Jumat, 31 Agustus 2012

What Electrical Problems are There with a Toyota Highlander?

What Electrical Problems are There with a Toyota Highlander?

The Japanese company Toyota manufactures the Highlander, a mid-size SUV. The Highlander drives similar to a car, but with the cargo capacity and look of an SUV. As of 2010, Toyota has experienced a number of mechanical and electrical problems with its vehicles, which the company is working to repair. The Toyota Highlander's electrical problems go back several years.

GPS System Problems

    Owners of the 2004 Highlander report several electrical problems arising from the GPS system being linked with other components. Problems such as heaters blowing cold air, signal lights malfunctioning or failing and non-functioning clocks and radios were all tied to problems with the GPS system. Often, the GPS system is no longer under warranty for the 2004.

Accelerator Problems

    Toyota has recalled a number of vehicles because of accelerators becoming stuck, and any Highlander owner must check with Toyota to see if his accelerator needs to be repaired. The Highlander also has a problem with transmission hesitation when the accelerator is pressed. This is sometimes resolved by having the vehicle's software diagnosed and reset.

Sensor Defects

    Sensor problems in the Highlander's computer have caused the vehicle's stability control system to malfunction. Sensors have also been reported to turn on all the warning lights for no reason or turn on and off intermittently. The sensor requires recalibration by a trained mechanic.

Battery Failure

    Several owners report their Highlanders' engines shutting off when the vehicle reached speeds above 55 mph. The engine stalls, leaving the driver coasting. Mechanics found this to be caused by an electrical problem draining the battery. The Hybrid Highlander experiences a similar problem in which all warning lights come on before the hybrid system completely shuts down because of an electrical problem.

Kamis, 30 Agustus 2012

What Is a Cam Synchronizer on a Ford Taurus?

What Is a Cam Synchronizer on a Ford Taurus?

More than a dozen electrical sensors are used on the Ford Taurus V6 engine for basic operation, performance and efficiency. Each sensor is wired to a central computer known as the Powertrain Control Module. The PCM constantly monitors information from each sensor and then sends out commands for smooth engine operation. The Camshaft Position Synchronizer is an essential component of this system.

CMP purpose

    The CMP is a small sensor mounted on top of the engine. The unit provides timing information the PCM needs to activate the fuel injectors during each engine revolution. The sensor monitors the No. 1 piston's highest point of travel in the cylinder as a reference point.

CMP function

    The CMP uses a principle of magnetism called the Hall Effect. When an electrical conductor such as gold is placed into a magnetic field, a small amount of electricity is produced. The camshaft has a small magnet attached to it. The camshaft synchronizer contains a small amount of gold. The sensor sends the voltage created in the circuit by the magnet to the PCM. The PCM sends commands to the fuel injectors based on the CMP data.

CMP failure

    The engine will not run if the CMP is defective because the injectors won't get a signal from the PCM to deliver fuel. Fortunately, the cost of repairing the CMP is not excessive. As of November 2010, the removal and replacement will have a labor price of $55-$70 while the CMP will set you back $35-$56, according to Repairpal.

Why Is the Rev Counter for My Car Not Stable?

Why Is the Rev Counter for My Car Not Stable?

Although an often overlooked mechanism, a tachometer or rev counter serves an important role in your vehicle's functioning. The ability to calculate revolutions per minute (RPM) allows manual transmission drivers to get better acceleration and gas mileage when shifting. Despite its advantages, tachometers may malfunction or experience intermittent issues.

Electrical

    If your vehicle's tachometer is unstable, the first thing to check is the instrument cluster's fuse. In order to function properly, your electronic instrument cluster must have appropriate voltage -- 10 volts -- and grounding. AA1Car reports that importance of voltage and grounding is universal, regardless of make or model.

Sensors

    Tachometers require communication with the vehicle's sensors in order to function. If one or more of your vehicle's sensors fail, your tachometer becomes unstable or may stop working altogether. You can examine the problem by referring to your vehicle's wiring diagram to check the connectivity between the cluster's wiring harness and the sensors.

Instrument Cluster Replacement

    If the instrument cluster itself is the problem, AA1Car states dealers have no provisions for "servicing or repairing" a defective unit, which means the entire panel requires replacement. By law, if purchasing a used unit, the odometer must be reset to reflect your vehicle's current mileage.

Rabu, 29 Agustus 2012

How to Troubleshoot a 1994 Chevy Z71

How to Troubleshoot a 1994 Chevy Z71

The 1994 Chevy Z71 was manufactured as a Suburban and as a Silverado pickup truck. The model has an upgraded suspension system designed for off-road driving and hauling heavy loads in the bed. The Z71 features a V8 engine and requires close attention to the performance for accurate troubleshooting. The 1994 design does not restrict owners from making basic repairs, and an electronic reader is not required for detecting problems. The Z71 package comes with aggressive tread on the factory tires and it sits more than 2 inches higher than the standard models.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the key and start the vehicle. If the engine cranks but does not start, the fuel injectors may require cleaning. This is a common problem on many Chevy model pickups. The Z71 is especially prone to clogged sensors if driven off-road on a regular basis.

    2

    Turn the key and start the vehicle. If the engine does not crank and the truck's power is not failing, the starter is the likely culprit. Locate the cylinder-shaped starter beneath the engine block and hit it with a hammer. Test the engine again. If it starts, the starter must be replaced in the near future. If it fails, remove the two bolts with a socket wrench and have the unit tested by a mechanic or automotive store. Replace the unit if it fails the test.

    3

    Drive the truck on an open road and vary the speed without breaking the speed limit. If the engine sputters and experiences power surges, the fuel pump must be replaced. Clogged injectors will also place extra strain on the pump and cause it to fail. Replace the pump and clean the injectors.

    4

    Listen for a squealing noise as you drive and turn the vehicle. The sound indicates loose or worn belts. The stock belts on the 1994 are a common issue and must be tightened or replaced if they are frayed and worn. Use a crescent wrench to tighten the belts and eliminate the noise.

