003 Lincoln Town Car gets clogged with dirt, debris and oil, causing the mass air flow sensor to fail prematurely. The air filter is under the hood and traps debris and dirt that could damage engine components. When the air filter becomes clogged, the sensor has to work harder. Owners of the 2003 Lincoln Town Car should have this air filter checked or replaced during each oil change.

Selasa, 27 Maret 2012

1990-2000 4X4 Dodge Dakota Driveline Problems

The Dodge Dakota experienced variety of problems in the 10 years between 1990 and 2000. The Dakota was subject to a number of manufacturer recalls, including several for problems that had the potential to cause the vehicles to catch fire while in operation.



The driveline is considered to be all of the parts of your Dakota that are responsible for actually moving your vehicle. The driveline is defined by the Motorera Dictionary of Automotive Terms as consisting of all of "the individual components beyond the engine up to the wheels but not the engine or transmission."

Steering

    There have been multiple recalls on the early 1990s Dakota's steering system. The recalls state that the frame of the vehicle may crack at the location of the the steering gear box attachment. The mounting bolts may also fracture. In either case, the steering gear box can come off the vehicle and cause a complete loss of steering. The steering column has also been recalled because it may crack and cause a loss of steering.

Control Arm

    The 1993-1994 Dakota was recalled due to failure of the control arm due to the bolts not being strong enough to withstand steering pressure. When the bolts broke, the vehicles would lose steering ability.

Ball Joint

    The 2000 4x4 Dakota was recalled due to the possibility of excessive wear caused by moisture leaking into the ball joints. The wear was reported as causing the ball joints to separate while in use, which had the potential to cause serious vehicle accidents.

Transmission Hose

    Dodge Dakota's that were manufactured in 2000 with the 4.7-liter engine and automatic transmission combination were recalled because the transmission fill tube was overflowing during normal operation and causing transmission fluid to spill onto the exhaust, which had the potential to ignite the fluid and cause the vehicle to catch fire.

How to Troubleshoot Heat Problems in a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan

Dodge Grand Caravans are designed to carry heavy loads with seven passengers and their luggage, or 1,800 pounds of freight. Engines that move this much weight produce heat and must be cooled to stay functional. Dodge Grand Caravans overheat because the coolant doesn't circulate through the entire engine, the fan fails, or some part of the engine fails, producing more heat than the cooling system can handle. The owner of the Caravan can take steps to find an overheating problem before he takes it in for service.

Instructions

    1

    Check the coolant level. The coolant in a Dodge Grand Caravan has to move through the engine, soaking up heat as it goes, then back to the radiator to rid itself of the heat. If the water pump fails or the radiator cap fails, the coolant won't be able to pick up the heat and disperse it.

    2

    Look for leaks. Examine the garage floor after the car has been sitting overnight. Coolant is usually colored yellow or green. The position of the leak on the garage floor will help the mechanic narrow the location of the leak. Is it under the radiator or the back of the engine or the passenger compartment? The freeze plugs, the radiator, the hoses or the overflow tank might be the site of the leak.

    3

    Check the thermostat. The thermostat contains the coolant inside the engine until it warms up before it allows it to circulate to the heater core. If the thermostat fails to open, the coolant won't circulate through the entire system and the engine will over heat. Start the engine with the hood up and the engine cold. Feel the upper radiator hose. It should remain cold until the engine warms up and then become warm. If it doesn't become warm, the thermostat isn't opening and must be replaced.

    4

    Check the fan. The Dodge Grand Caravan uses an electric fan to blow air through the radiator. If it isn't turning or turning fast enough, the coolant won't cool down. A broken relay, bad wiring, a blown fuse, electric motor failure or a bad temperature control sensor failure can stop the fan from working.

    5

    Take the Caravan in for a tuneup. If the engine is not firing as it should or there is a leak from the engine oil pathways into the coolant, the radiator won't be able to handle the heat load. Only a trained mechanic can spot this kind of problem.

Senin, 26 Maret 2012

Troubleshooting Chevrolet Pickup Trucks

Troubleshooting Chevrolet Pickup Trucks

Chevrolet has manufactured numerous different pickup truck models. All of the models have differences in the engines, electronics, frame and style. Troubleshooting the different models is accomplished by learning the basic engine parts and the functions. Make observations and always look for changes to the vehicle performance. Diagnosing problems is accomplished through the process of elimination and by testing individual vehicle functions. All of the models manufactured before 1995 are diagnosed by the owner but newer models are diagnosed with a computer diagnostic reader.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the key to engage the power. Turn on the dome light and dash lights to test the truck for power. If the truck is dead or the lights are flickering, use a voltage meter to test the battery for a charge. Use jumper cables and a second vehicle to charge the battery and replace the battery if it will not hold a charge. If the car continues to lose power, use the meter to test the alternator.

    2

    Open the window to listen for isolated sounds as you attempt to start the vehicle. If you hear a single click, the starter teeth are locked. Locate the starter beneath the engine and hit it with a hammer to unlock the teeth and start the car. If the problem persists, replace the starter.

    3

    Turn the key and attempt to start the engine. If the engine cranks but does not fire, it is missing fuel or a spark. Replace the spark plugs and try again. If the car will not fire with new plugs, the carburetor or fuel injection system may require servicing. If these systems are functioning properly, the fuel pump must be replaced.

    4

    Drive the pickup on a flat surface and make several sharp turns to test the power steering. If it is difficult to turn, the power steering pump must be serviced. Also check the four-wheel drive. Make sure it is disengaged as this will also make it difficult to turn.

    5

    Drive on a highway and rapidly accelerate and decelerate to test the transmission. If the transmission hesitates before shifting, it must be serviced. Grinding and popping during the shifting process are also indicative of transmission issues.

    6

    Check for specific parts recalls related to your Chevy truck. Most Chevy trucks do have recalls related to defective engine parts. As an example, the 2004 Silverado has a recall for the fuel rail pulse damper in the engine cooling system. Replace recalled parts to prevent damage to your truck.

Ford Explorer Electrical Problems

Ford Explorer Electrical Problems

The worst electrical problems your Ford Explorer can experience are related to engine performance. It is best to locate and repair such problems before attempting to perform any unnecessary repairs on your Explorer's engine.

Battery

    The first place to start in diagnosing any electrical problems is to inspect the car's battery. Use a multimeter to test its charge. The battery should maintain at least a 12.6-volt charge to be considered fully charged. Check the battery cables and terminals for damage or corrosion, and to see if they are connected tightly.

Alternator

    If the battery is new but has a low or no charge, the alternator may not be working properly. If your Explorer lacks power (when the engine is running) as you turn on electronics, the alternator may be faulty. Test the alternator using a digital multimeter. Inspect for wear and cracks, and the proper tension on the alternator drivebelt.

Starter System

    The starter system should be examined if your Explorer won't start at all. Inspect the ignition switch on the steering column. Also, test the starter solenoid and starter motor for faults. Check the starter relay and the starter feed cable in the engine compartment next to the battery.

1995 Mazda MX6 Timing Belt Problems

1995 Mazda MX6 Timing Belt Problems

The 1995 Mazda MX-6 has 25 technical service bulletins (TSB), published by the manufacturer, reporting different problems that may arise on this Mazda. One of these TSBs concern the timing belt problems some MX-6 owners have experienced. Other reports from Carcomplaints.com and Repairpal.com state other timing belt problems that are occurring on the Mazda MX-6.

Timing Belt Noise

    According to Edmunds.com, one of the TSBs published by the manufacturer concerns a tapping or squealing noise heard under the hood. The timing belt is attributed to this noise problem during cold weather. The cold weather is causing it to make noise during start-up, until the engine becomes warm. The temperature can cause the timing belt to deteriorate quicker, especially when the colder weather is wet. The moister gets onto the timing belt, causing it to squeal, until the timing belt dries out. Another cause for timing belt noise is the belt becoming loose. The Mazda owner needs to tighten the belt to dampen this noise problem, if the timing belt is loose.

Timing Belt Comes Off

    Reports of timing belt problems on the 1995 Mazda MX-6 are listed by Carcomplaints.com. Some owners are experiencing the timing belt coming off the pulleys, causing the engine to stall and not start. The technicians at Repairpal.com state the timing belt is being damaged, which causes the belt to not track around the pulleys properly. No specific reason is being given about how the timing belt is becoming damaged. Technicians state the timing belt is a wearable component and can become cracked or cut over time due to use. The timing belt needs to be replaced when this problem occurs on the Mazda MX-6.

Timing Belt Coming Loose

    The timing belt is coming loose on the 1995 Mazda MX-6, causing the engine to overheat. The timing belt wraps around engine components, such as the alternator, compressor and engine fan, allowing the components to turn when the engine is running. The timing belt is tightened by a bracket assembly, which has a tightening pulley. The bracket is loosened, and leverage is put on the tightening pulley and tightened down. This bracket assembly can loosen over the course of driving, causing the timing belt to loosen. The timing belt must not have any play after it is tightened down, and the Mazda owner must check this tightness periodically. The timing belt must be checked for looseness, by pulling on the timing belt to see if there is any play.

