Kamis, 31 Mei 2012

How to Troubleshoot Code P0455 Trouble in 1998 Dodge Trucks

How to Troubleshoot Code P0455 Trouble in 1998 Dodge Trucks

The 1998 Dodge truck lineup included the Dakota two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive pickups, the Durango four-wheel-drive SUV and the Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups. Each of the full-size Ram trucks were available in two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive packages. Each of these 1998 Dodge trucks, and any vehicles built after 1995, are equipped with second-generation onboard diagnostic computers, or OBDII systems. The P0455 trouble code is not vehicle-specific but is a common code referring to a massive evaporative emissions control leak. This leak can be simple or quite troublesome to fix, depending on the location of the leak.

Instructions

    1

    Open the fuel door on the side of the truck. Release the fuel cap from the truck completely to allow the vapors in the vapor return line to be emitted from the line. Replace the fuel cap as tight as it will go. Some fuel caps on the Dodge trucks were designed to click and create some resistance when they are fully tightened. Continue turning the cap until you reach complete resistance or hear a clicking.

    2

    Enter the cockpit of the truck you are working on and insert the ignition key into the ignition cylinder. Turn the key to the "II" or accessories position. Install the OBDII code reader into the OBDII interface port, which is located just beneath the dashboard on the driver's side of the truck. The shape of the port matches the shape of the plug, so it should not create a problem locating this device. Turn the power on to the code reader once you have successfully plugged it into the dashboard.

    3

    Go through the sequence of prompts that the reader puts you through, using the "UP" and "DOWN" arrows to make your choices. Hit the "READ" button to allow the reader to accept each of your answers. You will be prompted for foreign or domestic vehicle, year, make, model, and then what function you want the computer to perform. Choose the "Read Diagnostic Codes" selection and press "READ." When the computer is done you will receive the P0455 code, along with any other code your truck is producing.

    4

    Press the "ERASE" button on the reader to erase the existing P0455 code. Start the truck and drive the truck for no less than 10 miles. If the "Check Engine" light does not return, then you simply had a loose fuel cap. If the P0455 code returns within the 10-mile drive, return to your work and move to Step 5.

    5

    Remove the fuel cap completely from your Dodge truck, assuming the initial test failed to remove the P0455 code. This does not mean that your fuel cap is not bad. Take the fuel cap to your local auto parts store and purchase a matching fuel cap. Return to your truck and install the new cap. Make sure the cap is securely sealed. Repeat Steps 3 through 5 to again erase the P0455 code, and test drive the truck to see if the code returns. If it does not return, you had a bad cap.

    6

    Retest the trouble codes in the OBDII computer by performing another test with the code reader. At this point, if you have cured the evaporative emissions leak, then you are going to have to perform a visual inspection. Kneel down just in front of the rear driver-side tire. You will see two pipes going from the fuel fill neck to the fuel tank. These are the fuel filler tube and the evaporative emissions tube or vapor return tube. Check both of these tubes out thoroughly, feeling them with your hand.

    7

    Place your nose near the rear tire and inhale deeply to sense if you can smell fuel vapors or gas. If you smell gas, or if you locate a puncture between the fuel filler tubes and the tank with your hand, get your truck to a local shop as soon as possible. A leaking neck or vapor tube can ignite with the slightest spark and will need immediate attention from a trained professional.

My 1995 Trans Am Won't Start; the Security Light Is Flashing

GM vehicles, such as the Trans Am, are equipped with the Passlock security system. This feature prevents the vehicle from starting if it has been stolen. When attempting to start the engine, it will turn over but not start and the security light will flash on the instrument panel. If this is happening to your 1995 Trans Am, you need to perform the relearn procedure to verify that the code for the key matches the code stored in the vehicle.

Instructions

    1

    Insert the key into the ignition. Turn the key to try and start the engine. If the engine does not start, verify that the security light is on. You now need to preform the 10 minute relearn procedure.

    2

    Turn the key to the "On" position. Allow 10 minutes for the Passlock to reset. Turn the key to the "Off" position and wait an additional 20 seconds.

    3

    Turn the key to the "Start" position and see if the engine will now start.

    4

    Repeat this process two more times to perform the 30 minute relearn procedure. Allow for another 20 seconds to pass after waiting the third 10-minute period.

    5

    Attempt to start the engine; it should now start.

What Happens If a Fuel Filter Is Put on Backward?

What Happens If a Fuel Filter Is Put on Backward?

Automotive fuel filters come in a variety of designs and are located in different places. While some fuel filters are made to prevent installing them backward, some can be installed backward and may, or may not, create problems.

Symptoms

    A fuel filter put in backwards may restrict or stop the flow of fuel to the engine. If, after changing a fuel filter, the engine suddenly displays a loss of performance, the filter should be inspected for proper installation.

Other Problems

    Worse than performance problems, a fuel filter that was installed backward may cause problems that do not produce noticeable symptoms. A backward fuel filter may restrict fuel to the engine, but the restriction is made up by the fuel pump. This will result in increased wear to the fuel pump and may cause pump failure. While fuel filters are inexpensive and easy to change, fuel pumps are expensive and difficult to change.

Correct Installation

    Fuel filters that can be installed backward have printing or symbols on the filter to indicate which way the filter should be installed. If there is any concern that a filter has been installed backward, the filter should be removed and inspected to assure proper installation.

Chevy System Codes

Chevy System Codes

Chevrolets manufactured after 1996 employ generic second generation On-Board Diagnostics as well as OBD-II codes specific to vehicles built by General Motors. Chevrolets built prior to 1996 use special, first generation OBD codes specific only to GM vehicles.

Generic OBD-II

    All vehicles manufactured after 1996, regardless of the make or model, use the same basic diagnostic codes. These codes are the same on Fords, Hondas, Jeeps and every other vehicle including those manufactured by Chevrolet. OBD-II codes indicate problems in different areas of the vehicle. These areas are identified by the first character of the code. "P" stands for powertrain faults; "B" refers to the body problems; "C" indicates chassis electronic malfunctions; and "U" stands for network communication problems.

General Motors OBD-II

    Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile and GMC are subsidiaries of General Motors. While the OBD-II system was meant to standardized diagnostics, wiggle room was left, allowing manufactures to define additional codes as needed. After all, no two brands of engine are exactly the same. The manufacturer-specific OBD-II codes use the same format as the generic codes and use the same character prefixes to identify the part of the vehicle where the error has been detected.

Distinguishing Generic from GM OBD-II

    Once codes have been retrieved from a Chevrolet's diagnostic system, there is a way to tell which codes are manufacturer-specific. For powertrain codes, any code starting with P1, P30, P31, P32 or P33 is manufacturer-specific. For chassis codes, any code starting with C1 or C2 is a GM code; GM's network communications codes begin with U1 and U2, and GM-specific body codes all begin with B1 or B2.

General Motors OBD-I

    Most Chevrolet vehicles predating 1995 use a flash code system. The diagnostic system can be placed into self-mode and the fault codes within the system will be relayed via a flashing "Check Engine" light. The codes can be diagnosed by counting the number and length of the flashes. GM fault codes are two character numbers -- the first number is represented by long flashes and the second by shorter flashes.

How to Access

    OBD-II codes require a special, handheld code reader or scanner. This device can be purchased at most auto parts stores. The scanner plugs in to the Chevrolet's data outlet, which is under the driver's side dashboard. Each device differs in how codes are retrieved so it's necessary to consult the product user manual for specific instructions.

    An OBD-I self-test does not use a scanner. Instead, the system can be jumped by connecting the "A" and "B" slots in the vehicle's data port. Then, turning on the electrical system will trigger the "Check Engine" light to start flashing.

Rabu, 30 Mei 2012

How to Check the Charging System on a 1990 Honda Civic EX

Many inexperienced do-it-yourself mechanics and even some professional mechanics think that testing a charging system involves just probing the battery and checking for 14-or-so volts. This is not the case, however, as your 1990 Civics electrical system requires a perfect balance of both voltage and amps to keep it all running and still charge the battery. Another tricky situation in testing your Civics charging system is applying the correct load to the system. This requires a special tool called an alternator tester with integrated carbon pile. You can rent this tool from some auto parts stores for just a security deposit.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the wiring harness on the rear of the alternator. Check that it is connected to the alternator securely and not broken or brittle. If there is any damage, replace the harness.

    2

    Start the engine and allow it to idle until it reaches normal operating temperature, roughly halfway up the temperature gauge. Turn the ignition to the Off position.

    3

    Unplug the wiring harness from the rear of the alternator. In the wiring harness, find the black wire with a yellow stripe; use the positive lead of a multimeter to probe the pin it connects to. Touch the negative multimeter wire to the ground terminal on the battery. Check that the voltage displayed on the multimeter is at least 10.5. If there is no voltage or it is less than 10.5, check fuse No. 14 in the dashboard fuse panel and replace it as needed. If the fuse is not blown, inspect the black wire with a yellow stripe for defects. If the voltage is 10.5 or higher, proceed to the next step.

    4

    Turn off all accessories. Move the positive multimeter probe to the positive battery terminal and move the negative probe to the pin in the harness connected to the white wire with a yellow stripe. Instruct an assistant to start the engine. Check for at least 10.5 volts of electricity on the multimeter display. If there is at least 10.5 volts, proceed to the next step. If the voltage is low or nonexistent, check the white wire with a yellow stripe for a break, cut or short. Repair the wire and retest. If there are no defects in the wire, have the electronic control unit tested, as it has probably failed.