    5

    Drive the truck on a smooth surface and rapidly accelerate and decelerate to test the transmission. Feel for hesitations and jolts as the truck shifts. Also monitor the RPMs for extreme jumps while shifting. Have the transmission flushed and replace the fluids to help with this problem. If the flush does not help, the transmission may require a rebuild.

How to Troubleshoot Headlight Problems

How to Troubleshoot Headlight Problems

Headlights are important to the safety of anyone in a vehicle. Properly functioning headlights help in navigating through heavy rains, snow, fog, and darkness, and also help your vehicle to be seen by others doing the same. Thus, headlight problems are sometimes scary.



Fear not. A headlight is assembled with a logical sequence, each part with a particular function. Troubleshooting this sequence is quite likely to turn up the problem. Any parts outside of these that could affect headlight function, such as an alternator, would also affect other functions.

Instructions

    1

    Check for a burnt out bulb when only one headlight isn't working. Inspect the electrical connections -- the socket and connecting wires -- for corrosion if the bulb is not burnt out. Tighten any parts in this area that have loosened over time.

    2
    Mice and other rodents like to chew, which can damage electrical wires and cause headlights to stop working.
    Mice and other rodents like to chew, which can damage electrical wires and cause headlights to stop working.

    Check the connecting wire systems when both headlights aren't working. This is often as easy as checking the fuse, but can also involve a malfunctioning dimmer switch, headlight relay, module or headlight switch. Faults in the actual wires may also be the issue, such as with a vehicle parked in a rural area where rodents can get into the motor and chew the wires, or from other causes.

    3

    Check the strength of the battery's charge when headlight brightness fluctuates during acceleration, or when headlights start to steadily dim or flicker while driving. A bad alternator often causes these things to happen, but it will also affect the charging of the battery, causing it to slowly lose its charge and eventually go dead.

    4

    Clean the headlight lenses and check the aim when they don't illuminate the road properly. Moisture inside the headlight covers may also affect illumination, so they could need to be dried to correct this issue.

How to Troubleshoot a 1978 Ford F-250 Pickup

How to Troubleshoot a 1978 Ford F-250 Pickup

The 1978 Ford F-250 is a four wheel drive truck. The vehicle was manufactured as a single cab and as an extended cab with second row bench seating. It was only manufactured in a long bed version. The hauling capacity made it a popular work vehicle and the four wheel drive is also effective for off-road driving. Troubleshooting problems with the vehicle requires the user to listen and feel for changes to the normal operation.

Instructions

    1

    Insert the key in the ignition and turn the key without starting the vehicle. Test the dome lights and the headlights for power. If the vehicle does not have power, check the battery connections for corrosion. Use a wire brush to clean the connections and use a voltage meter to test the battery for power. Jump the battery with cables and replace the battery if it will not hold a charge.

    2

    Attempt to start the vehicle. Listen for any sounds coming from beneath the vehicle. If a clicking sound is present and the engine will not turn, the starter is the likely culprit. Locate the starter by climbing beneath the vehicle. Locate the cylinder towards the rear of the engine and hit the starter with a hammer. If the vehicle successful starts, the starter must be replaced.

    3

    Attempt to start the vehicle. If the engine cranks but will not start, the carburetor requires attention or the spark plugs are fouled. Spray carburetor cleaner directly into the carburetor and attempt to start. If the vehicle starts, the carburetor may require further adjustments or a complete rebuild.

    4

    Drive the vehicle on a smooth surface and feel for irregularities. If the vehicle is pulling hard to one side it may be stuck in four wheel drive. Stop and shift in and out of four wheel several times then test again. Pay close attention to the shifting as well. Difficult shifting means the transmission must be serviced immediately.

    5

    Listen for squealing sounds while making sharp turns and while running the air conditioner. Use a crescent wrench to tighten the belts and test the vehicle. Also listen for grinding and pay attention to the brake pedal for heavy pulsing. Grinding and pulsing means the brake pads are worn and must be replaced.

Selasa, 28 Agustus 2012

The Average Alternator Repair Cost

The Average Alternator Repair Cost

Eventually, car parts -- such as an alternator -- will break or fail. The actual average cost of an alternator itself mostly depends on whether the auto shop must order the part. However, many other factors go into the cost of alternator repairs.

Repair Labor Rates

    The longer it takes for a technician to repair something on a car, the more it will cost. This mostly depends on the accessibility of the parts, which has become a bigger issue in newer cars. Most shops charge about $60 to $90 per hour for labor.

Flat Rate Estimate

    Labor rates are based on the actual flat estimate rates, which are determined according to the model, make, and year of the car. The more parts the technician must get out of the car to reach the alternator, the more expensive the estimate rate.

Diagnostic Fee

    Many shops also charge for a diagnostic fee, which can cost $75 to $100.

Alternator

    The cost of the alternator will depend on where the shop orders its parts from and the mark-up the price. For example, an OEM alternator for a Toyota costs about $90, which is then subject to a 30 percent to 40 percent mark-up. The price of the alternator depends on the car.

Senin, 27 Agustus 2012

How to Diagnose OBD-II

How to Diagnose OBD-II

OBD-II is a common abbreviation for the second generation of On-Board Diagnostic codes. Every time a vehicle's diagnostic system senses a problem, it will issue a trouble code, which will trigger the "Service Engine" light on the dashboard. You can access these codes with a scan tool that connects to a car's diagnostic outlet generally located beneath the dashboard. An OBD-II scan tool cannot be used on every car. It is not reverse compatible; it will not read codes on cars manufactured before 1996. A diagnostic scanner, no matter the coding system, will only give you the reported trouble code, not the meaning.

Instructions

    1

    Feel around the leg space of your automobile; you are looking for a diagnostic outlet. This plug receptor is the entry point into your auto's diagnostic system. It should be in plain sight, somewhere near the steering. This outlet takes a 16-pin plug, so it is much larger than a computer's USB port.