Minggu, 25 Maret 2012

How to Identify a Bad Coil on a 2003 Volkswagen 1.8T Engine

How to Identify a Bad Coil on a 2003 Volkswagen 1.8T Engine

The 2003 1.8T or 1.8-liter turbo 4-cylinder by Volkswagen, was installed in the 2003 Volkswagen Beetle, Golf GTI, Jetta, and Passat models. The 2003 VW 1.8T engine was capable of producing up to 180-horsepower, and 173 foot-pounds of torque. The ignition coil for the 1.8T engine is located on the firewall of all of the Volkswagen cars from 2000 through 2005. The ignition coil is directly next to the brake booster, which is the large black cylindrical object that holds the master cylinder and brake fluid reservoir. Accessing the ignition coil will require removing part of the drip rail above.

Instructions

    1

    Raise the hood of the Volkswagen you are working on, and set the hood prop to support the hood for this entire project. Loosen the negative battery cable from the battery, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket. Turn the tie down nut on the cable end counterclockwise until it is loose. Remove the negative battery cable by hand.

    2

    Remove the front edge of the drip rail, sitting just above the brake booster on the Volkswagen. The drip rail is attached loosely to the edge of the firewall, so you can remove the drip rail by simply pulling it upward and out toward the engine. Pull the drip rail out far enough that you can visually inspect and physically access the ignition coil, just to the left of the brake booster when you are viewing it from the front of the car.

    3

    Visually inspect the front of the ignition coil and locate the "+" side or positive terminal of the coil. Do the same search for the "-" side or negative terminal of the coil. It is important that you can differentiate between the positive and negative coil wires. Place the red lead from an ohmmeter onto the positive or "+" side ignition coil terminal. The terminal is the screw that holds the positive wire onto the ignition coil. Place the black lead from the ohmmeter onto the negative or "-" terminal of the ignition coil.

    4

    Visually inspect the gauge or digital meter on the ohmmeter to view the amount of resistance that the ignition coil is producing. The 2003 Volkswagen 1.8T engine ignition coil is supposed to produce between -0.52 to -0.80 ohms of resistance. If the coil is not producing a number in the range of the two numbers just given, then the ignition coil is bad. If the ignition coil is producing no number at all, please double check your connections with the ohmmeter leads and try again.

Sabtu, 24 Maret 2012

My Toyota Won't Stay Running

My Toyota Won't Stay Running

Regardless of year and model, all gasoline-powered Toyota engines require the same three things to stay running: fuel to burn, air to burn the fuel and spark to ignite the fuel mixture. A deficit in any one of these things can and will cause stalling. Stalling problems are somewhat unique, in that the affected system functions at first -- but for some reason fails after a period of time or under certain conditions. Stalling problems are typically easier to diagnose than no-start problems, where nearly any part of the engine may be damaged or involved in the malfunction.

Instructions

    1

    Check the engine codes if your check engine light is illuminated. You could purchase an expensive scan tool for this task, but many chain auto parts store will do it for you for free. Go to the parts counter, tell the attendant the year and model, and they will head outside with you to check the codes. Use what information you gather from the codes to further diagnose the problem.

    2

    Check for vacuum leaks around the rubber/plastic vacuum hoses coming from the intake manifold and throttle body. A vacuum leak will manifest itself as a whistling sound, while the engine is running. If you hear such a sound, listen closely and track it to its source. Otherwise, look for cracked and split lines where they slip onto the fittings. If you believe you've found the leak, spray the suspected area with a short burst of ether starting fluid. If engine rpm suddenly rises, you've found the leak.

    3

    Check fuel system pressure. This procedure is best performed by an experienced mechanic, and involves connecting a pressure gauge to the pressure access port on your Toyota's fuel rail, fuel filter or cold-start valve. You'll need a gauge and the the correct pressure fitting, Toyota part numbers SST 09268-45012 and 09268-45013-01 (respectively) for most newer models. Follow the pressure testing procedures outlined in your repair manual at engine start-up, high rpm and after shut-down to test residual pressure. This test should tell you if you have a clogged fuel filter, malfunctioning pressure regulator, malfunctioning fuel pump or an issue in the fuel pump's speed-control circuit.

    4

    Remove your idle air control valve (IAC) and inspect it. The IAC is an electronic valve in your throttle body that regulates airflow at low and medium speeds, and allows the computer to fine-tune airflow to meet conditions. These valves often get clogged with carbon soot and varnish, and need to be cleaned from time to time. Follow repair manual procedures for removal, cleaning and re-installation. All told, this should take no more than 15 minutes and may immediately solve the problem.

Jumat, 23 Maret 2012

How to Troubleshoot a 1994 Jeep Cherokee Fuel System

How to Troubleshoot a 1994 Jeep Cherokee Fuel System

The fuel system on the 1994 Jeep Cherokee includes the fuel tank, fuel pump, air cleaner and fuel-injection system. The fuel pump is powered by an electric motor inside the fuel tank. Emission-control devices such as the "Fuel Evaporative Control System" also play a role in the fuel system on the Cherokee. Some differences exist between the California models and the so-called "49 State Models."

Instructions

The Engine Turns Over But Won't Start

    1

    Check the fuel tank vent, fuel filter and fuel lines for clogging if you believe gasoline may not be reaching the injectors.

    2

    Check the fuel filter to see if it operating properly. Tap the top of the fuel tank where the pump is located, as this can get a jammed pump running long enough to get to a repair shop.

    3

    Make sure you have fuel and that the fuel does not have water in it.

Engine is Hard to Start or Does Not Stay Running

    4

    Check the fuel filter, fuel lines and tank vent for clogging, as it may be that not enough fuel is reaching the injectors to keep the engine running.

    5

    Check for a vapor lock, clogged fuel lines, vent and filter if the engine is warm but won't restart.

    6

    Check the fuel pump for defects and make sure you have enough fuel.

Engine Runs Erratically or Idles Too High

    7

    Check the tank vent, fuel filter and lines for blockages, as it may be that the fuel pump is not sending enough fuel to the injectors.

    8

    Check to see if the injectors are clogged.

    9

    Check the idle speed to see if it is improperly adjusted.

Other Fuel Issues

    10

    Check the throttle linkage to see if it is stuck or not adjusted properly if the engine is idling too high.

    11

    Check for blockages in the vent, filter and lines if the engine misses or hesitates while you drive.

    12

    Check the idle speed and see if the fuel filter is clogged or has water in it if the engine stalls.

    13

    Check the fuel pump's operation if the engine surges.

    14

    Check for fuel leaks at the tank, fuel lines and injectors if you smell gasoline. Also, vapors may be leaking from the emissions control system.

How to Troubleshoot a P0105

How to Troubleshoot a P0105

The MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor monitors pressure inside the intake manifold. Your vehicle's computer stays in constant communication with the MAP to adjust fuel, spark timing and perform other operations. Whenever the MAP signals or circuit deviate from other sensors' signals it works in unison with, your computer stores a P0105 trouble code, indicating a MAP problem. Troubleshoot the P0105 code and find the cause by checking some possible involved components, including your MAP sensor.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the MAP and TPS sensors in your vehicle. The MAP sensor connects to the intake manifold on top of your engine with a vacuum hose. It is a small, black square box with an electrical connector on it. The TPS sensor is attached to one side of the throttle body on the intake manifold, and is a square box with an electrical connector.

    2

    Check the vacuum hoses on your engine, including the MAP vacuum hose, for cracks, damage, loose connections or obstruction. A vacuum leak can cause the MAP sensor to read manifold pressure that does not correspond to the engine load indicated by the TPS. Replace any damaged or blocked vacuum hoses.

    3
    Use a small piece of rubber hose to locate vacuum leaks in your engine.
    Use a small piece of rubber hose to locate vacuum leaks in your engine.

    Start the engine and listen for a hissing sound indicating a vacuum leak. Using a rubber hose of about two feet in length, place one end of the hose against your ear and move the other end around the engine to locate a possible leak. A vacuum leak caused by a damaged cylinder head or throttle body gasket may cause the MAP to conflict with the TPS or other sensor's signal as well. Turn off the engine.

    4

    Check the electrical connections and wiring on the MAP and TPS sensors. A loose, bad connection or damaged wiring will make these sensors inoperable.

    5
    Use a digital multimeter to check the MAP and TPS electrical wires and voltages.
    Use a digital multimeter to check the MAP and TPS electrical wires and voltages.

    Check the wiring on the MAP and TPS sensors for open circuits or shorts using a digital multimeter, following the troubleshooting procedures in your vehicle service manual.