    5

    Turn the headlights on and watch for the multimeter to drop to 0 volts. If it drops to 0 volts, proceed to the next step. If there is still voltage, inspect the white wire with yellow stripe for defects. Repair any defects in the wire and retest. If the condition exists after repair or there were no defects in the wire, have the ECU tested, as it has likely failed.

    6

    Turn the engine off and allow the Civic to sit until the engine is cool to the touch. Connect the positive (red) cable of an alternator tester with integral carbon pile, also called an alternator load tester, to the positive battery cable, the one with the "+" above it. Connect the negative (black) cable of the alternator tester to the negative battery terminal, the one with a "-" above it.

    7

    Start the engine and have an assistant increase the engine speed to 2,000 rpm. Set the alternator tester to test volts and turn on the testers "Load" feature. Check the voltage reading; it must be no less than 12 volts. If it is less than 12 volts, replace the alternator.

    8

    Switch the alternator tester to measure amperage, with the "Load" feature still on, and instruct an assistant to hold the engine speed at 2,000 rpm. Read the amperage level on the alternator tester. The correct reading for this alternator is roughly between 40 and 30 amps. If the alternator is not within specification, replace the alternator.

Selasa, 29 Mei 2012

My Car Won't Go When I Put it in Gear

My Car Won't Go When I Put it in Gear

If your car doesn't move when you put it into gear, it may be due to a simple oversight or you may have a serious transmission problem. The source of the probelm may depend on whether your car has an automatic or manual transmission. You can check for a few causes yourself, but you may need to have your car towed to a mechanic to determine the source of the problem.

Instructions

    1
    Putting key in the ignition
    Putting key in the ignition

    Ensure your car is turned on. This may seem obvious, but some cars run so quietly that you may think the car is on when it really isn't.

    2
    Parking brake
    Parking brake

    Ensure you have disengaged the parking brake. The parking brake can prevent the car from moving even when it is in gear.

    3
    Putting car in gear
    Putting car in gear

    Ensure that the shifter is fully engaged in gear if it is a manual transmission. Sometimes the clutch pedal is not sufficiently depressed to allow the shifter to go completely in gear. Try pushing the clutch pedal all the way to the floor and attempt to put the shifter into gear, then try giving it gas. Also, remember that after you put the shifter into gear, the clutch pedal must be disengaged to place the car into gear.

    4
    Gear shift
    Gear shift

    Try starting from a different gear. Try all gears, including reverse. This helps determine if a single gear is causing a problem or if it's the entire transmission.

    5
    Car engine
    Car engine

    Check your transmission fluid if it is an automatic transmission. Your car's owner's manual will detail where the transmission fluid dipstick is located. You should engage your parking brake, leave it in Park and turn the car on. Then check the transmission fluid by pulling out the dipstick, wiping it with a clean cloth, then reinserting the dipstick. When you remove the dipstick again, check the level, color and smell of the fluid. If the fluid level is low, try adding some more fluid to bring it within the "Cold" or "Hot" zones, depending on the heat of the engine. If the fluid is dark brown or black, or smells burnt, you may have a serious transmission problem. Have your car towed to a certified auto technician.

    6
    Gear shift and center console
    Gear shift and center console

    Investigate the shifter and shift linkage by removing the shift boot and, if necessary, the center console. Examine the lock pins or clips that secure the shifter assembly to the frame and whether the shifter assembly is still intact. If these are not accessible from the top, you may need to examine them from under the car. Only attempt this if you are familiar with how the shift linkage works. A worn shifter or detached shift linkage may prevent the gear from engaging. If the shift linkage appears broken or disconnected, have your car towed to a certified auto technician.

    7
    Clutch plate
    Clutch plate

    Note whether, on a manual transmission, the car slightly engages into gear or creeps forward a little and the clutch seems to be slipping. If this is the case, it may be a worn clutch plate. Try setting the parking brake and putting blocks under the fronts of the wheels. Then, with the clutch pedal depressed, place the car in a high gear and slowly let out the clutch. Usually, the car will stall. But if the car continues to run even with the clutch released, the clutch plate is worn and needs to be replaced.

    8
    SUV being loaded onto a flatbed tow truck
    SUV being loaded onto a flatbed tow truck

    Have your car towed to a mechanic if none of these steps have helped diagnose the problem. At this point, it's very likely a serious issue that can only be resolved by an expert. It may be a worn torque converter on an automatic transmission, which would need replacement.

How to Test the ECU on a 1992 Dodge Colt

How to Test the ECU on a 1992 Dodge Colt

No standard tests truly exist when it comes to automobile computers. The Enivronmental Protection Agency recently standardized vehicle On-Board Diagnostics, so all post-1996 vehicles require a handheld scanner. All vehicles that came out in 1995 and earlier are subject to their manufacturer's specialized diagnostic systems. In this way, a 1992 Dodge Colt uses Chrysler's self-checking procedure. This process is not only useful for testing the engine, but for assessing the Colt's electronic control unit.

Instructions

    1

    Research Chrysler's OBD-I flash codes. They will not be in your Colt's owner's manual. You have two choices. You can either look up the flash codes online, or you can obtain a Haynes manual that covers a 1992 Dodge Colt. If you opt for the internet, print the codes out. If you are using a Haynes or Chilton manual, place a bookmark where the codes are. They will appear in the chapter that covers emissions.

    2

    Place the printouts or the manual in the Colt's front passenger seat. Walk around the car and climb into the driver's seat.

    3

    Place your key into the Dodge' ignition and enter in a "switch code:" turn the key in the following sequence: ON, OFF, ON, OFF, and ON. You have to complete the sequence within five seconds for it to work. Get your pen and paper ready for the next Step.

    4

    Count how many times your "check engine" light blinks on and off. Chrysler's flash codes are a series of flashes. For example, code 88 will be eight flashes, a short pause, and then eight more flashes. There will be a slightly longer pause between codes. You will only see code 88 once. It starts the code retrieval process as a whole, and so it's meaningless except as an introduction. You can ignore the code 88. Write down the codes that follow.

    5

    Look up each of the codes using the resources next to you on the passenger seat.. In particular, you are looking for flash code definitions that deal with the Colt's ECU. You are looking for codes like GM code 63, which refers to "eeprom write denied." This code definition is referring to a specific type of computer error.

    6

    Troubleshoot the ECU based on the flash codes. Typically, repair procedures will require either rewiring, reprogramming, or replacing the entire module. Automotive computers are typically not off-the-shelf merchandise. You may need to consult a Chrysler-approved mechanic regarding the exact module you will need. If you take the Colt to a mechanic, take your list of flash codes with you. It will save you money on diagnostic fees.

Senin, 28 Mei 2012

What Would Make a 1990 Corvette Just Stop Running?

What Would Make a 1990 Corvette Just Stop Running?

The 1990 Chevrolet Corvette has with a 350-cubic-inch, fuel-injected V-8 engine. The L98 computer-controlled engine has an on-board diagnostic system called OBD 1, to assist drivers in troubleshooting.

Ignition

    The ignition system includes spark plugs, plug wires, distributor, ignition module and an engine control management computer. A failed ignition module or computer will keep the engine from running. A cracked or broken distributor cap or rotor could result in immediate engine failure.

Fuel

    A common failure point occurs when the fuel pump quits pumping gas. The fuse panel contains the fuel pump and fuses; their breakage will stop the flow of fuel to the engine. A less common failure may result from the fuel pressure regulator stopping gas from reaching the fuel injectors.

Timing and Internal Components

    Failure of major internal engine components such as a broken connecting rod, piston or oil pump would result in an engine seizure or immediate stop. Failure in the valve train will stop an engine from operating. Breaking a timing chain or a timing chain that has slipped will also stop the engine from running.

Minggu, 27 Mei 2012

What Are the Causes of a Vibrating Rear End?

Vibrations in the rear end of a vehicle can be due to a variety of reasons. Your car's vibrating rear axle may be a sign of impending major repairs or simply an indication that your vehicle has an out of balance tire. The cause and severity of your vehicle's vibration can also be affected by whether your car is a front-wheel drive, a rear-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Tires and Wheels

    The simplest cause of rear end vibrations in a car can often be found in an out of balance tire or bent, damaged rim. Problems with your vehicle's rear tires can produce a vibration as you travel down the road. If your vehicle is rear-wheel drive rather than front-wheel drive, you may also experience some difficulties and changes in the way your vehicle handles and steers.

Drive Shafts and Universal Joints

    Rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles sometimes experience problems related to their drive shafts that cause a vibration through the rear end of the vehicle. These problems tend to be caused by an out of balance or bent drive shaft or a worn-out universal joint. You can go underneath your vehicle to check your drive shaft and universal joints, but unless you are fairly familiar with the components of your vehicle's drive train, you may not be able to tell a good drive shaft from a bent one. If you feel there is a problem with the drive shaft or universal joints, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic and have it inspected.

Suspension or Wheel Bearings

    If your vehicle's rear suspension or wheel bearings are worn out, the vibration that your vehicle develops may be a sign that they need to be checked or replaced. Suspension and wheel bearing problems can cause your vehicle to sag or lean to one side. The vehicle may also ride roughly because the suspension will not be able to provide proper cushioning from road bumps and uneven terrain.