    2

    Insert the diagnostic scan tool's 16-pin plug into the diagnostic outlet. It should fit easily, and you shouldn't have to force it.

    3

    Turn the scan tool on and wait for it to boot up completely, which shouldn't take long.

    4

    Put your automobile's key into the ignition and turn the vehicle on.

    5

    Wait a few seconds as the scan tool establishes a working connection with the auto's computer. Once it does, a diagnostic code should appear on the scanner screen

    6

    Type the reported fault code into a search engine. You may also want to add the manufacturer's name. So, searching "BMW P1089" will land you on a code list with the explanation, "O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response in Lean Control Range (Bank 1 Sensor 2)."

    7

    Select keywords from the code's definition, then plug these into the search engine to find a greater explanation of your car's problem. This will help you make the decision on whether or not you want to attempt the repair job yourself. If you decide to go to a mechanic, you will also have the ability to tell him what exactly needs to be fixed.

How to Troubleshoot a 1999 GMC Sonoma Truck

How to Troubleshoot a 1999 GMC Sonoma Truck

The 1999 GMC Sonoma is a small truck with a 2.2 liter engine and a five speed transmission. The pickup was manufactured in a regular and extended cab version with manual and automatic versions. Troubleshooting the vehicle is accomplished using an electronic reader for the computer system and by making basic observations. The small engine size combined with the roomy engine compartment makes it relatively easy to access different parts and determine the engine functions.

Instructions

    1

    Plug an electronic diagnostic reader into the outlet below the driver side dash. Turn on the reader and allow it to communicate with the truck's electronics. Read the findings to discover problems with the sensors and electronics. The crankshaft position sensor is a common malfunction in the 1999 Sonoma.

    2

    Turn the key and attempt to start the vehicle. If the engine does not crank, test the lights and electronics to ensure you have power. If the power falters, use a voltage meter to test the battery and the alternator. Charge the battery with jumper cables and replace the battery and alternator if necessary.

    3

    Turn the key and start the vehicle. If you hear the engine click but it does not crank, the starter is not functioning. Locate the starter beneath the engine and hit it with a hammer to unlock the teeth. Start the vehicle and replace the starter as soon as possible.

    4

    Attempt to start the truck. If the engine cranks but does not start, replace the spark plugs. The Sonoma is also prone to clogged fuel injectors and cleaning the injector tips may solve the problem. If the plugs and injectors are good, you may need a new fuel pump.

    5

    Drive the truck on a flat surface and test the brakes. If the brakes feel loose and soft, you must clean the wheel speed sensor. The sensor will not relay the speed and brake pressure will be inadequate.

How to Troubleshoot a Crown Victoria's Rear End Problems

How to Troubleshoot a Crown Victoria's Rear End Problems

The rear differential of a Ford Crown Victoria supports the weight of the car and transfers the engine power to the road. The rear end consists of a complex arrangement of gears and axles that seldom need any maintenance. However, the rear end will often make noise when it is going bad, and if you can determine what the noise is and what it means, this can save you from unnecessary repairs.

Instructions

    1

    Drive the vehicle on different road surfaces. Rough concrete, asphalt and dirt all make different sounds when driven across. Driving on a different type of road can quickly show if the road surface is the cause of the noise. Road noise will not change if the car is accelerating, decelerating or coasting.

    2

    Rotate the tires from front to rear and road test the car to see if the noise changes. Tire noise may be mistaken for rear axle noise even though the noisy tires may be located on the front. Check the tires for contact with the car body. Tires that are unevenly worn may produce vibrations that seem to originate elsewhere on the car. Temporarily inflate the tires to 50 psi and test drive the vehicle. Tire noise will be altered by the increase in tire pressure, while rear end noise will not. After testing, reduce the tire pressure to the manufacturer's recommendation.

    3

    Check the front wheel bearings for noise. Loose or rough front wheel bearings will cause noise that may be confused with rear end noise. Test drive the vehicle and lightly apply the brakes while holding the car speed steady. If the noise is reduced or goes away, then the front bearings may need to be replaced.

    4

    Place the car in neutral and apply the parking brake. Start the engine and run the engine speed up and down while listening for noises. If a similar noise is produced with the car parked, then it may be caused by the engine or transmission and not the rear axle.

    5

    Test drive the vehicle. With the vehicle coasting, shift into neutral and listen for noises. If the rear end produces a vibration or growl that continues with the car coasting and the transmission in neutral, the rear bearings are suspect. A bad wheel bearing will cause a knock or click about every two revolutions of the rear wheel.

    6

    Park the car and chock the front tire. Jack up one rear wheel at time. Rotate the tire by hand and listen for grinding, squeaking or popping noises coming from the wheel bearing. A bad bearing can be felt with the bare hand as a rough resistance to the turning of the wheel. Remove the rear wheel and inspect the brakes for proper operation. A broken or worn out rear brake can be mistaken for rear end noise. Put the rear wheel back on the car and tighten the lug nuts properly. Lower the car off the jack and remove the wheel chock.

    7

    Test drive the vehicle again. A continuous low pitched whirring or scraping noise starting at a low speed and continuing up to highway speed indicates a bad pinion bearing. A rough or irregular noise that varies in tone and speed during acceleration and while maintaining a steady speed indicates bad differential or pinion shaft bearings. Crunching or popping noises while turning at low speeds indicates a failed ring or spider gear.

    8

    Drive the car at highway speeds. A body boom noise or vibration can be caused by an unbalanced or bent drive shaft. Visually inspect the drive shaft for damage, missing balance weights, foreign matter or loose universal joints. Repair or replace the drive shaft as required.

Truck Transmission Troubleshooting

Truck Transmission Troubleshooting

Transmissions are notoriously fickle, and the ones under the hood of a truck are no different. Transmissions have been becoming steadily more reliable over the years but that has not stopped the transmission from being one of the most often repaired parts of automobiles. This fact makes it all the more important for you to recognize common transmission problems for proper troubleshooting.