    6

    Unplug the electrical connector from the MAP sensor. Connect the black lead of a digital voltmeter to the ground pin on the MAP sensor and the red lead of the meter to the signal pin on the sensor. Use your vehicle service manual to locate these pins on your sensor. Set your digital meter to 20 volts on the DCV (direct current voltage) scale.

    7

    Disconnect the vacuum hose from the MAP sensor and connect a hand vacuum pump to its vacuum port.

    8

    Turn on your digital meter and read the meter's display. It should be about 4.6 to 4.8 volts. Apply five inches Hg vacuum pressure to the sensor using the hand vacuum pump. This time, your meter should register about 3.75 volts. Apply 20 inches Hg vacuum pressure to the sensor using the hand vacuum pump. This time, your meter should register about 1.0 volts. If you see different voltage readings from the ones indicated here, replace the MAP sensor.

    9

    Troubleshoot your TPS sensor as indicated in your vehicle service manual using your digital meter. If your TPS is working properly, there might be a problem with your ECM (electronic control module) which is the vehicle computer. Take your vehicle to an auto repair shop, if necessary.

How to Troubleshoot a Blown Head Gasket

The head gasket in an engine is a thin layer of pliable material that forms a tight seal between the engine block and engine head cover. It's purpose is to seal exhaust gasses in the cylinders, and keep the engine oil and coolant from leaking into the cylinders or mixing with each other. Because the gasket is subject to such high pressures and temperatures -- as well as chemical attacks from fuel, exhaust gasses, oil and coolant -- it is also subject to occasionally fail. Drivers can easily learn how to recognize the signs of a blown head gasket so that the problem can be addressed before escalated into an expensive repair.

Instructions

    1

    Check the vehicle's engine for leaking engine oil or coolant. Check the ground under the vehicle after it has been parked, and look for drips and wet spots. Open the hood and locate the joint between the engine block and the head cover. This is a thin crack that runs around the engine near the top. Look for oil or coolant leaks around the joint. If leaks are detected, it means the head gasket is not sealing properly.

    2

    Start the engine. Keep an eye on both the tailpipe and the engine, paying special attention to the head gasket area. You should not see any signs of exhaust gasses escaping from the engine, and there should not be a puff of blue or white smoke from the tailpipe when the engine is started. Blue smoke indicates that oil has leaked into the cylinder. White smoke indicates that coolant has leaked into the cylinder. If the smoke continues even after the engine has been running for a few minutes, it indicates that the leak is serious.

    3

    Park the vehicle and allow the engine to cool for at least 30 minutes. Open the hood and locate the coolant reservoir. This is usually a semi-transparent plastic tank located near the front of the engine compartment. Open the top of the reservoir and look inside. The fluid should appear greenish in color, and should look homogeneous and relatively clean. If the coolant is brownish in color, or if there is scum floating on the liquid surface, it means that the head gasket is allowing engine oil to mix with the coolant.

    4

    Park the vehicle and allow the engine to cool for at least 30 minutes. Open the hood and locate the radiator at the front of the engine. Remove the radiator cap and start the engine. Allow the engine to warm up until you can see the engine coolant circulating into the radiator. Look for bubbles and foaming in the coolant. Bubbles indicate that engine exhaust gasses are leaking through the head gasket into the coolant. Have an assistant rev the engine a few times to see if the bubbles increase with the engine running faster.

    5

    Park the vehicle. Open the hood and locate the oil-filler cap. This is normally located toward the front or side of the engine compartment, and should be clearly marked. Open the cap and look inside. You will probably not be able to see the surface of the engine oil, but you may be able to see engine oil that has splashed upward when the engine was running. If you see butterscotch-colored foam, it can mean that the head gasket is allowing engine coolant to mix with the oil. Locate the oil dip-stick and pull it out. Look for the same butterscotch-colored form on the end of the stick.

    6

    Pay attention to the vehicle's performance. A blown head gasket can result in fouled spark plugs and reduced engine compression, both of which can cause rough engine operation and sluggish performance. Remove the spark plugs one by one and check for fouling. If you replace fouled spark plugs and find the new plugs foul again quickly, it can indicate a serious head gasket leak.

Sluggish Acceleration & Rough Idle in a 1990 Mitsubishi Montero

The Montero is one of Mitsubishi's oldest offerings in the United States and has gone by many names over the years. Whether you know it as a Montero, Pajero or Dodge Raider, this go-anywhere SUV was Mitsu's attempt to grab a piece of the import-SUV marketplace then dominated by Toyota. The Montero has used many different engines over the years (the 1990 model alone offered six different powerplants), and each of them can be prone to sluggish acceleration and a rough idle if something goes wrong in the fuel system's electronics.

Engine Basics

    While the earliest Monteros made do without a fuel-injection system, most models sold in America utilized some sort of electronic controls. A Mitsubishi fuel-injection system uses a crankshaft or camshaft position sensor to tell the computer where the crankshaft is in its rotation, an oxygen sensor to monitor the engine's air/fuel ratio and a throttle position sensor to determine how far open the throttle blades are. Mitsubishis may use one or a combination of manifold air pressure sensors and mass airflow sensors to determine airflow through the engine. All 1990 Montero engines except for the diesels and the carbureted 2.6-liter in-line four-cylinder used such sensors.

Sensor Failure

    Sensor failure is by far the most likely cause behind a bad idle and sluggish acceleration. The sensors listed in Section 1 are crucial at any rpm, so if any one of them goes out the computer won't be able to accurately meter airflow. The 1990 model year's 3.0-liter V-6 and 2.0-liter in-line four have a "limp home" mode that de-tunes the engine in case the oxygen sensor fails, but the CPS, TPS, MAP and MAF sensors are crucial regardless of engine speed. Even if the sensors don't fail outright, a slight reduction, increase or interruption in sensor voltage output can confuse the computer.

Fuel System and Misfire

    Assuming there's nothing wrong with the sensors, a fuel system problem or misfire is the next most likely culprit. A loss of fuel pressure due to a failing pump, clogged filters and dirty or clogged injectors can easily cause a loss of idle quality and acceleration. A failing ignition system can also cause a misfire, especially when the failure occurs in the coil or coil packs. Coils don't typically fail outright; they generally get less efficient as they heat up and continue to drop in efficiency until the engine malfunctions. Check the exhaust pipe; if you detect a strong odor of fuel in the course of a misfire, then odds are that the Montero's ignition system has failed in some way.

Carburetor and Diesel Problems

    The carbureted 2.6-liter can suffer from the same acceleration-related and idle problems as any other carbureted engine. Low fuel pressure; dirty, clogged and worn-out carburetor components; bad ignition coils or worn-out distributor internals and general engine wear could all be to blame. Diesel engines are by nature simple creatures, and the three used during the 1990 model year are no exception. If you're experiencing sluggish acceleration with a diesel, odds are you either have a boost leak, a bad turbo, one or more bad or clogged injectors or low fuel pressure. However, a rough idle would suggest low fuel pressure or an injector-related issue.

Kamis, 22 Maret 2012

How to Test Gel Batteries

A gel-cell battery is different than most traditional batteries in that it is sealed and does not utilize liquid electrolytes. Rather, silica is added to the electrolytes, causing it thicken into a gel that is suspended within the battery. Because of this, gel batteries are spill-proof and more resistant to corrosion. Gel batteries, however, are generally more expensive than traditional batteries and are not able to be refilled. This also means gel batteries cannot be tested with a hydrometer. The simplest and quickest way to test your gel battery is with a digital voltmeter.

Instructions

    1

    Access the gel-cell battery by removing the terminal covers. Then disconnect the battery from the vehicle. Detach the gel battery's negative terminal first, followed by its positive terminal. For most vehicles, you will need assorted box wrenches in order to completely disconnect the battery.

    2

    Attach the voltmeter's tester leads/clamps to the gel battery. The negative tester lead must connect to the battery's negative post and the positive tester lead to the positive post.

    3

    Turn on the voltmeter and look at the reading shown. If your gel battery displays a charge within the 12.85 to 12.95 range, it is 100 percent charged. A voltage of 12.65 means it is only 75 percent charged, while a 12.35 reading correlates to a 50 percent charge.

    4

    Recharge the gel battery if you receive a low voltage reading. Be sure that you use a voltage-limited battery charger, also known as a float charger, for this task. A traditional charger should not be used on gel batteries, as it may overcharge and damage the battery. A voltage-limited charger will charge at a set rate and turn off when a full charge is achieved.

    5

    Permit the gel battery to sit for 24 hours after charging. This will allow the surface charge to dissipate and provide a more accurate reading. Retest the gel battery with a voltmeter after the 24-hour period has passed. If your gel-cell battery shows a low charge once again, chances are it will need replaced.