Loose Exhaust

    On occasion, a loose or improperly installed exhaust can cause a vibration from the back of the vehicle. The exhaust should be secured tightly to the vehicle to avoid this problem.

Rear Axle

    It is possible for a vehicle's rear axle to go out completely, especially if it is a rear-wheel drive vehicle. If your car or truck has a rear end vibration and you cannot determine its cause, you may have a broken or frozen component in your rear axle causing the vibration. If you have a problem with your axle, you will need to take the vehicle to a mechanic and have it taken apart to determine what the specific problem is. This is not something you should do at home, as you may not be able to tell what parts are damaged or reassemble the axle properly.

How to Troubleshoot a 1990 Chevrolet Truck Carburetor

How to Troubleshoot a 1990 Chevrolet Truck Carburetor

Most carburetors operate off a four- or two-barrel system. Primarily, carburetors pull fuel and air and mix them together prior to injecting them into the engine for ignition. Different model carburetors may use different or additional parts but operate in the same manner; 1990 Chevrolet trucks came stock with either a Rochester four-barrel or a Holley four-barrel carburetor, which you must troubleshoot as you would most other carburetors. The process requires a little bit of repair time and some driving time but will direct you to the cause of your vehicle's issues. Repairs depend on the exact type of carburetor in your Chevrolet truck.

Instructions

    1

    Start your vehicle. If it will not start or kick over, you have a blocked fuel line. Check the fuel line delivery system. If it starts but dies immediately or after a few seconds, the choke may not be closing, or it may have an improper setting. Other signs of an incorrect choke setting include the vehicle dying at low idle or revving high and then dying. If after starting it revs up high and stays high in park or neutral, the idle is set too high.

    2

    Run the vehicle for 15 to 20 minutes. After running for a few minutes, if the revolutions per minute (rpm) remain high and you have lots of black smoke or the engine dies, the pull-off diaphragm or power valve may have become damaged. You may also have a serious vacuum leak in the lines or carburetor.

    3

    Turn off the vehicle and restart. If you are unable to restart the vehicle after it has warmed up, the choke may be staying closed when the engine is hot. If it dies after a few seconds, the power valve or venting system has likely become inoperative.

    4

    Drive the vehicle. As the engine warms after you test it at start-up, this step serves as a warm-running test. Hesitations or stumbling with light throttle indicate a vacuum leak, bad accelerator pump, idle solenoid damaged, stuck heated air inlet or a stuck EGR valve. Black smoke or choppy running indicate a blown power valve. Hesitation or dying under heavy throttle point indicate that the accelerator pump has gone bad, the power valve or metering rods have begun to stick or the secondary air valve is set wrong. If the car idles well but dies when stopping, you have a bad throttle positioner or defective float.

    5

    Turn off the vehicle and allow it to cool. Once the engine has cooled, start and immediately drive the vehicle. Engine stall when engaging the transmission indicates a potential vacuum leak or an excessively low setting for the choke pull-off or fast idle. Stumbling or hesitation during driving points toward a vacuum leak or improperly set choke. These signs could also mean the vacuum tubes are hooked up incorrectly. After you drive for a moment, hesitations or stalling indicates a defective electric assist, accelerator pump or ignition condenser. Backfiring while operating a cold engine implies a plugged heat crossover system or a defective source of hot air.

Sabtu, 26 Mei 2012

How to Check a Motor Mount

How to Check a Motor Mount

A motor mount is an automotive part that supports the engine and transmission of a vehicle. Along with providing support, motor mounts cushion the natural movements of these parts. Without properly operating motor mounts, the engine and transmission will strike other objects inside the engine compartment and become damaged. The movements of the engine and transmission may also damage other components. There are two basic designs of motor mounts: those that use a rubber block and those that use a small hydraulic piston to dampen movements. Testing to check both styles of mounts are the same.

Instructions

    1
    A powerful flashlight will help to locate motor mounts in difficult-to-see areas.
    A powerful flashlight will help to locate motor mounts in difficult-to-see areas.

    Block the wheels with the wheel chocks to prevent movement of the vehicle either forward or backward. Raise the hood of the vehicle and use the flashlight to locate the motor mounts. Motor mounts will be located in various locations above and below the engine and transmission depending on the specific model.

    2

    Examine the motor mounts for signs of damage. The rubber blocks in the motor mounts can crack, split, or show other damage that will require replacement. Examine hydraulic mounts for signs of fluid leakage, corrosion or other damage. The mounting plates that secure the mounts to the vehicle's frame may also corrode or break.

    3

    Have the assistant start the vehicle. While you stand off to the side of the vehicle to observe the engine, have the assistant depress and hold the brake pedal and shift the car into drive. Watch the engine for rapid or excessive movement. The engine should move less than an inch when placed into gear. A banging noise may also be a sign of a faulty motor mount.

    4
    Shifting the car between drive and reverse will cause the engine to move.
    Shifting the car between drive and reverse will cause the engine to move.

    Have the assistant place the vehicle in reverse and again watch for movement or noise. Have the assistant place the car back into park and turn off the vehicle.

    5

    Use pry bar to flex motor mounts. Any looseness in the mount will require replacement of the motor mount.

    6

    Use the pry par to check for play between the motor mount and the mounting surface of the engine or transmission. Play between the motor mount and mounting surface may be a result of bolts that come loose.

Transmission Fluid Leak in a 1996 Chevrolet Silverado

The base model 1996 Chevy Silverado 1500 was designed with the 4L60E transmission and offered with two-wheel drive. A transmission leak from this transmission could come from the front of the vehicle or in the middle below the transmission mounting. Several things could cause a leak including a bad seal or transmission cooler line.

Transmission Pan Gasket

    The transmission pan gasket is probably the most common source of transmission fluid leaks. Over time with expansion and contraction, the cork gasket that seals the mating surfaces between the transmission pan and the transmission case cracks and begins to wick out fluid. In some cases, it fails completely and causes fluid to exit between the mating surfaces. To solve this problem, replace the transmission pan gasket; if it hasn't been done recently, it's a good idea to buy the transmission filter kit and replace the filter while that pan is removed.

Output Shaft Seal

    If fluid appears to be leaking from the rear of the transmission where the drive shaft connects to the transmission, it probably has a bad output shaft seal. To solve this leak it will be necessary to remove the drive shaft from the vehicle and remove the connecting yoke from the output shaft. Remove the old seal and install a new one; replace any lost transmission fluid.

Engine and Transmission Mating Area

    If the leak is coming from between the engine and the transmission, then chances are there is a faulty input shaft, leaking torque converter or faulty transmission oil pump seal. To inspect and replace these, it's necessary to remove the transmission from the vehicle. If this is not a repair you're comfortable with performing, take your Silverado to a transmission shop for repair.

Transmission Cooler Lines

    The automatic transmission in the '96 Chevy Silverado is also equipped with a transmission fluid cooler. This system routes the transmission fluid from the transmission to the front of the vehicle for cooling and then back into the transmission sump as part of the normal operation of the transmission. There are two transmission fluid lines that will run from the passenger side of the transmission and up to the radiator. Even with light daily driving, it is possible for one of these transmission cooler lines to become damaged or broken. To inspect these lines, lie down under the vehicle and trace the lines from the transmission into the engine compartment and to the radiator to determine which transmission cooler line is damaged. These lines are sold individually and are vehicle specific.

Damaged Transmission Case

    It is possible the transmission case and housing could have become damaged or have stress cracks. Look over the transmission case carefully; there will be a residue trail from where the transmission seeps fluid. In this situation, the only solution is to replace the transmission, as usually, it cannot be repaired.

Troubleshooting Oxygen Sensor on a 94 Toyota 22RE

Troubleshooting Oxygen Sensor on a 94 Toyota 22RE

The computer in your 1994 Toyota 22RE engine depends on an accurate signal from the oxygen sensor to provide the engine with the correct amount of fuel to the cylinders. After thousands of miles of service though, exhaust particles may block the sensor's working element or a worn-out circuit might hinder electrical current flow. However, a bad oxygen sensor is not the only component that can affect your 22RE engine performance. Before blaming the sensor, troubleshoot the unit to confirm your suspicions.

Instructions

    1

    Run your Toyota for about 20 minutes to bring the engine to operating temperature so the oxygen sensor starts monitoring the exhaust stream.

    2

    Park your Toyota on level ground, turn off the engine and go get your 10 megaohm digital voltmeter.

    3

    Set your meter to a low DC volt range so that you can read from 0.1 V up to 1.0 V.

    4

    Open the hood and start the engine. Race it above 1,200 rpm for two minutes and then let it idle. Begin your tests by connecting your meter red probe to the sensor signal wire and the black probe to any metal surface or bolt on the engine. The voltage reading on your meter should fluctuate rapidly between 0.2 and 0.8 volts.

    5

    Disconnect a vacuum hose at the intake manifold, like the one going to the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve. The display on your meter should go down to about 0.2 volts, signaling the computer that there is very low fuel in the mixture. Reconnect the vacuum hose.

    6

    Detach the air cleaner tube with a Phillips-head screwdriver and block the opening leading to the throttle body with a shop rag. The display on your meter should go up to about 0.8 volts, signaling the computer there is too much fuel mixture. Replace the air cleaner tube with the Phillips-head screwdriver.