Instructions

    1

    Check your transmission fluid if you feel your transmission shifting gears too slowly or if the gears are slipping. These two problems are common occurrences when transmission fluids are low. Fluid levels naturally fall over time but you should also check for any leaking around the transmission to make sure there are no leaky seals. A bad seal will mean your transmission fluid levels will drop quickly even after you refill.

    2

    Stop driving if you notice your transmission is overheating and struggling (you should be able to see this heat rise on the gauges on your dash board). An overheating transmission is caused by one of two problems. The first is towing a load that is too heavy for your truck. If you're towing a heavy load, you'll need to find a way to lessen that load or you might do extensive damage to your truck's transmission. The other problem is dirty transmission fluid. This problem will prevent your transmission from cooling properly. You'll have to change your transmission fluid and filter to stop this issue.

    3

    Check your transmission fluid levels if you drive a truck with a manual transmission and you notice the clutch getting stuck in gear or shifting only with difficulty. This is a classic sign of low transmission fluid. Ignoring this problem can cause both transmission and engine damage. Another problem may be a broken or faulty solenoid, the part of the transmission that regulates transmission fluid flow. You'll have to take your truck in to a mechanic to have this part inspected and replaced if necessary.

02 Volkswagen Passat Fault Code P0174

The Passat, at least in America, has always been the frugal aficionado's family car. Originally known as the Dasher, then the Quantum, the Passat's more modern fifth-generation platform shares its underpinnings with the Audi A4. Code P0174 isn't particularly uncommon -- and, is in fact, almost certain to happen now that this fine piece of German engineering, and all of its sensors, hit the decade-plus mark.

Code Meaning

    Code P0174 is a generic Onboard Diagnostics, Series II code that will often occur alongside P0171; it will show up on any OBD-II rated code scanner. It translates as "System too lean, Bank two," which means that the first oxygen sensor on the driver-side of the engine -- bank two -- has determined that there's too much oxygen in the exhaust. There are many, many reasons why this code might trip.

Dirty MAF Sensor

    If this code occurs alongside P0171 -- system lean, bank one -- then you've got a lean condition throughout the entire engine. Often times, this comes down to a dirty mass airflow sensor wire. The MAF sensor, located in the tubing right next to the air cleaner housing, uses a hot wire to determine airflow through the motor. The computer heats the wire up to a certain temperature, and air flowing over it cools it down. Dust and junk collecting on the wire will insulate it and trap heat, causing the car to think there's less air going in than there is. Remove the MAF sensor and spray its wire element with a commercially available MAF sensor cleaner to remove the buildup.

Air and Exhaust Leaks

    Too much air going in after the MAF sensor will also trigger a lean code, so check every possible air leak point after it. A leaking vacuum line or fitting, a leak in the secondary air system and a bad intake manifold gasket seal will allow excess air to seep into the air stream . If you find a suspected air leak, start the car and spray the area with a two-second blast of ether starting fluid or brake cleaner; if the engine rpm rises just after you spray the suspect area, then you've found your air leak.

Fuel Problems

    A lean condition doesn't necessarily mean that there's too much air -- it could also mean there's not enough fuel. VW Mechanics will first check the car's fuel pressure, but odds are good that you won't want to. The Passat doesn't have a Schrader valve in the fuel line that would allow you to simply plug a pressure gauge into the line. You'll need to unscrew the fuel line and insert an adapter with a built-in Schrader valve in order to check fuel pressure. Fuel pressure should be at 50.75 psi at idle. If not, you may have a bad pressure regulator or fuel pump.

Injectors

    While a bad fuel pump will trigger a lean code, a bad or clogged injector will do the same thing. Since this code indicates a lean condition on bank two, you may be looking at a failure of any one of the driver-side fuel injectors. However, a failure bad enough to trip a lean-condition code will likely show up alongside other codes indicating a misfire on the affected cylinder.

Minggu, 26 Agustus 2012

What Type of Problem Do You Get From a Bad Catalytic Converter?

What Type of Problem Do You Get From a Bad Catalytic Converter?

The catalytic converter in your car serves as a kind of an afterburner, using heat and special chemicals inside a metal case to burn off harmful exhaust gases before they exit the tailpipe. The underlying problems associated with catalytic failure stem from other components and systems that do function properly. Catalytic converter problems will show up in various ways, and the car driver or owner should be aware of any precursor signs before irreversible converter failure.

Basic Catalytic Converter Construction and Design

    Basic catalytic converters consist of an outer steel casing filled with a substrate of chemical materials. Two types of chemical materials exist: BB-sized ceramic pellets and monolithic honeycomb plates. The coating on the pellets or plates consists of precious metals such as palladium, platinum and rhodium. The front or header side compartment holds the reduction catalyst, while the rear compartment houses the oxidizing catalyst. The converter sits just behind the main header pipe, which exits the exhaust manifold. It is typically welded or clamp-bolted on the header pipe.

Oxidizing, Two-Way Catalytic Converter Function

    Oxidizing, or two-way, converters are more simple in chemical design than three-way converters and minimize hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide pollutants. Oxygen, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons enter into the converter, interacting with the substrate materials, which causes accelerated oxidation or a flameless burning. The increased oxidation renders the harmful emissions dead or chemically neutral, and they exit the exhaust as harmless carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Three-Way Catalytic Converter Function

    The three-way catalytic converters functions similarly to the oxidizing converter, but it additionally reduce levels of oxides of nitrogen. For this purpose, these converters often have air injection tubes driven by air pumps, which accelerates the chemical transformation of the oxidation catalyst.