How to Troubleshoot a 1983 Lincoln Town Car

The Lincoln Town Car is a full-size luxury sedan. The Town Car name was first applied to a specially made vehicle for Henry Ford in 1922 and then was a trim for the Lincoln Continental from 1959 to 1980 before becoming its own model in the Lincoln lineup in 1982. The 1983 Lincoln Town Car was equipped with a 5.0 liter, eight-cylinder engine. Because the Town Car is made up of so many different parts, systems and components it can be difficult to successfully locate a problem you are experiencing with the vehicle. Two ways to troubleshoot the Town Car are to examine manufacturer recall data and general repair information regarding the vehicle.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the parking pawl actuating rod assembly if the Town Car's parking brake does not engage when the parking level is put into the "park" position. The linkage inside the transmission of the car that actuates the parking gear components may be missing a pin that retains the linkage components together. Replace the pawl actuating rod assembly to resolve this problem.

    2

    Find the oxygen sensor of the Town Car when the exhaust of the vehicle emits a strong rotten egg smell while the engine is idling or driving. The sensor may be damaged or faulty and needs to be replaced.

    3

    Check the timing specifications of your Lincoln to ensure that they are correct. Contact your local Lincoln dealership or a qualified mechanic to find out what the timing specifications are for the car.

    4

    Look at the catalytic converter, PCV valve, carburetor and PCV hose to determine if any of these parts are clogged, faulty or damaged.

    5

    Look at the Town Car's heater core if you smell mildew inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The core may be leaking antifreeze into the floor area of the vehicle. Replace the core if you find antifreeze on the floor.

    6

    Examine the steering gear of the Lincoln when you hear a rattle in the front area of the vehicle while you are driving. The mounting bolts of the steering gear may be loose and need to either be tightened or replaced completely.

Rabu, 21 Maret 2012

What Causes the Engine in a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix to Make a Tapping Sound?

Your 1994 Pontiac Grand prix was offered in the base trim level with a well known 3.1-liter six-cylinder and a four-speed automatic transmission. If you dont know anything about the 3.1-liter, or the internal workings of an engine, a ticking noise could be one of a thousand things, as far as your concerned. Funny thing is, most people dont understand from a service side of view the 3.1-liter has well known problems; not unlike most engines in use today. Knowing the common faults and failures is the key to determining the cause of a ticking noise, in this case with your 3.1-liter.

The drama

    Most back yard mechanics; let alone real mechanics, will tell you that the 3.1-liter is well known for blowing head gaskets. Most 3.1-liter early model GM engins; this includes Chevy and Pontiac, were known for this failure, but it doesnt have much to do with a ticking noise. So be warned, as soon as you mention 3.1, someone is likely to blurt out head gasket, but with a ticking noise this isnt even likely to be the case. Ticking can be caused from several different problems, but unless coolant is pouring into your crankcase; but even then, you will likely experience way worse than even a loud tick while the engine is running.

Lifters

    Your 3.1-liter valve train is driven by a block mounted camshaft that uses lifters to transfer mechanic operation from the camshaft lobe to the push rod, and eventually to valve to open it. A sticky lifter will not return to its normal operating position and cause a ticking noise; whenever the cam attempts to open an intake or exhaust valve. This is normally cause from a worn or faulty lifter, followed by a damaged lifter due to overheating or lack of oil and/or oil delivery. A sticky lifter making a tick isnt too bad of a problem,; the engine will normally act as it generally does, with a little extra noise. Still, its a good idea to inspect the reason for a stick lifter, it could be a serious lack of oil delivery; a condition related to clogged oil delivery or drain passages.

Piston Slap

    General Motors; I.e. the manufacturer of Chevy and Pontiac vehicles, has been noted for their defects related to the well known GM piston slap. Piston slap is when there is too much clearance between the piston and the cylinder wall. If your ticking noise sounds like its coming from the top side of the engine this isnt likely the case; but from the bottom end, this is a likely cause from your 3.1. In general light piston slap is a problem most GM six-cylinder engines are subject to, and some engines last for hundreds of thousands of miles. Be warned though, eventually you will have to over bore the cylinders or get a new engine or engine block when it finally becomes a serious issue.

Other Likely Causes

    Basically, your crankshaft turns the camshaft via a chain. The cam shaft pushes upwards on the push rods, through a lifter and pushes up on the rocker arm, which pushes down on the intake or exhaust valve. If your rocker arm, push rod or camshaft has become worn, a slight ticking noise will develop as a result of the excess clearance from the wear. Sometimes extra thick oil additives like Lucus and motor honey will help solve the situation and ticking noise, but this is only a temporary fix and will mask real mechanical problems that should be addressed.

My Tundra's Turn Signals Won't Blink

My Tundra's Turn Signals Won't Blink

Turn signals are fairly universal. Charge from the battery routes through the ignition switch to the turn signal relays. The relays interrupt the signal in a pattern allowing the lights to blink on and off. The potential issues are limited to problems with the switch, relays or lights due to the simplistic nature of the system. Diagnosing the issue only takes a couple of minutes. Repairing the issue should take around 15 minutes for most repairs.

Instructions

    1

    Turn on the vehicle and activate the turn signals. Look at the operation of the lights on both sides of the vehicle.

    2

    Replace the bulb if the front or rear signal on one side flashes rapidly and the corresponding light on the same side does nothing.

    3

    Replace the fuse if neither the front or rear light comes on which you flip the switch. The fuse panel is typically located in the engine compartment or beneath the dash. Most vehicles will have separate turn signals for passenger and driver side.

    4

    Replace the turn signal relay if the fuse is fine and the lights on one side of the vehicle do not come on at all, or only turn on without flashing. The fuse relay is a silver, cylindrical plug located beneath the dash near or on the fuse panel. Some vehicles locate the relay in the engine compartment fuse panel. The relays just pull out like fuses. You will have one designated for each side of the vehicle.

    5

    Test the switch. Most turn signals are three-way switches operating both the signals, and a third element, such as bright lights or cruise control. Replace the switch if the third function of the signal does nothing. Take the vehicle to a professional to replace the switch.

    6

    Trace the wiring. The wiring will be mostly protected, so look at the connections to the lights, and inspect them for rust, corrosion or damage. Trace the lines as far as you can to look for damaged wires. Replace as necessary. Take the vehicle to a professional to have the wires or plugs replaced unless you are familiar with splicing electrical wires.

Selasa, 20 Maret 2012

How to Tell if a Carb Jet Is Clogged

How to Tell if a Carb Jet Is Clogged

Your car's carburetor comes equipped with several jets, depending on the model. These jets help control the flow of fuel in different sections of the carburetor. Over time, gasoline leaves traces of varnish and dirt that build up around small passages and orifices, restricting or blocking fuel flow and causing engine performance problems. By paying attention to your vehicle symptoms, you can learn whether one or more jets are clogged and in need of service.

Instructions

    1

    Start the engine and let it idle. If the engine stalls a few seconds after firing up the engine, your carburetor idle jet might be plugged up with dirt or varnish.

    2

    Fire up your engine and drive to a slow traffic or back road, if necessary, to test your vehicle. Drive down the road and begin to accelerate to about 30 mph. Note whether your car does not accelerate correctly. Also note if you can feel the engine almost dying, or remaining at a certain speed without accelerating any further for a few seconds before responding. In this case, the idle and/or economizer (if equipped) jets are dirty and in need of cleaning.

    3

    Drive down the road and pay attention to the engine as you accelerate. Note whether the engine hesitates or stalls. You might feel the car jerking because of a cylinder fails to fire, or you might notice the engine backfiring through the carburetor as you accelerate. In either case, the carburetor economizer jet (if equipped) and/or idle jet might be partially clogged with fuel varnish, restricting fuel flow.

    4

    Pull off the road and stop the engine. Open the hood and remove the air cleaner assembly from the top of the carburetor using a pair of slip joint pliers. Operate the throttle manually as you look through the air horn bore. You should see a straight stream of fuel sprayed inside the bore or air horn. If you notice a weak stream, either the economizer and/or idle jet is partially clogged. Keep in mind that this might also be an indication of problems with the carburetor accelerator pump.

    5

    Accelerate your vehicle to about 45 to 50 mph. If you notice the engine does not develop enough power as you reach the top speed, the main jet might be clogged, causing a lean air/fuel mixture.

How to Check for a Leaky Fuel Injector

How to Check for a Leaky Fuel Injector

The fuel injector, though small, is a very solidly constructed fuel system component part. Fuel injectors connect to a line full of pressurized fuel, and electric impulses from the car's computer cause the valve to open many times per second, allowing fuel to flow into your engine. Mechanical damage, electronic problems and debris caught between the valve and the orifice can all cause the valve to hang open and deliver a constant stream of fuel instead of closing like it should.

Instructions

    1

    Check your exhaust pipe. Any black, fuel-smelling smoke is a dead giveaway that your engine is receiving too much fuel. A leaking injector will cause your exhaust to emit a steady stream of fuel-smoke at idle, although this may diminish at higher engine speed.