    7

    Snap the throttle open and close. The display on your meter should cycle up and down, responding to the sudden surge of air going through the throttle. Ask your assistant to shut off the engine. If you noticed the sensor cycling slowly during the first test or the sensor failed to respond appropriately to the mixture tests, check the wires in the circuit for shorts or breaks. If not, replace it.

Troubleshooting a BMW Automatic Convertible Top

BMW automobiles are often sold with automatic convertible tops. The tops provide for secure theft-protection, weather control, or open-air driving. The latest convertible tops are hardtops, meaning they don't use canvas. Problems with an automatic convertible top can include issues with operation, clearance and indicator lights. These kinds of problems can be corrected by following some troubleshooting.

Instructions

    1

    Make sure that there's enough clearance to open and close the top if the trunk lid scrapes walls. The trunk lid swings back and up, so make sure that you've left some space if you park in front of a wall or garage door.

    2

    Move items from the cargo area if they get wet when operating the top while it's swet. Water can drip into this area.

    3

    Operate the BMW automatic convertible top when the engine is running if the battery runs low and the car becomes hard to start. Start the car first, then open the top, and then drive-off. Avoid operating the top and then starting the car with older batteries.

    4

    Monitor the Control Display if the top malfunctions. Green LED's indicate successful opening and closing. The LED will flash red if you release the switch before the top has fully opened or closed, and the red LED will light-up solid if there's a malfunction. Move the BMW off any steep incline and try the top again.

    5

    Look for obstructions if the operation fails again. Check that the cargo area partition is folded down, that there aren't any objects next to the cargo area partition and close to the storage compartment on the left side of the cargo area.

Kamis, 24 Mei 2012

Problems with a Motor Stalling When Hot in a 1998 S10 Chevy

Chevy's second-generation (1994 through 2004) S-10 and its GMC Sonoma cousin came with GM's corporate 2.2-liter, four-cylinder as the base engine, with the 4.5-liter V-6 Vortec available as an option. Stalling when hot isn't uncommon, particularly in vehicles that utilize the type of ignition system that the S-10 does.

Hot Coils

    Odds are good that your hot stalling problem originates from a bad ignition coil. Coil voltage drops with temperature, and ignition coils will, over time, become better at turning electricity into heat than higher voltage. That lower internal voltage increases amperage draw, which initiates a cascade effect of runaway overheating. Unlike many modern engines, Vortecs of this era used a single coil instead of multiple coils or a coil-on-plug arrangement. That leaves zero margin for error where coil overheating is concerned.

Testing the Coil

    You'll need a digital multi-meter to test your coil's internal resistance, which is a measure of its condition as a whole. Unplug the wiring harness and output wire from the coil. Now, set your multi-meter to ohms of resistance (the Greek Omega symbol) and poke the probes into the positive and negative terminals on the coil (where the harness plugged in). It should read between 0.70 and 2.00 ohms; anything outside that range indicates a bad coil. Take the black probe from your multimeter and put it on the output terminal on the coil. You should get a reading of between 7,000 and 11,000 ohms.

Ignition Module

    The ignition module is a part in your distributor that controls spark dwell once regulated by the old point ignition system. The ignition module is a sort of battery or capacitor that quickly absorbs and discharges energy. Once the module becomes "saturated" with power, it automatically discharges and sends spark to the plugs. Modules fail similarly to coils, running inefficiently at first, then hotter and even more inefficiently. Once the coil gets hot enough, spark dwell goes out of control and the motor dies. Module failure generally begins as an intermittent stall, progressing to a no-start condition when hot and finally outright death.

Sensor Problems

    A mass airflow sensor uses a heated wire to detect airflow; air passing over the heated wire cools it by a certain amount, which tells the computer exactly how much air is going in. A dirty MAF sensor wire or malfunctioning MAF could easily cause a hot-stalling condition. Check your manifold air pressure sensor, too; vacuum leaks in the MAP sensor mounting and in its associated tubing can cause problems similar to that of a bad MAF sensor. The MAP and MAF work together to deliver the same information, so a malfunction in one could replicate the symptoms of the other.

Selasa, 22 Mei 2012

How Do I Diagnose Transmission Problems for a 2001 Ford Taurus?

How Do I Diagnose Transmission Problems for a 2001 Ford Taurus?

The Ford Taurus' automatic transmission has a history of early failure due to various design flaws. Most of these were corrected by the 1998 model-year. Check with a Ford dealer or your mechanic for recalls and power train service updates. Causes for transmission failure include improper fluid level, poor maintenance and contamination from water or other external elements. Engine problems may mimic a transmission issue. Consultation with a mechanic may be needed to resolve more complex problems.

Instructions

Fluid Level Check

    1

    Drive the car to get it up to normal operating temperature. Park it on a firm, level surface with the engine running. Open the hood; there are two dipsticks in a 2001 Ford Taurus. The oil dipstick is in front of the engine, and the transmission dipstick is on the right side near the firewall. Pull out the transmission dipstick, wipe it off and reinsert it. Remove it a second time and examine it. The level should fall between the crisscrossed areas on the dipstick.

    2

    Check for leaks if the fluid level is consistently low. Examine the pavement underneath the car. Transmission fluid is red; so is power steering fluid. If you notice shifting trouble, it's probably a transmission leak. A low fluid level will cause components in the transmission to burn up. Fill the transmission fluid reservoir by removing the transmission dipstick. Set it aside then wipe away any dirt around the top of the dipstick tube. Insert a transmission funnel all the way into the opening. Do not force it in. Ford recommends using Mercon V in the 2001 Taurus.

    3

    Remove any overfill if the level is above the hatched mark on the dipstick. Too much fluid can result in "shift and/or engagement concerns and/or possible damage," according to the 2001 Ford Taurus Owner's Guide.

Fluid Analysis and Service

    4

    Examine the color of the fluid. It should appear red to light pink and be transparent. Dirty fluid is dark brown, and you will not be able to see the markings on the dipstick. If the fluid has a burnt smell, it's been overheating; service the transmission as soon as possible. If the fluid smells sour, it's time to change it. Ford recommends replacing the transmission filter and fluid every 30,000 miles. The transmission will begin to shift improperly and eventually fail completely if neglected.

    5

    Note if the fluid is an opaque pink. This is a sign of water contamination. Water is most likely leaking into the unit through a ruptured coolant line. Another possibility is that the car has been driven through high water which may have entered through the transmission's air vents. Do not drive the car in this condition. It's likely the transmission will have to be repaired or replaced if too much water has gotten in. Water breaks down important bonding agents that hold some of the internal components together. Call your mechanic if you are unsure.

    6

    Observe the debris in the pan if you change the fluid. A magnet in the bottom helps to trap steel fragments as they flake off during normal wear. These should resemble a clump of filings rather than actual pieces. Chunks of metal or other large debris signal the need for a transmission rebuild or replacement soon.

Engine May Be The Real Problem

    7

    Find out what's wrong if the service engine light is on. You may think you have a transmission problem which is really an engine malfunction. For instance, if the ignition coil is failing, the vehicle may lurch and "buck" while driving.

    8

    Go to an auto parts store or oil change service center to have them check the trouble codes for you. However, these codes won't always tell you what's wrong. If you are able to get rid of the check engine light, your transmission "trouble" may disappear. This may involve a process of elimination as one code often covers several items. For instance, a "P0456" code can mean a bad gas cap, fuel filter or vacuum leak. In such cases, it may be cheaper to take the car to a shop rather than replace several components on your own. The parts counter attendant can likely offer some advice.

    9

    Wait for the radiator to cool down then check the coolant for the proper level. Make sure that the coolant is no more than two years old. The transmission generates a lot of heat and is cooled by oil flowing from the trans-axle through the radiator and back again. If your engine is running hot, it can damage or destroy transmission components. Flush the radiator and change the coolant immediately if it's brown. This is a sign that the coolant is filled with rust and cannot do its job sufficiently.

What Causes Noisy Struts?

What Causes Noisy Struts?

The terms strut and shock absorber are interchangeable in the minds of many car owners, but this is a misconception. The strut is a compact but complex assembly of parts that handles shock absorption in cars, including the eponymous absorber. It also includes the coil spring and its seats, the strut bearing and the steering assembly connection. Noises from the strut assembly invariably indicate some service or component replacement is urgently required.

The Functions of the Strut

    The spring supports the static weight of the vehicle so that the body assembly remains elevated above the axles and the wheels can turn. When the vehicle is in motion. the springs expand and contract as its mass passes over road irregularities. This would result in a wild ride without some form of dampener; the shock absorber performs this function. It moderates the springs compression-rebound cycles so the sensation is the familiar one of gentle vertical drift rather than repeatedly slamming from the top to the bottom of the spring and back again. The top of the strut housing is attached to the upper strut bearing, the bottom to the steering knuckle via a bracket on the knuckle. These two swivel points allow the strut assembly to move with the road wheels when they are turned by the steering assembly.

Wear and Tear

    The strut assembly's shock absorber cartridge loses its resiliency over time. This is usually so incremental a process that the regular driver fails to notice it. For this reason, a check of the strut assembly should be made once a year when the alignment of the front wheels is tested. Excessive wear will present in exaggerated bouncing when the vehicle passes over, for instance, a speed control hump or a deep drainage gulley; the springs may even bottom out at either end of the bounce. A more dangerous result can be body roll or drifting to one side or the other under harsh braking, nose-diving and increased stopping distances. Cupping wear can present on the tires. All are potentially dangerous.