Overheated Appearance

    The chemical substrate inside the catalytic converter can melt, super-heated by an overly rich air-fuel condition, spark plug miss or other ignition malfunction. Generally converters that have a 200 degree F difference or more between the inlet and the outlet side of the converter at normal cruising speed show indications of interior overheating and can visibly turn the outside shell casing black, with a rainbow- colored hue. An infrared pyrometer or contact temperature probe is used to determine if the converter is working too hard to expel excessive heat.

Clogging

    When the substrate within the converter melts either the platinum-palladium coating or the aluminum oxide honeycomb material, it forms an impenetrable slag, which blocks off the exhaust flow, clogging the passages. This creates a severe back pressure that affects engine performance. A clogged converter can cause rough idle, engine hesitation upon acceleration, weakened power, hard-starting and, in some cases, a no-start condition. Faulty components that cause overly rich fuel-air mixture, like cracked distributor caps, faulty EGR valves, incorrect timing or dirty fuel injectors can all cause melting. This symptom can be diagnosed by using a vacuum gauge on the intake manifold, or an exhaust back-pressure pressure gauge before and after the converter.

Fouling

    Fouling results inside the catalytic converter when excess unburned fuel is present. The core temperature of the converter case does not have to reach excessive temperature, such as a meltdown of the substrate, but higher than normal temperatures will result, as well as some increased back pressure. When the substrate chemicals are diluted, raw gas frequently exits the exhaust pipe in a black cloud. The substrate can actually become wet, or fuel-fouled. Gas mileage suffers, as well as acceleration and overall power.

Odors

    Burned catalytic converters frequently give off a hot-metal smell, accompanied by the odor of burnt rotten eggs, which result from burning substrate and overheated metal. Some air pump rubber lines can melt, giving off a burnt rubber smell, as well as any fiber gasket or plastic component. Oxygen sensor wires can give off an acrid smell because of the burnt insulation.

Remedies

    For a catalytic converter to do its job properly, the ignition and fuel systems must perform to manufacturer's specification. This includes a properly tuned engine, with no misfires from ignition parts failures and improper adjustments to the timing and the primary and secondary ignition system. This checklist includes points, plugs, condenser, or distributorless ignition, coil, spark plugs, plug wires and all relative ECM sensors. The fuel system must have the proper pressure and adjustment on carburetor or fuel injected systems, where the air-fuel mixture is neither too lean or too rich. A properly tuned and timed engine will not damage the normal operation of a catalytic converter.

Fault Codes

    Fault codes can appear on the dash that indicate a "Check Engine" or "Emission Control" problem. A scanner tool can record and reference a letter and number code, specifically outlining the affected part. For instance, a scanner that reads a code from P0420 to P0423 will indicate a catalytic converter that is not operating at peak efficiency. The converter may not be clogged with such a code, but it will show temperature and pressure differences at the inlet and outlet sides.

Warranty

    Check the warranty on your catalytic converter if you have a newer vehicle. Find out what parts come under coverage, along with the time period and-or mileage. Fill out the registration form and send it in. A catalytic converter warranty does not negate you from keeping your vehicle properly tuned to manufacturer's specifications. The time to catch a failing converter is during the very early stages, based on what part is causing the early failure mode signs.

How to Diagnose Mass Air Flow

Many vehicles such as Fords, General Motors and some fuel-injected vehicles have a mass air flow, or MAF, sensor. A MAF sensor measures the air volume entering the engine. This sensor is necessary for the engine's computer to determine and monitor the correct air and fuel ratio to keep a vehicle at maximum performance. The MAF sensor is found in the air duct wedged between the throttle body and air cleaner. After a while, the MAF sensor may become faulty and need diagnosed.

Instructions

    1

    Watch for the "Service Engine" light on the dash. This generally happens when a MAF sensor needs to be calibrated.

    2

    Watch for knocking, pinging, stalling, shuddering and low gas mileage, which are all symptoms of a failing MAF.

    3

    Inspect the vehicle and check that there are no vacuum leaks, exhaust leaks or other problems that may cause low pressure. The best way to check for vacuum or exhaust leaks is to see if there is low fuel pressure. Use a diagnostic code reader to check for this. If the pressure is below 150 Psi, then there is most likely a problem. Entry-level code readers can be purchased at automotive stores. A key is usually provided to tell you what the codes mean.

    4

    Measure air flow idle speed with a scan tool. A regular reading for a normal function MAF sensor is minimum 3.5 grams/second or 800 RPMs. If the reading is below 2.0 grams/sec or below 800 RPM, then replace the MAF. If there is debris present on the sensor, then try cleaning it. Sometimes this fixes the problem. Clean with a non-residue-forming engine cleaner.

    5

    Recheck the air flow again with the scan tool. If the new reading is above 3.5 when the vehicle is idling and above 60 on snap acceleration, then the problem is fixed. If this is not the case and the MAF grams/second is below 2.5 when idling and the snap acceleration grams/second is below 50, then the MAF is most likely defective or out of calibration. The MAF most likely needs to be calibrated or replaced.

European Vehicle Scan Tools

European Vehicle Scan Tools

Scan tools help you scan your on-board diagnostics (OBD) and European OBD (EOBD) systems and retrieve the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) associated with any vehicle problems that you are experiencing. But, if you own a European vehicle, you need to get a special scan tool that can read these types of vehicles since, unfortunately, many scan tools are only compatible with American-made vehicles. Both consumers and industry professionals can use these tools.

AutoEnginuity

    The AutoEnginuity Scan Tool scans EOBD IV and OBD-II vehicles, and this program plugs in to your dashboard and outputs data to your computer. This data includes DTCs, system tests and vehicle sensor data, and you can also use this tool to clear DTC codes. The scan tool plugs in to your computer via a universal serial bus (USB) 2.0 connection, and it helps you figure out whether or not your system is in compliance with emissions standards. Use the SpeedTracer feature to run tests on your vehicle's miles per hour (MPH), gravitational forces (G forces), torque and horsepower, and you can also graph your time and speed data. Save your data logs in text (TXT), eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and comma separated value (CSV) formats. As of 2010, the AutoEnginuity Scan Tool costs between $230 and $350.