    2

    Listen to your engine. If there is a consistent, single-cylinder misfire at idle and possibly higher in the RPM range, this could also point towards a leaking injector. The constant stream of fuel leaking into one cylinder throws the air/fuel ratio, this in turn makes fuel ignition for that cylinder impossible. Note that a leaking injector will only affect its host cylinder; if there are multiple or random cylinder misfires, the problem probably lies in the ignition system.

    3

    Make a note of the fuel economy. A leaking injector will have the same effect on fuel economy as a hole in your fuel tank. The problem is compounded, however: since the additional fuel going into the affected cylinder makes combustion impossible, you're wasting not only the amount of fuel leaked by the injector but also the amount that should go into powering that cylinder. Any noticeable drop in fuel economy could well point towards a leaking fuel injector.

    4

    Feel for a power reduction when driving. The same issues that affect fuel economy also affect horsepower production. Power loss might not always be extreme; a very slightly leaking injector may only alter the air-to-fuel ratio in that cylinder enough to turn on the "Check Engine" light without significantly reducing power output.

Senin, 19 Maret 2012

How to Test a Lucas Alternator

How to Test a Lucas Alternator

Lucas is a manufacturer of alternators and charging systems for cars, trucks, marine engines and major agricultural machinery. As of 2010, Lucas has been in business for more than 20 years. When you notice problems like dimming interior lights, faulty head and taillights, the radio cutting out or the air conditioning not coming on, your Lucas alternator may be weakening. Test the alternator with a voltmeter to measure its power output. If it isn't strong enough to support the engine, take the alternator to an auto repair shop for rebuilding.

Instructions

    1

    Lift the hood of your car and prop it up. Locate the battery, a solid, rectangular block usually on the driver's side of the engine near the fender. The battery may have a plastic cover, held down by a clip or screwed in place. Remove the cover.

    2

    Connect the voltmeter to the battery posts. The voltmeter has a positive and negative lead, which are red and black, respectively. Attach the positive lead to the positive battery post, which had a red battery cable connector and a "+" sign beside it, then attach the negative lead to the negative battery post, which is black and has a "-" sign beside it.

    3

    Make a note of the initial reading on the voltmeter while the engine is off. This is a measurement of the voltage in the battery and should be between 12.5 and 12.8 volts. If it's significantly less, the trouble could be your battery and not your alternator. Even a brand-new alternator can't recharge a dead battery.

    4

    Start the engine and look at the voltmeter again for the new reading. This time the voltmeter is measuring the voltage in the alternator, because with the engine running, the alternator is supplying the battery with power. A good alternator has a reading of between 13.6 and 14.3 volts. Anything less is a sign of trouble.

Radiator Leak Symptoms

Radiator Leak Symptoms

According to the National Automotive Radiator Repair Association (NASRA), the lifespan of the radiator has more to do with radiator leaks than with mileage. Environmental factors such as heat, road salts, various chemical reactions and assorted debris can cause radiators to break down and begin to leak. Recognizing common symptoms of radiator leakage can save you time and money, and it might prevent your vehicle from breaking down at a critical moment.

Color, Texture and Scent

    Radiator fluid is toxic.
    Radiator fluid is toxic.

    The presence of neon-colored, slimy fluid beneath your vehicle is a sign of a radiator leak. Radiator fluid is yellow, orange, blue or red, depending on the radiator fluid used. Radiator fluid often smells sweet, is highly toxic and attracts small animals.

Radiator Fluid Dispersement

    Signs of a leaking radiator can be found under the hood.
    Signs of a leaking radiator can be found under the hood.

    Leaking radiators disperse liquid in spots or puddles under the vehicle, in droplets on the underside of the hood or in the engine compartment and its various parts, such as on hoses, belts, the radiator itself or the overflow bottle.

Sounds and Sights of Leaking Radiator

    Hissing, spraying or gurgling sounds are common when a radiator is leaking. These sounds can be heard from within the vehicle as well as outside of the vehicle. White, bellowing smoke also may be seen when a radiator leaks and the fluid spills onto hot surfaces such as the manifold, radiator or valve covers. A reading of "hot" on the temperature gauge also can be an indication of a leaking radiator.

Low Radiator Fluid Levels

    Checking the fluid level on your radiator can reveal radiator fluid leakage if the fluid level is low frequently. If you need to add radiator fluid or water regularly to your radiator, it may be a sign of a leaking radiator.

Do it Yourself Auto Repair Diagnosis

Do it Yourself Auto Repair Diagnosis

Auto repair diagnosis can be tricky at times. Still, using a systematic approach, you can make your job much easier in solving many of your car problems. In many cases, you will be able to trace car troubles to components in need of proper maintenance or replacement, which may affect engine performance. Once you zero in on the characteristics of your specific problem and its symptoms, you are on your way to diagnosing and correcting the fault.

Instructions

    1

    Make a list of the symptoms you have noticed since the problem started in a notepad using a pencil. For example, engine backfiring, stalling, overheating, clicking noises coming from the front wheels, uneven braking when you depress the brake pedal, etc.

    2

    Describe when each symptom occurs next to each problem you listed in step one. For example, perhaps the engine backfires at any speed, but the vehicle stalls only when it is cold. Does it overheat after ten minutes of driving? Does it only make a clicking noise when turning left but not when turning right?

    3

    List all the possible systems that may be involved in the problem you described in step 1, paying special attention to when the problem occurs as you noted in step 2. For example, if the engine backfires regardless of speed or weather the engine is cold or warmed, your car might need timing adjustment. If the engine stalls only at idle, the idle speed might be incorrect or the idle speed control motor might have failed, or you might have a fault in the fuel or emission system.

    4

    Proceed with your diagnostic at the most logical point in the system you believe is most likely to be causing the problem. Make a visual inspection of wires, connectors and components in the system you are suspecting. Many times, a loose wire, dirty connection or damaged component may be the cause of the problem and is just a matter of adjusting a wire or connector or replacing a damaged part. If the engine overheats, check the coolant level and look for signs of leaks around the radiator, hoses and water pump.

    5

    Begin testing the most likely components you think are involved in the problem, if your visual inspection of the system did not turned out any unusual signs of trouble. For example if the engine backfires, remove the distributor cap and rotor and check them for cracks, carbon traces or other damage. Test the ignition coil using your multimeter and then go to the throttle position sensor. If the engine overheats, check the thermostat and water pump.

How to Check if a Lower Ball Joint Is Bad on a 1997 Ford Escort

When a lower ball joint on a 1997 Ford Escort is excessively worn, it will cause a knocking noise when traveling over bumps or a rough surface. It can also be felt in the steering wheel by an occasional shaking and will cause unusual tire wear. The lower ball joint on a 1997 Escort is secured to the lower control arm with the use of two bolts and nuts. It makes it easy to replace.

Instructions

    1

    Block the rear wheels. Raise the front of the car and place a jack stand on both sides of the car under the subframe. Lower the car to rest on the stands. Grab the tire at the top and bottom and attempt to rock the tire in and out. If you can feel a wobble, look closely at the point where the lower ball joint enters the steering knuckle.

    2

    Wobble the tire again and look for movement between the knuckle and lower ball joint. If play is present, this indicates a worn ball joint. Look for in-and-out movement at the lower control arm bushings.

    3

    Grab the tire on both sides and attempt to rock it left and right. If you can feel a wobble, check the outer tie rod end where it is attached to the steering knuckle. The outer tie rod can be seen from behind the rear of the tire. Any free movement between the knuckle and the outer tie rod end indicates wear and requires replacement. If you can feel a wobble when rocking the tire horizontally but the outer tie rod is tight and exhibits no movement, the inner tie rod is worn.

    4

    Raise the car and remove the jack stands. Lower the car. If you could feel a wobble but see no evidence of wear, the cause is likely in the front wheel bearing. Remove the wheel cover.

    5

    Pop the grease cap off and torque the spindle nut to 174 to 235 foot-pounds. Raise the car on the side being worked on and place a jack stand under the subframe. Attempt to rock the tire in and out and from side to side. If the wobble persists and the ball joint and tie rods are good, the wheel bearing is worn and needs to be replaced. Raise the car and remove the jack stand. Lower the car.

Minggu, 18 Maret 2012

Symptoms of Drive Shaft Problems

Symptoms of Drive Shaft Problems

A vehicle's drive shaft--the rotating object located between the differentials and gear box--helps it switch from idle to drive; without it, a vehicle would never move. Usually, a drive shaft does not fail instantaneously, and deterioration happens over time. Accordingly, if drive shaft problems are recognized early, you can avoid costly repairs. There are various symptoms that indicate if your vehicle's drive shaft is faulty.