Noisy Struts

    Worn components also become obvious with odd new sounds from the car. Wear in the strut assembly is indicated if a thumping sound passes through the whole vehicle when it bottoms out hitting a bump or passing over a declivity such as a sunken manhole cover. The same is true if a similar noise can be heard under hard acceleration if the car is powerful enough to spin its tires. First check the strut bearings for wear; this is a cheaper fix than replacing the struts that make up the strut assembly. With the vehicle stationary and at idle, turn the wheel to its fullest locks. If the clunking is heard, the bearings have failed; if the turns are smooth and silent but the clunks are heard in motion over bumps and dips, the strut assembly should be inspected.

Money-Saving Tip

    The need to replace the struts may point to aging coil springs as well. As professional service is typically required to replace either, it is normally cost-effective to replace both components at the same time.

Defroster Problems

Defroster Problems

No matter what vehicle they're driving, car owners can face a number of common problems with rear defrosters, including electrical failure, timer issues and physical damage. Defrosters on most automobile makes and models function virtually the same. So with rare exception, the solutions to these problems are equally similar.

Fuse

    If the defroster isn't working at all, check the fuse. Defrosters draw a lot of power and an old or insufficient fuse can easily blow. Replacing a fuse is also much cheaper and simpler than repairing defroster problems from any other cause.

Timer

    Most defrosters come with a timer that prevents overheating by automatically shutting off the glass heating element after about 10 minutes. If the timer fails, however, the heat can continue circulating until it cracks the glass. Alternatively, a malfunctioned timer may not let the heat come on at all. Prevent both these problems before they happen by manually shutting the defroster off after the rear window is clear.

Physical Damage

    It is common, and surprisingly easy, to damage the heating grid glued to the glass on the rear window. Any object rubbing against the inside surface of the window, such as from overly rough cleaning, can damage it. If physical damage is the cause of your defroster malfunction, you or your mechanic will need to test for broken circuits and repair or replace them.

How to Troubleshoot a 1994 Dodge 3.0L Throttle Position Sensor

The throttle position sensor on the 1994 Dodge 3.0 engine, which comes in the Shadow, is located on the throttle body. It uses a three-wire connector to communicate with the computer. The leftmost wire on the connector is the PCM positive wire. The middle wire is the throttle position sensor signal wire, and the rightmost wire is the PCM negative, or ground, wire. The TPS measures the throttle position and the rate of throttle position change.

Instructions

    1

    Connect the voltmeter's red lead to the TPS signal wire -- the middle wire. Connect the voltmeter's black lead to a known good ground. Turn the key to the "On" position. The voltage should be approximately 0.6 volts, as the throttle is completely closed.

    2

    Open the throttle on the throttle body slowly. Watch the voltage -- it should gradually go up to 3.5 volts as you approach wide open throttle. There should be no dropouts or glitches. If the voltage is out of range, or it shows no voltage, connect the voltmeter's red lead to the PCM negative, or rightmost, wire on the connector. Leave the black wire on the known good ground -- the key should still be on.

    3

    Read the voltage on the voltmeter -- it should be 0.10 volt. If the voltage is good, connect the red lead to the PCM positive, or leftmost, wire on the connector. Leave the black lead on the known good ground. Voltage should be 5.0 volts. If the TPS fails any of these tests, replace it.

How to Troubleshoot an Autometer & Tachometer

Auto Meter makes a variety of aftermarket performance gauges for virtually every make and model vehicle. Hooking up one of Auto Meter's performance tachometers in your vehicle will give the interior a customized look when compared to the stock gauge cluster tachometer. Since the Auto Meter tachometers connect to the stock vehicle wiring harness with just a few simple wiring connections, troubleshooting any problems with the Auto Meter tachometer can be completed by a quick check of the gauge wires.

Instructions

    1

    Check the integrity of all wire connections to the tachometer gauge terminals, located on the rear of the gauge. Since the rear of the gauge is easily accessible by hand, troubleshooting the wires on the gauge itself is the best place to start. Ensure that all wires are securely connected to their proper terminals. Wires may vary depending on the model of your tachometer, but these generally include a red power wire, a white illumination wire, a black grounding wire, and a violet RPM signal wire.

    2

    Check the shift light power plug connection into the rear of the gauge if your tachometer is equipped with a shift light. These are ran off the tachometer's main power supply via the shift light power plug into the gauge rear. The shift lights are often shipped from Auto Meter unplugged, making it a common mistake to forget to plug them in when wiring the rest of the gauge connections.

    3

    Access the tachometer's power wire connection. Depending on installation, the exact location of the wire splices may vary. Generally, the tachometer power wire is spliced into a 12-volt power wire in the stock ignition harness. Remove any Phillips-head screws securing the plastic steering column cover located just behind your vehicle's steering wheel, and lift the cover off. Check that the tachometer power wire is securely spliced into a 12-volt power source. An insufficient power source would cause sporadic failure and/or misread RPM values by the tachometer.

    4

    Check that the tachometer RPM signal wire is securely spliced into the stock RPM signal wire. Generally, this is the violet wire on the Auto Meter tachometer. Refer to a shop maintenance manual for your vehicle's stock wiring diagram if you are unsure of the stock RPM signal wire location. An improperly connected RPM signal wire can cause your gauge to not register any RPM value at all, or to misread the RPM signal and give you faulty readouts.

    5

    Replace any malfunctioning parts of the tachometer. If you are sure that all wiring connections are securely spliced and insulated, the likely problem is with the tachometer components. If your tachometer fails to light, replace the illumination bulb inside the gauge assembly. These can be found directly from Auto Meter's website at autometer.com, and at many auto parts retailers. More complicated electronic malfunctions may necessitate replacing the entire tachometer unit. Note that such malfunctions should be extremely rare if the tachometer is wired properly.

Minggu, 20 Mei 2012

1995 Chevy Tahoe Worn Pitman Arm Symptoms

1995 Chevy Tahoe Worn Pitman Arm Symptoms

The pitman arm on your 1995 Chevy Tahoe is the leading component of its steering system. It is the main connection between the steering box and the front end. The pitman arm turns left and right as the steering box spins, and it pushes the front end components in that same direction. When the pitman arm goes bad, there are several key symptoms to look for.

Wandering

    When the pitman arm goes bad, it is typically because its connection between the steering box or center link has worn out. When this connection wears out, it can allow the wheels to move slightly in any direction. These slight movements will cause the Tahoe to wander slightly from side to side while driving on a flat, straight road.

Hard Steering

    There is a dust boot covering the ball connection between the pitman arm and the front end. When that dust boot fails, it allows grease to escape and debris to enter the joint. This lack of lubrication and excess debris compromise the steering and can make steering your Tahoe much harder than usual.

Play

    Play in the steering wheel is indicated when you can turn the steering wheel a certain amount without the front end moving. This play is typically caused by a worn out pitman arm. It is either the end that connects to the steering box which has stripped out, or the ball and socket joint has worn out to the point where the pitman arm has free movement.

Tire Wear

    Tire wear is a rarer symptom of a worn pitman arm due to the minimal amount a tire can move even when the pitman arm is compromised. However, if unremedied, a bad pitman arm can cause extremely uneven wear as the wheels continue to move slightly in any direction. To prevent this, the pitman arm must be replaced when the first symptoms arise.

Loose Steering

    A pitman arm is designed to provide a certain amount of resistance from inadvertent movements as well. This resistance prevents unintended steering wheel movements by the driver. When the ball and socket begin to wear out, this resistance slowly disappears. This is very common in older vehicles and large SUVs, such as the Tahoe; a driver with little automotive repair experience may think that it is just good power steering when, in fact, it is a failing pitman arm.

Sabtu, 19 Mei 2012

Trouble Codes for a 2002 Chrysler Voyager

Trouble Codes for a 2002 Chrysler Voyager

A 2002 Chrysler Voyager has many diagnostic systems in place. Most require specialized hardware that is not available to a general customer. The Voyager's second generation On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system is accessed most commonly. Devices capable of reading OBD-II trouble codes also are widely available at automotive parts retailers.

Universal OBD-II

    All vehicles manufactured after 1996 must use the standardized system of OBD-II codes. The trouble codes themselves are separated into different categories, which are specified by the first letter in each alpha-numeric trouble code: P for powertrain, C for chassis, B for body and U for network communication. Each category refers to a specific part of the 2002 Voyager.

Chrysler OBD-II Codes

    Chrysler uses a supplemental set for its family of vehicles, which includes Dodge, Plymouth and Jeep brands. This is a coding necessity, as not all engine are mechanically the same. Most OBD-II scanners come with a users manual that lists standard codes. Chrysler's codes must be found either online or in a repair manual intended for the 2002 Voyager.

Standard Versus Chrysler

    Once codes are retrieved from the Voyager's diagnostic system, there is a way to tell Chrysler codes from the standard set. Body, chassis and network communications have either a 1 or a 2 after the initial letter. For example, Chrysler codes for body problems all begin with B1 or B2. Powertrain codes are slightly different. Codes beginning with P1, P30, P31, P32 and P33 all are reserved for manufacturers.