VeDiS

    This scan tool is for Korean, European and Asian vehicles, and it allows you to read your vehicles DTCs and sensor data. You can use this tool to clear your error codes after you fix the problem and initiate activations, and the tool comes with a large display screen for reading data. Other features of this tool include that it is Bluetooth enabled, and it connects to your computer via a USB cable, allowing you to download and save captured data. The VeDiS scan tool kit comes with a carrying case, adapters, cables, power cable and software. As of 2010, this product costs approximately $3,800.

KTS 340

    The Bosch KTS 340 is a handheld touch screen tool with an 8.4 inch color display, and it is compatible with American, European and Asian vehicles. This tool checks the status of your vehicle network, and it automatically detects your vehicle identification. Use this tool to view and clear DTCs, and the scan tool outputs data into graphical form. You can view vehicle data via your web browser or on your mobile device. The Bosch KTS 340 kit includes a connection kit, charging base and software. As of 2010, this product costs $5,300.

Sabtu, 25 Agustus 2012

Problems With a BMW 325Xi

Problems With a BMW 325Xi

The BMW 325xi has received very high ratings by both Automotive Reviews and Edmunds, but Repair Pal has noted that there have been three recalls on the vehicle. According to Repair Pal, multiple problems have been occurring to the 325xi at approximately 60,000 miles. These problems range from the CV boots tearing on the front of the BMW to cracks in the rear brake disc or rotors during manufacturing.

Rear Brake Rotor Crack

    The BMW 325xi developed a crack in the rear brake rotors during the manufacturing process. According to Repair Pal, at least 799 vehicles have this defect, and BMW has recalled the 325xi for this problem. The defective rotors will begin to produce a larger or more severe crack when the brakes are being applied. This larger crack can cause the brake drum to separate from the brake hub, so the disc will stop turning, but the brake hub will continue to rotate, not allowing the brakes to work. The owner must take the 325xi into the dealership to have this recall corrected properly.

Swivel Bearing Bolt Problems

    The suspension control arm has a swivel bearing bolt that was not tightened correctly on the BMW 325xi. This bolt slowly loosens over the operation of the BMW, eventually breaking and causing the automobile to not be able to be controlled or steered by the operator. The suspension is located under the vehicle and the swivel bearing bolt is located next to each wheel of the 325xi. No specific wheel has been identified as having the loose swivel bearing bolt, because the loose bolt has been identified on more than one side of the suspension. The BMW 325xi owner needs to take the automobile into the dealership in order to have this recall corrected or to have the entire suspension control arm replaced.

Multiple Cooling System Failures

    Some BMW 325xi owners have complained about multiple cooling system failures occurring simultaneously. The 325xi had problems with the water pump and thermostat as well as the radiator, all at the same time. No recall has been issued for this cooling system problem, but all these components are having to be replaced at approximately 60,000 miles. No primary culprit has been found to cause this multiple failure of the cooling system, but the dealership will replace all components as long as the 325xi is still under the factory warranty or an extended warranty.

How to Troubleshoot a Turn Signal on a 1996 Honda

Turn signals typically follow standard layout and engineering. The battery routes electrical signal through the ignition switch to the turn-signal relay. The relay interrupts the signal allowing the light to flash on and off in cadence. Honda engineered the turn signals in their vehicles following the standard design. Troubleshooting the turn signals only takes a few minutes and focuses on the four main aspects: the turn-signal switch, relay, fuse, and bulbs.

Instructions

    1

    Start the vehicle, and turn on the driver's side blinkers. A rapidly flashing bulb on the front means that the rear bulb is burned out. A rapidly flashing bulb on the rear means the front bulb is damaged. Repeat for the passenger's side. Replace any damaged or burned-out bulbs. Check for loose wiring before replacing any bulbs.

    2

    Replace the turn-signal relay if the lights on driver's, passenger's, or both sides remain on without flashing off. The relay is located near the fuse panel, beneath the dash, and next to the steering column. The relay is a small, silver cylinder that pulls out of the wiring harness.

    3

    Remove and inspect the fuse. The turn-signal fuse, called "Turn Lights" on the panel, is located in the interior panel. The panel is mounted to the lower, left corner of the dash. A damaged fuse will exhibit signs of burning, melting, broken interior elements, or corrosion. Replace the fuse if damaged.

    4

    Turn on the passenger and driver blinkers while feeling for a click in the switch. Replace the switch if attempting to engage the turn signal does not generate a click from the switch.

Jumat, 24 Agustus 2012

My 1994 Toyota Camry Engine Overheated & Won't Start

In almost all cases when a 1994 Toyota Camry overheats and fails to start after cooling down, the problem is a blown head gasket. The Camry has an aluminum head -- the part that contains the valve train components -- and a cast iron engine block. Because they are different materials, they heat and cool -- expand and contract -- at different rates. Overheating creates a lot of movement and the head gasket, located between the head and engine block, fails.

Instructions

    1

    Use a socket wrench and remove all of the spark plugs. Examine all of the plugs for water spotting or dampness. This is a sure sign of a blown head gasket.

    2

    Install a compression gauge in the left spark plug hole and crank the engine over for a few seconds. Read the compression gauge and make note of the number.

    3

    Continue this process with the remaining three spark plug holes. Compare all the compression numbers. Good readings are around "150 pounds-per-square-inch," or "psi." A blown head gasket will have readings of "135 psi" and lower.

How to Diagnose a Shaking Engine

How to Diagnose a Shaking Engine

When tuned properly, today's modern engines operate with very little external vibration. Manufacturers have designed their engines with internal, as well as external vibration reducing systems. These systems effectively hold the vibration to such a small level that most engines, at idle can barely be seen to vibrate. When either a tuning problem arises, or a vibration control component fails, the operator can notice increased engine movement throughout all stages of the engines' operating range.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the ignition system. Clean and gap all spark plugs. Inspect the spark plug wires for damage, such as burns or breaks.