Vibration

    A damaged drive shaft can cause the vehicle to vibrate. The entire vehicle or parts of it--especially the floorboards--may shake and tremble, and the vibration will often intensify and worsen at increased speed. Severe vibrations can also indicate a bad tire; however, vibrations from tire problems usually happen during acceleration, whereas drive shaft problems cause vibration when the vehicle is moving or stationary.

Sounds

    A vehicle may emit noises if the drive shaft is bad. You may hear a low squeaking sound that intensifies with increases in speed. The sound may completely disappear when traveling at higher speeds and reappear as the vehicle decelerates. This is often the result of a severely damaged U-joint, a part connected to the drive shaft.

Turning Issues

    A drive shaft problem can prevent your vehicle's wheels form turning properly. You may notice that the wheels hesitate when you turn a corner. You may feel resistance from the tires when making sharp turns or U-turns. You might also experience parking problems while trying to maneuver the wheels to turn into tight spaces.

Universal Joint Movement

    A U-joint, or universal joint, that moves too much or does not rotate at all can indicate a drive shaft problem. To inspect the U-joint, set the parking brake and shift the vehicle into neutral. Move the yokes of the U-joint back and forth to check for flexibility. If there is excess movement in any direction, the U-joint is unstable and could negatively affect the drive shaft. Also, visible rust on the bearing cap seals surrounding the U-joint can indicate a drive shaft problem.

Sabtu, 17 Maret 2012

How to Test a Mass Air Flow Sensor for a '79 280Zx

The mass airflow sensor on a 1979 Nissan 280ZX, a hot wire sensor, is found in the air duct between the air cleaner and throttle. The computer supplies the necessary voltage to maintain a constant temperature across the wire. With more air volume that passes the wire, more voltage is necessary to maintain its temperature. The computer uses this voltage variation to calculate and adjust the fuel injection sequence and ignition timing.

Instructions

    1

    Look at the plug in the side of the mass airflow sensor; notice that there are six wires. When viewing the plug, reading from left to right, the first wire may be blank on occasion. The second wire is the signal wire, the third wire is the ground for the sensor, the fifth wire is the ignition positive wire that supplies the power and the last wire is the burn-off circuit.

    2

    Check the mass airflow signal to the computer by connecting the black voltmeter lead to a good ground on the intake manifold. Use the red lead as a probe. It has a sharp point on the end used to pierce the wires insulation so that it makes contact with the wire beneath. Pierce the second wire from the left, which is the signal wire. If the sensor fails any of the following tests, it is not operating correctly or not working at all.

    3

    Turn the ignition key on, without starting the engine and check the voltage. It should be 1.5 to 1.6 volts. Start the engine and note the voltage. It should be 2.5 to 2.9 volts at a warm idle.

    4

    Speed up the engine to 2,500 rpm. It should be 3.0 to 3.5 volts. Slowly speed up the engine and then begin to slow it to an idle. During this procedure, watch the voltage. It should rise at the same rate as the rpm with no dropouts -- a momentary loss of signal -- or glitches.

    5

    Test the mass airflow sensors reaction time. Have a helper snap the gas pedal a couple of times, fast. There is no need to rev it to a high rpm; it should just rev to approximately 4,000 rpm. Watch the voltage. It should again react at the same speed as the engine. If the voltage rises much slower or not at all, the sensor is defective.

Jumat, 16 Maret 2012

How to Measure Air Intake Temperature

How to Measure Air Intake Temperature

Intake air temperature is an important measurement, especially in performance applications. Heating air causes it to expand in volume, which moves the molecules that it contains further apart. This means that while the air may contain the same 20 percent of oxygen that it did at lower temperatures, the engine sees less of those molecules per cubic foot of air that it inhales. Less oxygen in the air means less fuel burning in the engine, and thus less power. Measuring intake air temperature is probably a lot cheaper and easier than you might think if you take the DIY approach.

Instructions

    1

    Cut an 8-inch section of wire. The wire diameter should be of approximately half the diameter of your probe; see the Tips section below for sizing recommendations.Cut a slit through the wire's insulation running lengthwise from one end to the other. Take your time, and keep this cut as straight as possible. Pull the insulation off of the copper wire core.

    2

    Orient your meat thermometer so that the probe points away and the dial is facing you, just as if you might normally read it. Run a thin bead of high-temperature, high-strength adhesive down the length of one side of the metal probe. Use your finger to open the wire insulation along the slit and apply the insulation to the metal probe. Push the insulation firmly onto the probe.

    3

    Allow the glue sufficient time to dry and test test the insulation. You do not want the glue to fail, so make sure that it's cured before proceeding. Trim the excess insulation away from the probe tip. The insulation should now completely cover one half of the metal probe's surface.

    4

    Drill a hole in your rubber or plastic intake tube that measures slightly smaller than the probe diameter, including the rubber insulation. You want this to be as tight a fit as possible. Gently push the probe tip into the hole. Odds are that your thermometer probe is longer than the tube is wide, so it will probably go in at an angle.

    5

    Rotate the meat thermometer so that the air flowing toward the engine hits the insulated side, not the bare metal side. Place a dab of black silicone RTV on the top (bare metal side) of the probe tip where it meets the intake tube. Give the silicone a few minutes to form a rubbery "skin" on top, but do not allow it to set completely.

    6

    Start the engine. The engine's vacuum will pull the slightly-set silicone into the hole around the probe, sealing it. Allow the engine to run for about 15 seconds and shut it off. Give the silicone about an hour to fully set. Depending on the type of thermometer you bought, you may have to periodically pull the probe out to change the batteries.

Kamis, 15 Maret 2012

How Do I Diagnose a 1999 Oldsmobile 88 With a Tester?

How Do I Diagnose a 1999 Oldsmobile 88 With a Tester?

Trouble codes for a 1999 Oldsmobile 88 are created in the computer when the engine notices something going wrong. These codes are stored and reserved so that you can retrieve them. A diagnostic code tester reads the trouble codes stored in the computer of your 1999 Oldsmobile 88, enabling you to track down the source of your engine trouble more quickly and accurately. If you don't have a scanning device or can't afford one, take your car to the nearest auto-parts store for a diagnosis. Retail stores such as Advance Auto and AutoZone offer this service for free.

Instructions

    1

    Find the electrical tester port inside the cabin of the Oldsmobile. The port, also called the Assembly Line Diagnostic Link (ALDL), is usually located near the steering column on the underside of the dash. It's a 12-16 point port for the scanner to plug into.

    2

    Plug the diagnostic scanner into the ALDL port. Turn the key into the "On" position, but don't crank the engine. This initiates the diagnostic sequence; any error codes stored within the computer will be displayed on the scanner screen.

    3

    Follow the prompts on the scanner screen, entering in such information as the year, make and model of the Oldsmobile. Select the option to pull the trouble codes. The entire sequence takes about three minutes.

    4

    Consult your owner's or repair manual for the meanings to the codes or check out AA1Car's "trouble codes" (see Resources). Knowing what each code stands for gets you closer to repairing the problem and clearing the code from the computer.

Rabu, 14 Maret 2012

A Problem With the Window in My MINI Cooper

MINI Cooper windows have had a series of problems that prevent the window from going up and down. You can troubleshoot some of the possible causes and solutions yourself.

Loose Connections

    There may be a loose connection between the power from the battery and the motor that raises and lowers the window. To fix the problem, tap firmly on the closed door above the speaker with a closed fist.

Sensor Confusion

    The sensor in the window may be confused about the position of the window. To reset the sensor, hold the window switch in the up position for 10 or more seconds. The window sensor will reset and the window should work.

Motor Burnout

    The motor in the window may be burned out and needs to be replaced. Take the car to an authorized MINI repair facility or replace the motor yourself.

How to Troubleshoot a 2004 Chevy Tracker

How to Troubleshoot a 2004 Chevy Tracker

The Chevy Tracker is a compact sport utility vehicle manufactured by General Motors. The Tracker was produced in the United States between the 1989 and 2004 model years. Typical issues with the 2004 Tracker are found in the front brake rotor, gas cap and front struts. These common trouble areas should be the primary focus when troubleshooting the Tracker.

Instructions

    1

    Examine the most typical trouble spots for vehicles such as the fan, timing and serpentine belts, battery, spark plugs and tire pressure. Also ensure that the oil, fuel and fluid levels are normal.

    2

    Check for throbbing and/or pulsing sensations when braking. This could be an indicator of worn front brake rotors, which should be replaced.

    3

    Check the instrument panel. The "check engine" light will illuminate if the gas cap is worn or loosely attached.

    4

    Feel for excessive bouncing when driving at high speeds. Examine the front struts and replace them if necessary.

    5

    Examine the front suspension for corrosion. If corrosion is present, take the Tracker to a qualified Chevrolet dealer to determine what components need replacing.