How To Access

    Inside a 2002 Voyager, a Data Link Connector connects a scanner to the vehicle's OBD-II system. It is located beneath the dash, and between the standard and emergency brake pedals. Connect a diagnostic cable to an OBD-II compliant scanner and insert the cable into the DLC outlet. Turn on the device and turn on the Voyager's electrical system. Some scanners may need the engine running. Command-entering procedures differ by device brand, and precise instructions will be found in the device's user's manual.

Jumat, 18 Mei 2012

How do I Check Malfunction Codes in a 2003 Ford Expedition?

Malfunction codes in a 2003 Ford Expedition, better known as diagnostic trouble codes, spawn whenever the power train control module detects a malfunction in the engine management system. Once the trouble code has generated, the control module automatically turns on the check engine light to alert you to the malfunction. Anyone with basic computer skills, basic automotive-repair skills and 10 to 15 minutes of free time can check the malfunction codes in a 2003 Ford Expedition.

Instructions

    1

    Sit down in the Expedition's driver's seat with the scan tool, pen and paper. Remove the black plastic dust cap from the Expedition's diagnostic port manually. The port is located under the dashboard, next to the steering column.

    2

    Plug the scan tool's datalink cable into the Expedition's diagnostic port. Turn the ignition tumbler to the run position.

    3

    Follow the scan tool's specific owner's manual for running a quick test on the Expedition.

    4

    Write the codes down with pen and paper when they appear on the scan tool's display.

    5

    Complete the quick test per the scan tool's specific instructions. Disconnect the datalink cable from the port. Put the dust cap back over the port securely.

Kamis, 17 Mei 2012

Why Is My Diesel Truck Blowing White Smoke Out of Exhaust When Driving?

Why Is My Diesel Truck Blowing White Smoke Out of Exhaust When Driving?

Diesel truck engines come in domestic and commercial grades, and they run on a thick, oily fuel that has an ignition temperature of about 540 degrees Fahrenheit. Analyzing the color and smell of diesel exhaust emissions can tell you the performance and component conditions of the engine. Diesel engines can emit blue, black or white smoke from their exhaust while running, and each color can indicate a fault with a part or system. White smoke points to some very specific conditions which can indicate a number of component or system failures. A process of elimination is required to find out the source and severity of white smoke emissions.

White Smoke at Start-up and Short Term Driving

    Condensation that accumulates inside the exhaust pipes, converter and mufflers can produce a puff of white smoke upon diesel engine start-up. In very cold temperatures, the heated exhaust can freeze into minute fuel droplets when exiting the exhaust and produce a more prolonged emission of white smoke for a very short period of driving time. However, the white smoke will disappear once the engine has reached normal operating temperature.

White Smoke -- Un-burned Fuel

    A steady stream of white smoke during normal driving conditions points to fuel vapors, or in some cases, raw fuel exiting the exhaust. Worn or defective glow plugs, improper engine timing and defective fuel pump pressure will allow excess fuel to exit the exhaust in the form of white smoke. Low cylinder compression ie., burnt valves and worn rings will allow the passage of unburned fuel due to incomplete engine combustion. Diesel injectors that do not have a maximum spray pattern (dirty nozzles) can allow raw fuel passage through the exhaust, as well as a faulty waste gate. Such unburned fuel will have a strong petrol odor and will sting the eyes.

White Smoke -- Contaminated Fuel

    Water contaminated fuel that is pumped through the fuel delivery system will burn with a steam effect in the cylinder, exiting the exhaust in the form of white smoke. Condensation can accumulate inside a vehicle fuel tank that is less than full, especially if it has sat for weeks or months. Water can be picked up from the bottom of fuel storage tanks, such as those found in gas stations. This happens when underground water seepage has contaminated the fuel in the storage tanks, and the level is very low.

White Smoke -- Head Gasket, Head or Block

    A worn or blown head gasket, particularly near the exhaust port side, will cause liquid coolant to enter the cylinders and pass through the exhaust in the form of vaporous steam. A cracked engine block or cylinder head will produce the same effect. The coolant passage through the hot exhaust will emit a sweet smell, rather than an odor of unburned fuel. A continuous loss of radiator or reservoir coolant indicates the first signs of a blown head gasket, cracked head or block.

White Smoke -- Burning Transmission Fluid

    Vehicles equipped with vacuum modulators, a component located on the side of the transmission case, can have a faulty diaphragm valve that allows transmission fluid to enter the intake system through the vacuum hose-line. The first indication will be a noticeable shifting problem with the automatic transmission, followed by excessive transmission fluid consumption. Burning transmission fluid will appear white, just like unburned fuel, but will give off an acrid smell. Diagnoses is accomplished by pulling the vacuum line from the modulator and noticing transmission fluid leakage inside the line and out of the modulator nipple connection.

Rabu, 16 Mei 2012

Troubleshooting Steering Alignment

Troubleshooting Steering Alignment

Steering alignment problems are a common complaint with drivers. During a wheel alignment, the angles of the wheels are adjusted so that they are parallel to each other as well as perpendicular to the ground. Whenever the wheels need alignment, the car is usually difficult to keep in a straight line. Troubleshooting the steering wheel alignment is the first step in identifying the problem. Most problems can be easily detected by an experienced driver, without the help of a mechanic.

Instructions

    1

    Check the tire pressure if you find it difficult to turn the steering wheel. Low tire pressure is one of the reasons for this problem. Inspect the steering pump drive belt to make sure that it is not loose and tighten it accordingly. If the problem persists after making these adjustments, try correcting the front end alignment.

    2

    Determine if the wheel bearings are loose if the steering wheel has any play while driving. Tighten all loose wheel bearings and replace the shocks if they are damaged. Determine if the ball joints need to be replaced and do so if necessary.

    3

    Check and inflate the tires to the correct pressure if the vehicle veers to one side while driving. Test the alignment by taking your hands off the steering wheel momentarily and when safe to do so while driving. If the vehicle wanders to one side of the road, the tires may need to be checked. Other possible reasons may include improper front end alignment, loose wheel bearings or worn shocks.

    4

    Inspect all the tires for uneven wear. Bring the vehicle to a tire shop for a front wheel alignment and tire balancing.

How to Test Ignition Capacitors

How to Test Ignition Capacitors

Ignition capacitors are more common in older vehicles than modern ones, which are most often equipped with electronically-controlled ignition. With age, an ignition capacitor can lose its ability to hold a charge. A leaking capacitor can prevent an ignition system from working properly. Testing the capacitor is helpful when troubleshooting an ignition system. Minimal equipment is needed to perform this test properly. But, for the sake of safety you should know how to service your vehicle ignition system before attempting this task.

Instructions

    1

    Examine the capacitor to be tested. If the capacitor shows any signs of bulging, then replace it. If it does not appear to bulge, look for any markings that would determine the nominal capacitance. This saves having to look up this value somewhere else -- like in replacement part literature or message boards.

    2

    Find the polarity of the ignition capacitor. Locate the positive and negative terminals of the ignition capacitor, which may be indicated by respective plus and minus markings. Some ignition capacitors resemble a bare metal can with a wire lead protruding from one end. If this is the case for the one you are testing, the metal casing is the negative connection and the protruding wire lead is the positive connection.

    3

    Prepare the digital multimeter for the test. Following the instructions supplied with your digital multimeter, turn on its power and know how to change between ohms and volts. Also, make sure you have plugged in your probe test leads.

    4

    Perform a resistance test. Using the ohmmeter function of your digital multimeter, set it to the highest resistance range it can measure. Hold the positive and negative probe test leads to the respective positive and negative connections for the ignition capacitor. The readout on your digital multimeter should indicate an overload, meaning the resistance is too high to measure. This indicates the capacitor does not leak. Any numerical readout would indicate a leaky capacitor. When finished, remove the leads and turn off the digital multimeter.

    5

    Set up the capacitance meter. Turn it on as per the supplied directions and plug in the test leads. If your test leads are of the alligator clip variety, then you will need to use the wire cutter and stripper to prepare two 3 inch lengths of 22 AWG solid wire with about 3/4 inches insulation stripped from both ends. If you had to prepare wire lengths, clip one end of each to the alligator clip test leads.

    6

    Check the capacitance of the ignition capacitor. Touch the positive and negative leads from the capacitance meter to the respective connections of the ignition capacitor. The readout on the meter display should be close to the nominal value, typically within a 10 percent range. Remove the meter and test leads from the capacitor and turn off when done.

    7

    Make a proper determination. If the capacitor has failed any of these tests, then it should be replaced. However, if it has passed the testing processes, then it is safe to use. If you are troubleshooting a faulty ignition system and the latter case is true, then you can test another component in the system.

Selasa, 15 Mei 2012

Rubber Vs. Steel Transmission Mount

A transmission mount is a connector piece made of steel and rubber, which affixes your transmission to your vehicle's frame. Transmission mounts are not available in either steel or rubber, but rather a combination of both. Although they rely on one another, steel and rubber components serve independently important functions.

Rubber

    The rubber portion of a transmission mount serves as a shock absorber; it inhibits shaking of the mount and transmission. Although rubber provides a cushion, it is also prone to cracking and deterioration due to its soft construction.

Steel

    The steel component of a transmission mount houses the rubber inside and is usually constructed by welding braces with grommets, also know as rings. The mount's steel portion is not as susceptible to natural elements like rubber, so it is less likely to deteriorate over time.