    2

    Check the vacuum hoses for breaks or leaks. Spray carburetor cleaner on the hoses, with the engine running. Any surging or hesitation indicates a leak in that area. Listen for hissing or whistling noises, as these can also indicate a vacuum leak.

    3

    Check the PCV valve to ensure it is not clogged. Pull it loose from its mounting grommet at the top of the valve cover. Shake the valve vigorously. If it does not rattle, it is clogged and needs to be replaced.

    4

    Determine whether the fuel system is delivering an adequate amount of fuel to the engine. Do this by examining the fuel filter, fuel lines and testing the fuel pump to ensure its proper functioning.

    5

    Check the condition of the motor mounts. These mounts link the motor to the chassis and they must be intact and their mounting bolts must be tight in order to ensure that the engine stays in place. The motor mounts are located on each side of the engine.

How to Troubleshoot the Cruise Control in an Oldsmobile Delta 88

The Oldsmobile Eighty Eight was in production from 1949 through to 1999. One of the variants during this production run was the "Delta 88." The Delta first appeared in 1965 and remained part of the line until 1988. As a full sized luxury model, one common feature on the car was cruise control. When engaged, cruise control will operate the car at a set speed. It is used for long distance driving when you want to maintain your speed but give your foot a rest. If the system is not working there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot it.

Instructions

    1

    Take the Oldsmobile Delta Eighty Eight for a test drive, accelerate the vehicle to the minimum cruise control speed of 25 miles per hour. Press the "On" lever for the system and the "Set" button to engage the cruise control. Take you foot off of the accelerator and observe to see if the car maintains the set speed. If the speed fluctuates or does not maintain the set speed turn the system off.

    2

    Turn the Oldsmobile Delta Eighty Eight off open the fuse box located under the dashboard on the driver's side of the car. Remove the fuse for the cruise control system and inspect the plastic portion of the fuse. If the metal strip in the plastic end of the fuse is broken, then the fuse will need to be replaced.

    3

    Inspect the speed sensor and wiring harness. The speed sensor is located on the right front axle. Inspect the wires looking for frayed or broken wires. If the any of the wires are broken or frayed the speed sensor and wiring should be replaced by a trained mechanic.

Kamis, 23 Agustus 2012

What Is Wrong When Smoke Comes in Through the Ventilation System in Your Car?

What Is Wrong When Smoke Comes in Through the Ventilation System in Your Car?

What's wrong when smoke comes into your car? The primary problem is probably that you're still sitting in the car instead of running for your life, or at least going for the nearest fire extinguisher. But all jokes aside, a bit of smoke coming through the ventilation system need not necessarily spell doom for you or your car -- it all depends on what's smoking and where it's coming from.

Identify the Smoke

    The first thing you'll need to do is identify the type of smoke, and the best way to do that is by smell. Most people know the scent of burning oil; it smells like an asphalt parking lot on a hot day, roofing tar or driving by a road-paving construction crew. Electrical wiring burns with an incredibly acrid, eye-watering stench. It's one of those smells that, if doesn't make you want to jump out of the car, then it's at least impossible to ignore. Coolant typically has a sickly-sweet kind of smell, enough to turn you off of ice cream for a week.

Smoke Density

    Your next clue as to the source of your smoke involves the thickness or density of the smoke. A faint whiff and occasional wisp of oil smoke with the AC blower on low will generally indicate a minor oil leak in the engine compartment. A visible stream of constant smoke tells you that the source is very near the blower or the air intake, or is inside the duct itself. If smoke billows out enough to visibly fill the cabin, then your car's probably on fire. Put it out and sell it to someone you don't like.

Fresh vs. Recycled Air

    This test will give you some idea as to whether the source is inside the cabin or outside. Turning the air conditioner to the "vent" setting draws fresh air in from outside, while turning the air on just recycles air already present inside the cabin. This is a particularly useful trick for locating coolant leaks, and figuring out if the smell is coming from your engine bay or heater core. Electrical smoke drawn in through the fresh air vent is probably coming from the engine compartment, perhaps as a result of a wire touching something hot like the exhaust manifold.

Electrical Smells and Fog

    If you get an electrical smell -- particularly one with a hot, coppery undertone to it -- with the air on both recycle and vent, you may have a failing blower fan on your hands. If you only smell electrical insulation with the air on recycle, you likely have a wire shorting behind the dashboard. If you've got an odorless "smoke" that only happens with the AC on high, then congratulations -- you've got an AC system that blows cold enough to condense humidity into vapor and blow it in your face.

Rabu, 22 Agustus 2012

Symptoms of a Valve Lifter

Symptoms of a Valve Lifter

Many parts of the valve train have the responsibility of timing the opening and closing of the valves. They all work in conjunction with each other, dictated by the rotation of the camshaft. Two types of valve lifters work off the camshaft rotation to open and close the valves: the solid adjustable type, and the more commonly used hydraulic lifter. They both need oil supplied by the oil pump to operate effectively. When valve lifters begin to wear, the valve can not open and close precisely and several symptoms of the problem will appear.

Instrument Warning Lights

    The first symptom of a bad lifter will likely show up on the instrument panel as an oil light that stays on or flickers periodically. The oil passages in the head and camshaft become clogged, restricting the flow of oil, which leads to low or inadequate oil pressure in the top of the engine, or valve train. The oil light might come on during engine warm-up and disappear when the engine has reached normal operating temperature. A bad lifter can cause this condition even when the oil pump functions properly, or the oil level in the crankcase reads full.

Clicking Engine Noises.

    Valve lifters that have worn excessively will produce a noise that originates rom the top of the engine under the valve covers or directly under the intake manifold. The first signs will be a clicking noise that appears during engine warm-up, or during a time of cold or freezing temperatures. Cold temperatures break down the viscosity of the oil and it looses its lubricating qualities. The lifters sit at one of the highest points of the engine, making it difficult for thick oil to travel upwards, causing a clicking or moderate ticking noise.