How to Discover a Blown Head Gasket

The head gasket is a critical component of the automobile engine. This thin layer of material forms a seal between the engine block and the engine head cover. The head gasket must seal each of the pistons, while also sealing the various flow-passages for engine oil and engine coolant. To perform these functions the head gasket must withstand the high engine temperatures and pressures while resisting chemical attack from exposure to gasoline, hot exhaust gasses, oil and coolant. Learning how to discover a blown or leaking head gasket can help vehicle owners to address the problem and avoid expensive engine repairs later on.

Instructions

    1

    Look for smoke from the vehicle tail pipe when the engine is running. Blue smoke in the exhaust means that oil is leaking into the cylinders. Heavy white smoke means that coolant is leaking into the cylinders. This should not be confused with the water vapor that comes out of the tailpipe until the engine is warmed up.

    2

    Check the condition of the engine coolant. Open the coolant reservoir and check the fluid surface for floating scum or foam. Check the color of the coolant. It should be a semi-clear greenish color. If it is brackish and brown it means that oil is leaking into the coolant passages.

    3

    Look for engine exhaust gas bubbles in the coolant. With the engine cold, open the vehicle radiator cap. Start the engine and wait for it to warm up to the point that the thermostat opens and the coolant circulates through the radiator. Look for bubbles of exhaust gas in the circulating coolant. Rev the engine a few times to see if the bubbles increase.

    4

    Look for signs of coolant mixing with the engine oil. Pull out the oil dipstick and check the oil on the end for traces of beige colored froth. Open the oil filler cap and look for beige froth inside. This froth indicates that coolant is mixing with the engine oil.

    5

    Check the engine for signs of oil or coolant leaks. Trace any leaks back to their source to see if they come from the head gasket area. Eliminate the possibility that these are just spills by cleaning up any coolant or oil that you find and then checking again after the engine has been running for a while.

    6

    Remove the spark plugs one by one and check for signs of fouling. If oil or coolant is leaking into one of the cylinders, then the plug from that cylinder will be fouled.

    7

    Check the vehicle's engine performance against its historical performance. A leaking head gasket usually results in low compression in one or more of the engine cylinders as well as fouling of the spark plugs and valves. This will cause poor engine performance and rough idling.

How to Diagnose a Subaru

How to Diagnose a Subaru

Determining the causes of car troubles has changed over the decades, much like the vehicles themselves. What used to be deduced by looking at the filters and spark plugs is now regularly extrapolated from car sensors and scanners. Subaru cars are no exception to the pattern. All Subaru cars now have an onboard engine control module that pulls in signals from various sensors and changes the engine performance accordingly.

Instructions

    1

    Open the driver's side door and sit in the driver's seat. Find the scanner junction panel underneath the steering wheel. Open the panel and connect the OBDII scanner tool to the junction.

    2

    Insert the Subaru car keys into the ignition switch. Turn it to the "On" position but do not start the engine. Let the OBDII scanner communicate with the car's onboard computer and read codes stored in the memory. Look at the scanner as it displays the codes picked up. Write down the code numbers on a notepad with a pen, even if the scanner tells you what the code stands for -- you will need it later to describe to a mechanic.

    3

    Turn the car ignition back to the "Off" position and remove the car keys from the Subaru. Connect to the Internet with a computer and look up the codes you wrote down if your scanner doesn't describe them in detail. Write down the descriptions on your notepad.

    4

    Reconnect the scanner to the Subaru and turn the car to the "On" position again. Direct the scanner to wipe the existing codes in the car. Turn the car "Off" and remove the scanner. Turn on the car and its engine and drive it around to try and get the car to turn on its check engine light again. Repeat the code reading process on the Subaru to confirm the same codes are being signaled by the engine sensors and the first time was not a blip. Take the car to a mechanic with your confirmed information and direct the shop to make the necessary repairs.

Selasa, 13 Maret 2012

How to Reset the Check Engine Light on a 1995 Chevy S-10

How to Reset the Check Engine Light on a 1995 Chevy S-10

Chevrolet first introduced the Chevrolet S-10 truck in 1982. The 1995 Chevrolet S-10 came equipped with a 2.2-liter in-line four-cylinder engine. The more common engine in the 1995 S-10 was the 4.3-liter V-6. The 1995 S-10 was also equipped with an OBDII or Onboard Diagnostics II computer. The OBDII replaced the OBDI for the 1995 S-10 model year. This computer regulated and monitored several functions on the S-10. Removing the OBDII codes from the 1995 S-10 should take no longer than five to ten minutes to complete.

Instructions

    1

    Open the driver's door of S-10. Kneel next to the driver's seat and insert the OBDII plug from the scanner into the OBDII plug port under the dashboard.

    2

    Turn the ignition key to the "II" or accessories position. Turn on the power to the OBDII scanner. Press the required pattern of buttons -- this will vary based on OBDII scanner model -- to acquire a test of the OBDII trouble codes. Initialize the OBDII code-reading test.

    3

    Read the information the code reader provides you. Some code readers provide a simple OBDII code number, which you can check online for repair information. Other models provide you with a slight definition of the code number, which can point you in the right direction to fix the problem.

    4

    Complete the required repairs on the S-10 indicated by the OBDII trouble code. Reattach the OBDII scanner after repairing the vehicle following instructions for Step 1. Perform a code reading with the scanner. Press the "Erase" button on the scanner and follow the prompts to erase the codes and reset the check engine light.

Why Worry About Engine Sludge if I Change My Oil?

Why Worry About Engine Sludge if I Change My Oil?

Oil sludge buildup has always been a problem for automobile engines. The severe service that automobile engines are exposed to in high-speed driving and idling in heavy traffic increases the tendency for sludge to buildup. Oil should be changed in engines exposed to severe service every 3,000 miles, or three to six months. This way, automobile owners ensure they are protecting their engine from sludge.

Severe Service

    Severe service includes the following driving conditions: frequently taking short trips of 10 miles or less, setting in heavy traffic with the air conditioner running, dusty conditions and sustained high-speed driving in hot weather. Short trips that do not warm the engine up completely allow moisture to mix with other contaminants and form sludge. An overheated engine will allow acids to form, leading to the buildup of sludge. Oil that is carrying excessive suspended contaminants is unable to provide the protection your engine needs.

Oil Flow

    Oil serves three purposes in an automobile engine. The first purpose is lubrication. Engines starved for oil will be damaged or destroyed as friction affects internal moving parts. Secondly, oil carries contaminants to the filter, and oil carries contaminants in suspension. Thirdly, oil serves as a cooling agent in the engine. As oil travels through the engine, heat is picked up and carried to the oil pan, where heat is reduced through air flow. Sludge will severely inhibit oil flow, limiting the oil's ability to protect your engine.

Engine Stress

    As sludge builds in an engine, normal engine operations become more stressful on engine parts. Sludge buildup around the valve train in the cylinder head diminishes the ability for valves to open and close properly. Sludge buildup around timing chain assemblies interferes with oil flow to critical parts and contributes to early timing chain failure. Sludge buildup in the oil pan interferes with the oil pump's ability to keep the oil moving through the system.

Transmission Failure

    Excessive engine sludge can also contribute to premature automatic transmission failure. Every automatic transmission has cooler lines that connect to the radiator. The pump in the transmission forces fluid through these lines and through a compartment that is part of the radiator. If your engine is overheating due to problems associated with sludge buildup, the radiator will not be able to remove heat from the transmission fluid, leading to transmission failure. Overheating is one of the primary reasons for automatic transmission failure.

Senin, 12 Maret 2012

How to Find a Bad Head Gasket

How to Find a Bad Head Gasket

Simply put, the purpose of the head gasket is to seal the top of the engine. In reality, the job of the head gasket is anything but simple. This thin gasket must keep the fuel and exhaust gasses inside the cylinders where they belong, and it must keep engine oil and cooling fluid properly contained---all while withstanding chemical attack and the extreme temperatures and pressures of the engine operation. The symptoms of a leaking head gasket usually involve undesirable mixing of the oil, coolant and exhaust gasses. DIY mechanics can troubleshoot a bad head gasket by looking for signs of these fluids mixing together.

Instructions

    1

    Look for smoke coming out of the engine exhaust. Blue smoke is a sign that engine oil is leaking into the cylinders. This could mean the head gasket is leaking, although other possible causes include leaking valve seals or other leaking internal engine parts. White smoke in the exhaust is a sign that coolant is leaking in to the cylinders, and almost certainly indicates that the head gasket is leaking. Do not confuse white smoke with the water vapor that is found in the engine exhaust until the engine warms up.

    2

    Park the car and allow the engine to cool for at least 30 minutes. Open the hood and open the radiator cap. Look inside for signs of foam or scum floating on the coolant. Check if the coolant has a brown, oily appearance. These are signs indicating that oil is leaking into the coolant passages. Start the car and let it warm up until the thermostat opens and the coolant begins to circulate. Look for bubbles of exhaust gas in the coolant. These bubbles will become more apparent if you have an assistant rev up the engine a few times. This is a sign that exhaust gasses from one or more of the cylinders are leaking into the coolant passages.