Alternatives

    Aftermarket polyurethane transmission mounts are available to replace deteriorated rubber mounts. Polyurethane provides the softness and flexibility of rubber, but adds increased durability. Additionally, certain aftermarket brands offer different varieties of steel mounts, including mounts with chrome and zinc plating.

How to Calculate Castor Value

How to Calculate Castor Value

The caster value in automotive alignment represents one setting of the wheel alignment, out of three different angular axis, measured in the degrees. Caster represents the vertical position of the kingpin angle, or angle between the upper and lower ball joints, when viewed from the side of the vehicle. Caster helps the wheels track straight ahead by balancing the center of gravity of the wheel load, so the least amount of pressure exerted on the steering wheel will turn the vehicle. With the use of a camber-caster gauge, a vehicle owner can determine if their caster is set to specifications.

Instructions

    1

    Park the vehicle on a flat, smooth concrete surface, like a garage or shop floor. Turn the engine off. Use a large flat-head screwdriver to remove both front wheel hubcaps, if so equipped. Align the wheels straight ahead, as close to zero angle as possible. Have an assistant tell you when you have the wheels straight.

    2

    Adjust the three prongs on a camber-caster gauge to fit inside the rim lip on the right front wheel. The two bottom prongs will fit below at an angle, while the top vertical prong will sit facing straight up. Adjust the bottom prongs by backing the lock nuts off by hand, and position the prongs so the gripping pins reach across the diameter of the rim.

    3

    Tighten the prong locking nuts by hand. Adjust the vertical prong so the gripping pin slides up and under the rim lip, by loosening the adjusting knob. Tighten the knob when the prongs are in place and tighten it against the rim.

    4

    Sit in the driver's seat and turn the steering wheel to the right until the 20-degree mark is reached on the gauge. Have your assistant call out to you when you have it set. Level the gauge for the horizontal adjustment. Turn the adjustable caster bubble vial until the bubble reaches the zero mark, as indicated on the caster scale of the gauge -- not the camber side. Have your assistant call out the caster reading on the gauge and write the number down with pencil and paper.

    5

    Turn the wheel left, letting the right front wheel pass the straight ahead mark until you reach 20 degrees on the opposite side. Have your assistant call out to you so you can stop at the 20-degree mark. Level the gauge again, centering the bubble. Have your assistant look at the bubble location on the scale and call out the caster reading. Use pencil and paper to write down the number.

    6

    Keep the wheel turned to the left and loosen the top prong adjustment knob on the gauge. Pull the gauge off and place it on the left front wheel. Set the gauge at the level position and bring the bubble on the caster scale to zero. Turn the wheel right past the straight line until the left front wheel reaches 20 degrees to the right.

    7

    Set the gauge for level and then have your assistant read the caster side of the gauge for the left front wheel. Write down the measurement on paper. You now have the caster readings for the left and right wheel. Refer to your owner's service manual for the correct manufacturer's setting for both wheels.

1990 Chevy Lumina Troubleshooting

1990 Chevy Lumina Troubleshooting

Troubles with your 1990 Chevy Lumina can be very frustrating and worrying. To begin with, diagnostic costs and repairs are very expensive. In addition, we all rely heavily upon our sources of transportation. However, for minimal money, you can troubleshoot your engine troubles on your own, possibly finding that the fix is very simple. For example, a broken fuse can cause your turn signals, interior lights and clock to stop working. Pulling your fuses, finding the broken one and replacing it, costs only a few dollars.

Instructions

    1

    Access the trouble codes stored in the Chevy's computer system. Either plug an OBD-1 code scanner into the test port located under the dashboard, turn the key on and read the codes, or self-diagnose with the ignition key. To self-diagnose with the ignition key, turn the ignition key on and off several times in quick succession (on, off, on, off, on), ending with the ignition on but not cranked. Record how many times the "Check Engine" light flashes, as this indicates codes. Look up the codes in your owner's or repair manual.

    2

    Measure the voltage in the battery and alternator to ensure enough power is being supplied to the engine. Attach a voltmeter or multimeter to the positive and negative battery posts while the car is off. The volt reading, which should be between 12.3 and 12.6, indicates the power in the battery. Crank the engine and check the reading again. This time the alternator is being tested, with a reading that should be between 13.8 and 14.6.

    3

    Check your fuses. One fuse compartment is located in the dashboard near the steering wheel and the other fuse compartment is located under the hood in its own box. Pull each fuse by hand or use a fuse tester light to look for broken fuses.

    4

    Crank the engine, raise the hood and look for signs of wear, damage or disconnection. Check for broken belts, flattened hoses, loose electrical wires and corroded components.

    5

    Perform regular maintenance. Make sure all filters are clean and unclogged. Change the oil and the transmission fluid to keep them clear and free of debris and sediment. Flush the radiator and coolant reservoir and top them off with clean fluids.

Senin, 14 Mei 2012

How to Measure Resistance in a Purge Valve

The purge valve in your vehicle is a normally closed solenoid valve that is opened momentarily when the engine is started to allow fuel vapors in the fuel tank to be drawn into the intake manifold and burned during combustion. Testing this valve's electrical component is straightforward using standard electronic test equipment. The average home mechanic can complete this test in just a few minutes.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the purge valve using your service manual. Typically the purge valve is found near the evaporative emissions system (charcoal canister) near the rear of the car.

    2

    Unplug the electrical connector on the end of the purge valve. Most vehicles use a small blue or red lock on the connector to prevent it from loosening. Pull out on the locking tab and then press the latch on the connector to remove it from the valve. A resistance test cannot be performed on a component connected to the vehicle's electrical system.

    3

    Set the digital volt/ohm meter to measure ohms (a measure of resistance). Test the solenoid's coil by touching the tips of the red and black meter leads to the terminal pins inside the electrical connector cavity on the purge valve. Replace the valve if the measured resistance is "0" ohms (indicating a shorted coil) or "Infinite" ohms (indicating an open circuit coil).

How to Change the Headlight Bulb on the 2004 Ford F150

How to Change the Headlight Bulb on the 2004 Ford F150

When the headlights in your Ford F-150 break down there is no need to head to a garage or mechanic. The headlights in your Ford F-150 are fully user replaceable. In order to replace the front headlights in a Ford F-150, you must have a medium wrench and a 04 Model Ford F-150 Headlight, usually sold under the designation H14 or H13.

Instructions

    1

    Turn off the engine and remove the keys from your 2004 Ford F-150. Give the truck time to cool down as to avoid injury due to a hot surface. Directly to the left of the steering column there is a large switch with a picture of a hood opening that needs to be pulled in order to unlock the front hood. Pull this switch and move to the front of the car. Underneath the hood there is a second switch that needs to be pulled up towards you then to the right. After doing this, the hood will unlock and you will be able to pull up and prop the hood open.

    2

    Find the headlight that you wish to replace. Above the main headlight assembly there will be a series of four bolts. In the middle of these four bolts there is a small plastic insert that you must pull out to loosen the outer lens of the headlight assembly. Remove the outer lens and place aside.

    3

    Unscrew the damaged headlight bulb and place aside. Replace the broken bulb with the new H13 or H14 bulb. Re-attach the outer lens cover and push the plastic insert back in place, locking the headlight assembly. To make sure you correctly replaced the headlight, turn on the headlights multiple times and make sure that you performed the tasks correctly.

Kamis, 10 Mei 2012

How to Troubleshoot a 2005 Chevy Impala

The base sedan trim of the 2005 Chevrolet Impala was built with a 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine. The Impala's standard features included 16-inch steel wheels, cloth seats, rear ventilation ducts, remote power door locks, power mirrors, front cup holders, a remote trunk release, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a trunk light, front door pockets and a low fuel warning light. One way to troubleshoot your Impala is by examining manufacturer recall information.

Instructions

    1

    Check the steering knuckles on the front of your Impala's steering assembly when the front wheels do not respond to the turn of the car's steering wheel like they should. Your steering knuckles could be parts that were not manufactured to the specifications of Chevrolet and contain a design defect. This design defect allows for the knuckles to break where they connect to the steering hubs. A broken steering knuckle can lead to a loss of steering control while you are driving and cause an automobile crash. Contact your local Chevrolet dealership about repairing the knuckles if you believe one or both of your front knuckles are faulty.

    2

    Examine the fuel pressure regulator inside the engine of your Impala if you see fuel leaking underneath the vehicle's engine. The O-ring and retainer inside the fuel pressure regulator may have failed, or the part could be faulty and never properly included an O-ring and retainer like it should have. This defect will allow fuel to leak down through the engine. If the fuel comes into contact with an ignition source a fire could start inside the Impala's engine. Change the fuel pressure regulator to resolve this problem.

    3

    Inspect the steering shaft of the Impala if the front wheel's response to a turn of the steering wheel is weak or unresponsive. Your vehicle may have a faulty steering shaft installed. The weld connecting the inner tube of the shaft to the outer tube may be defective. If the weld fails, you can lose the ability to steer the vehicle and cause an automobile crash. Talk with your Chevrolet dealership about having the steering shaft replaced to avoid this result.

What Does a Bad Torque Converter Sound Like?

Converter failure isn't uncommon, but it's always inconvenient and usually expensive. Converter failure is generally progressive, meaning that it tends to follow along with a specific set of symptoms. From slight whine to final rattle, torque converter failure can leave you stranded with a long tow home and a healthy bill when you get the car back.