    3

    Turn the engine off and pull out the oil dip stick. Look for a beige froth or foam on the dip stick end. Open the oil filler cap and look inside for the same thing. The presence of beige froth is a sign that coolant is mixing with the engine oil, and likely indicates a head gasket leak.

How to Troubleshoot the Traction Control on a Lincoln Navigator

How to Troubleshoot the Traction Control on a Lincoln Navigator

Ford's Lincoln Navigator has an optionally supplied Traction Control System, which Ford calls TCS. TCS electronically avoids wheel-spin and loss of traction. It is part of the AdvanceTrac stability enhancement package that also includes electronic stability control, which helps prevent skids or lateral slides, and roll stability for electronically avoiding a roll-over. Problems with TCS can include issues with its operation, warning lights and the braking functionality not working.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the TCS system off if the Navigator loses power when the vehicle is stuck in sand, snow or mud. The system is on by default at start-up, but can be disabled by pressing the "Stability Control" button. The "Stability Control" light will illuminate steadily when the system is off. Turning it off will provide you with more power and allow the wheels to spin, which you may need to get out of the trouble situation.

    2

    Wait for the brakes to cool down if the TCS automatically switches off. TCS works by implementing engine traction control and braking traction control. Sometimes, the TCS becomes very active and this can overheat the brakes. In that case the Navigator will turn off the braking TCS element, and only use the engine TCS element. You can either continue with only the engine element, or stop and allow the brakes to cool down so that you can use both elements again.

    3

    Move off again after the "Stability Control" light has stopped flashing for full TCS functionality. The flashing signals a TCS event, such as the braking function being disabled.

Minggu, 11 Maret 2012

How to Locate a Power Steering Fluid Leak

In the early history of vehicles, large-diameter steering wheels provided the leverage needed to turn the front wheels, as automakers did not install power steering on production vehicles until Chrysler did on the 1951 Imperial. As vehicles moved through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, power steering became a common feature on all vehicles, whether standard or an available option. Power steering uses pressurized hydraulic fluid to turn the wheels in the direction the driver turns the steering wheel. One downfall to using fluid is that is can develop leaks. With the use of ultraviolet technology, finding a power steering leak can be a straightforward process.

Instructions

    1

    Unscrew the cap from the power steering reservoir and pour in a commercially available oil-based ultraviolet-sensitive dye. Top off the power steering reservoir with fresh power steering fluid, if needed.

    2

    Clean any heavy oil residue from the power steering pump and lines, if needed, using engine degreaser and clean, lint-free cloths.

    3

    Start the vehicle and allow it to reach operating temperature -- about halfway up the vehicle's temperature gauge. As the engine warms up, turn the steering wheel as far left as it will go, then as far right as it will go. Repeat the steering wheel turning 10 to 15 times to circulate the dye through the power steering system.

    4

    Shut the engine down and put on a pair of ultraviolet detection glasses -- included with the leak detection kit. Use an ultraviolet light, part of the leak detection kit, to scan the top side of the power steering system -- power steering pump, reservoir and the top part of the hoses -- for a leak. You can identify a leak by the glow created when the ultraviolet light hits the ultraviolet dye.

    5

    Repair any leaks found and continue scanning for leaks.

    6

    Raise the front of the vehicle, using a floor jack, and slide jack stands under the vehicle's subframe or frame rails. Lower the vehicle onto the jack stands.

    7

    Crawl beneath the vehicle and examine the bottom part of the power steering system -- hoses and steering rack or box -- using the ultraviolet glasses and light. Repair any leaks found and recheck the system for leaks following Steps 1 through 7.

Honda CRV Transmission Problems

Honda CRV Transmission Problems

The Honda CR-V, a compact crossover sport utility vehicle available with a manual or automatic transmission, was introduced in 1995. Edmunds.com contends that the CR-V is a competitively priced SUV with ample cargo and passenger room.

Manual Transmission

    Honda technical service bulletins, or TSBs, report that multiple CR-V model years suffer from manual transmission shifting difficulty. Problems mainly occur when shifting from second to fifth or third to fifth gear. The most common reason for shifting difficulty in manual transmission is lack of transmission fluid.

Automatic Transmission

    Honda TSBs indicate that multiple CR-V automatic transmission models suffer from "harsh" shifting and acceleration problems. The primary cause of the CR-Vs' shifting problems is transaxle leakage. TSBs also state that shifting problems may result in acceleration problems, including noise and vibration.

Recall

    In 2002, Honda issued a recall on over 237,000 CR-V automatic transmission models manufactured between 2002 and 2003. The recall notice states that certain automatic transmissions may suffer from shift cable linkage corrosion. Corroded shift cable linkage may prohibit drivers from shifting the CR-V into park.

Sabtu, 10 Maret 2012

How to Check the Exhaust System at Home on a 1998 Montero

With access to a floor jack and jack stands, check the exhaust system at home on a 1998 Montero. When components in the exhaust system are loose or damaged, you may experience excessive exhaust or rattling noises. If the exhaust piping is disconnected or damaged, this will cause the exhaust gases to leak. Not only will exhaust leaks reduce the Montero's efficiency and performance, they can also allow poisonous gasses to enter the vehicle cabin. This can be dangerous or even fatal to the driver and passengers. Because of this, you should inspect the exhaust system on your Mitsubishi Montero immediately if you think it may be damaged.

Instructions

    1

    Start your 1998 Montero and step outside of the vehicle. Listen along the lower side of the vehicle for exhaust hissing or popping noises, as these likely indicate an exhaust leak. Also, be aware of any excessive exhaust gas smells present while the engine is running.

    2

    Park the vehicle on a flat and solid concrete surface. Allow ample time for the engine and exhaust system to cool off before you begin inspection. Then, use a floor jack to raise the rear of the vehicle. Support the chassis by placing jack stands underneath each side of the vehicle.

    3

    Inspect the full exhaust system piping for signs of rust or damage. While minor rust forming on the piping over time is common, extensive rust that compromises the integrity of the piping must be addressed. If there are any rust spots or other damage that create holes in the exhaust piping, have the damaged section replaced immediately.

    4

    Check the exhaust hangers which secure the exhaust system to the underside of the chassis. Rubber hangers are located throughout the exhaust system, connecting the metal exhaust hooks to brackets mounted along the chassis. A damaged rubber hanger may allow the exhaust to rattle or come unaligned. Additionally, check the metal hooks and chassis brackets for signs of damage, such as stress cracks.

    5

    Use a socket wrench to check that the exhaust flange bolts are secure. There are two bolts located at each flange connection throughout the exhaust system. All of the bolts must be extremely tight to ensure an airtight seal. If you still experience exhaust leaks at the flange locations after tightening the bolts, replace the rubber gaskets located between each exhaust flange with new units.

    6

    Lower the vehicle off of the floor jack after removing the jack stands from under the chassis. Open the vehicle hood and inspect the exhaust manifold, located on the left side of the engine. Carefully check the manifold piping and welds for signs of cracking. With the hood still open, start the engine and listen carefully to the exhaust manifold for hissing or popping noises. These noises indicate an exhaust leak in the manifold or piping, likely due to a crack that is not visible.

How to Troubleshoot a Car That Is Hard to Drive on Wet Roads

How to Troubleshoot a Car That Is Hard to Drive on Wet Roads

Wet road conditions present a driver with unique challenges. Visibility is usually decreased, while stopping distances are increased. A vehicle that handles markedly different in wet weather conditions could be experiencing mechanical issues, which should not be overlooked. A properly functioning vehicle should handle almost as well in wet conditions as it does in dry conditions. If a normally well mannered vehicle turns into a " handful" on wet roads, it is time to examine the vehicle to determine why.

Instructions

    1

    Check the condition of your tires. A tire that is worn or damaged will tend to hydroplane on wet roads. When hydroplaning occurs, a sheet of water builds between the tire and the road, because the worn tread can't eliminate the water quickly enough. Check your tire pressure. A tire that is improperly inflated will tend to slide around on wet roads.

    2

    Inspect the vehicles shock absorbers. Worn shock absorbers will allow the vehicle to move around more. A vehicle with worn shock absorbers will not follow the contours of the roadway properly and will have an unsteady, bouncy feel while driving.

    3

    Inspect the vehicles brakes. Brakes that are sticky, or tend to grab, can make wet weather driving difficult, because their malfunctioning nature shows up easily when the tires are in a reduced traction environment, such as a wet road.

    4

    Determine if there is an excessive amount of play in the steering system. This should be done by a mechanic. Excessive wear in the steering system will be exaggerated in adverse driving conditions.

    5

    Determine if the vehicles front end alignment is within factory specifications. If the alignment is off, the vehicle will tend to wander or pull to one side while driving.