Converter Basics

    A torque converter is a fluid coupling, meaning that it uses fluid to transfer power from one place to another. The outer case of the torque converter bolts to the engine, and fins welded to the inside of the case circulate fluid when the case spins. A separate set of fins inside the case connects to the transmission input shaft. At low rpm, the engine-driven fluid simply slips through the transmission-side turbine blades. At higher rpm, the transmission turbine can no longer pass fluid without moving. A lock-up clutch inside the converter locks the engine to the transmission under cruise.

The First Sign -- Whirring

    Whirring on start-up is usually the first sign of torque converter failure, and it happens for one or all of three reasons. The torque converter contains several bearings and at least one one-way clutch; those bearings or clutches may emit a faint to pronounced whine when worn. The next two reasons have to do with the nature of moving gas in a fluid. When a pump tries to force air through a fluid, the air breaks up into tiny bubbles, which collide, pop and emit a faint vibration that vibrates the converter housing and manifests as whine. A malfunctioning transmission-side turbine will force fluid to continue to circulate through the engine-side impeller, where it will cavitate (develop vacuum bubbles) and emit a whine.

The Second Sign -- Slippage

    Failure to transfer fluid pressure almost always precedes complete converter failure. When the engine-side turbine can no longer transfer power to the transmission input turbine, the engine will rev without engaging the transmission. This will generally start out as a slight increase in stall speed (the rpm that the engine gets to before engaging the transmission), and will progress to slippage while shifting. Eventually, the torque converter will either completely fail to engage the transmission, or it will engage it sporadically and shudder. This is especially true of transmissions with lock-up converters, where the lock-up clutch may quickly engage and release before locking in or giving up completely.

The Death Rattle

    Just before a converter completely self-destructs, it'll emit a loud grinding or clacking noise that sounds something like dragging a steel refrigerator down the road at 70 mph. Depending upon what's actually broken in the converter, this grinding may increase or decrease in pitch with with rpm. Once you hear your converter's death rattle, what's actually broken inside of it is fairly academic: The converter is hashed, and continuing to drive it that way will almost certainly send shrapnel through your transmission and destroy it (assuming the converter will still transfer power at all, which is unlikely).

How to Troubleshoot the Computer in a 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue

How to Troubleshoot the Computer in a 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue

A 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue's computer is a self-contained rectangular unit with harness wiring, similar to other vehicles. Troubleshooting the computer involves running Chrysler's first generation On-Board Diagnostic system and checking for specific fault codes. The system will tell you where the problem is located and which functions are affected. Since the Fifth Avenue predates 1996 OBD standardization, the vehicle must undergo a self-diagnostic test. This procedure is relatively simple to perform and should take only a few minutes.

Instructions

    1

    Sit behind the Fifth Avenue's steering wheel and insert the key into the ignition. Turn the key to the "On" designation. This will turn on the Fifth Avenue's electronic system but leave the engine off.

    2

    Turn the ignition key back and forth in the following sequence: on, off, on, off and on. You must complete this key sequence in five seconds or less.

    3

    Watch the "Check engine" light and count how many times it flashes at you. Chrysler's OBD-I codes consist of two sets of flashes of equal length. The first set represents the first code number. There will be a quick pause, followed by a second set of flashes. For example, Chrysler OBD-I code 22 is two flashes, a brief pause and two more flashes. There will be a longer pause between entire code numbers. Write down all the codes.

    4

    Look up the Chrysler's codes on the Internet or in a Chilton or Haynes Repair Manual. The codes will not be in an owner's manual. You are specifically looking for codes that mention computer components. The coding descriptions will say either "module" or a computer component such as "eeprom." For example, Code 63 says: "Eeprom write denied."

    5

    Consider driving the Fifth Avenue to a Chrysler mechanic. There are limited options when it comes to automotive computers. The module can be restarted, reprogrammed or replaced. Vehicle computers are not off-the-shelf parts available at auto parts stores. If you bring the vehicle to a mechanic, take your code list with you.

Car CV Joint Symptoms

Car CV Joint Symptoms

Constant-velocity or CV joints allow a rotating shaft on an automobile to transfer energy without increasing friction. This allows components to operate smoothly without excessive wear and tear. When CV joints become worn or damaged it can begin to impact the automobile's performance in several ways including acceleration and turning. Failure to address this problem when symptoms arise could lead to more expensive repairs down the road.

Noise When Turning

    Torn or ripped outer CV joints may generate a popping or clicking noise when you're turning the vehicle, according to AA1 Car, an automotive repair website. The sound may grow louder depending on the severity of the turn. For example, a vehicle with torn CV joints making a slight right turn may barely make a noise at all while a car making a U-turn may exhibit loud clicking or popping noises emanating from near the front tires.

Increased Vibration

    Failing CV joints may cause the vehicle to shudder or vibrate excessively when accelerating. This can be caused by worn parts rubbing against one another. Normally these components are lubricated to prevent vibration but as CV joints degrade this lubrication also wears away. A lack of lubrication in CV joints also may be accompanied by a growling or humming sound when accelerating. Vibration from ripped CV joints also can affect the operation of the transaxle and cause wear in the transaxle mount in four-wheel drive vehicles.

Clunking Noise

    Failed or failing CV joints may produce a clunking noise when the vehicle is accelerating, decelerating or when the transaxle is put into drive. The clunking noise is caused by excessive movement between the CV joint's inner joints on front-wheel drive vehicles, inner or outer joints in rear-wheel drive vehicles with independent suspensions or the driveshaft CV joints in four-wheel drive/rear-wheel drive powertrain vehicles, according to AA1 Car.

Volvo AWD Issues

Volvo AWD Issues

Volvo all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles have been rated by most reviewers as reliable, but there have been several issues that have plagued Volvo AWDs. Carcomplaints.com has reported recalls on Volvo AWDs for brake problems, which can create accident situations. Other reviewers have listed issues with Volvo AWDs that make repairs very expensive for the owners, as reported by Epinions.com.

Noise and Vibration Issues

    Volvo AWDs are well known for unusual noise and vibration issues, according to Repairpal.com and Epinions.com. These noises and vibrations have been attributed to the front control arm bushings failing. A coupler in the front suspension begins to fail or wear prematurely, causing the Volvo to make noise and eventually vibrate during operation. The 2006 Volvo AWD also saw two recalls on the automobile, and one of those recalls dealt with the seals leaking on the master cylinders. Brake fluid began to leak out of the AWD and cause the brakes to malfunction, creating noise and vibration in the front end of the Volvo.

Tire Issues

    Volvo AWDs have tire issues unlike most other automobiles on the road. Excessive wear on one tire creates major issues with the AWD vehicle. This variation in wear from tire to tire causes the sensors to apply more traction to the other tires, causing the AWD not to drive smoothly. Epinions.com recommends that the Volvo owner rotate the tires every 5,000 miles because if one tire wears down prematurely, then all the tires need to be changed at the same time. A Volvo AWD owner must replace all four tires at the same time, or this issue will simply get worse.

Premature Brake Pad Issues

    Many Volvo AWD owners find the need to replace the brake pads more often than most automobile owners, according to Epinions.com. The brake pads work harder in Volvo AWDs than they do in other vehicles because of the tire issues. This means that a Volvo owner spends more money on the maintenance of an AWD than most other owners do on their own vehicles. The Volvo is rated high for all the features that come with its AWDs, such as heated seats, dual-zone climate control and real-time data given to the driver during operation, but Motortrend expresses concern about the off-road stability of Volvo AWDs. According to Motortrend, most testers found Volvo AWDs to ride more roughly and more uncontrollably during off-road testing, which is attributed to issues with the brake pads.

Rabu, 09 Mei 2012

How to Fix a Subaru Exhaust System

How to Fix a Subaru Exhaust System

Fixing the exhaust system on a Subaru will depend on the vehicle's model and year. The base models will have a single in-line exhaust system, which means one header on the engine and one muffler. While higher-power Subarus such as the STI variants will have an X shaped exhaust system, which has headers on both sides of the engine and twin exhausts. The most common problem with these systems is a leak from a rupture in the tubing or a corroded attachment strap.

Instructions

    1

    Raise the car up on wheel ramps, one for each wheel, which any auto shop will have. Use a flashlight to inspect the exhaust tube the runs from the forward engine bay to the rear muffler. Look for any obvious breaches in the tubing, which will have soot exhaust stains surrounding the hole. Also look for rusted or broken attachment straps that hold the tubing in place. If the strap is broken, then the metal strip will be hanging low, with a ragged edge when it's separated.

    2

    Clean the exhaust soot from around the hole with water and then thoroughly dry off. Wrap aluminum tape around the hole. Be careful to wrap several inches forward and behind the breach. Once there is a full covering on the hole, wrap another layer with diagonal strips. Finally, wrap a final layer with diagonal strips going perpendicular to the previous layer.

    3

    Remove the broken strap with your wrench set. The exact wrench size needed will depend on the model and year. If the bolts are not damaged, it is okay to reuse them. Set them aside if they are damaged. Wrench in a replacement strap, which can be bought from a Subaru dealership. You do not need to be afraid about over tightening the strap if it is done by hand. If using a machine, you need to stop once the power tool's clutch disengages.