Clacking Engine Noises

    When lifters have worn excessively, or if they have loosened from adjustment (solid type lifters), they will emit a harsh clacking sound during engine warm-up and continue to produce the sound during all driving ranges. The engine oil light might come on during warm-up and stay on during all driving conditions, regardless of weather. There might be a noticeable miss or stumble in the engine. If the miss has a constant rhythmic pattern, it means that the lifter has collapsed and can no longer open and close the valve. Exhaust emissions might appear as white-gray smoke, or even black smoke.

Excessive Valve Lash

    Excessive vale lash will be detectable between the rocker arm tappet and the top of the valve spring face, when the valve covers have been removed. The adjusting nuts can back off of the rocker arms, due to wear or stripping, producing excess clearance. Some hydraulic lifters can be readjusted for "zero" lash to seat the lifter. The solid type lifters will also show excess clearance between the valve spring face and the rocker arm tappet. The solid lifters can be adjusted with a feeler gauge to remove excess clearance. Lifters that continue to clack after proper adjustment have worn too much.

How to Diagnose Check Engine Light on 2002 Impala

The check engine light on the 2002 Chevrolet Impala comes on when the computer stores a code, which happens when a component -- usually a sensor or sender -- malfunctions. Since you can't see when an electrical part malfunctions, you must be able to test it in another manner. Code scanners interface with the computer via the data link port and display the codes on an LED screen.

Instructions

    1

    Plug the code scanner into the data link port under the driver's-side dash, just to the left of steering column. Turn the key to the "On" position. Press the "Read" button on the scanner.

    2

    Write down the codes that are displayed on the scanner's screen. Compare the codes with the code sheet to learn their meaning. Unplug the scanner and turn the key to the "Off" position.

    3

    Make the necessary repairs. If you do not repair the problem, even if you erase the codes, the light will just come back on.

    4

    Plug the code scanner back into the data link connector. Turn the key to the "On" position. Press the "Erase" button. Test-drive the vehicle to ensure that the engine light does not come back on.

Will an O2 Sensor Cause Surging?

Oxygen sensors are among the most interesting and important sensors on your engine. In fact, the old O2 sensor was one of the first ever used to electronically modulate the ratio of fuel and air used by the engine -- in a time even before what we would recognize as fuel injection today even existed. Surging is among the many problems a failing O2 sensor can cause, but it isn't the only one.

How an O2 Sensor Works

    An O2 sensor is essentially a chemical generator. One side of the O2 sensor's sensing element is exposed to the exhaust stream and the other side to the outside air. When the sensor gets hot, electrons will flow from the high-oxygen side to the low-oxygen side of the element, creating a flow that we call electricity. Most cars use what we refer to as narrow-band sensors; they only produce a readable voltage at a certain temperature and when there's a precise amount of oxygen in the exhaust stream. Sensor voltage will drop off if there's either too much air or too much fuel in the exhaust stream.

Air/Fuel Adjustment

    The oxygen sensor is your computer's primary eye on what's going on in the engine. Without a way to monitor how much air and fuel is coming out of the engine, the computer is only making an educated guess about what the engine should be doing according to the other sensors' input. If the oxygen sensor tells the computer that there's not enough oxygen in the exhaust -- a "rich" condition that indicates excessive fuel -- then the computer will reduce the amount of fuel injected relative to air. The computer uses the O2 sensor to maintain its careful balance of about 14 parts air to one part fuel at all times.

O2 Sensor Failure

    An O2 sensor rarely fails outright. In general, O2 sensors will gradually lose efficiency as they wear out or the sensor probe gets clogged with contaminants. Under normal circumstances, the O2 sensor will respond within milliseconds to tiny changes in oxygen content in the exhaust. But that loss of efficiency in the O2 sensor slows the sensor's response time, so that it responds to changes in oxygen content in tenths of a second instead of thousandths of a second.

RPM "Hunting"

    Your computer very rarely settles on a set amount of air and fuel; it's always making minor adjustments to the ratio using information from the O2 sensor. Under normal circumstances, these adjustments happen so quickly that you don't notice them; they have a stabilizing effect on engine rpm at idle and under load. But the longer the response time, the more the computer has to alter air/fuel ratio to keep sensor input at a safe average. Think of this "hunting" technique as trying to drive down a straight road if you could only turn your steering wheel hard left or hard right. Because you can't make tiny course corrections, the car ends up wandering all over the road just to sort of stay on it.

Surging

    While you're cruising down the road, O2 sensor hunting will manifest as a constant surging. This surging can be extremely disconcerting if you happen to be prone to motion sickness, since the constant acceleration and deceleration feels something like riding a boat through heavy seas.

Diagnosis

    Normally, your computer will throw a check-engine light and an O2 sensor failure code when the sensor gets bad enough to surge. But this isn't always the case; sometimes, the O2 sensor can trick the computer into thinking that everything's fine. One quick way to diagnose O2 sensor surge is to unplug the O2 sensor's wiring harness. When you do that, the computer will default to a standby program called "open-loop mode," where it completely ignores O2 sensor input and uses its best guess from other sensors. You can expect a check-engine light and a loss of power, but the primary thing you're looking for here is a reduction or elimination of surging. If it goes away when you unplug the O2 sensor, then odds are good that you've found your problem.

Selasa, 21 Agustus 2012

My 1988 Chevy Van Won't Start

My 1988 Chevy Van Won't Start

If your Chevy van has problems starting, there are two things that must be checked immediately: the battery and the fuel level. Two things that an engine must have at start up are a battery that can hold a charge and gas in the gas tank. Putting these two items at the top of your checklist will tell you if there is any need to get a mechanic involved.

Instructions

    1

    Check the fuel gauge in your Chevy van and add 1 gallon of gas. Try to start the van. If the van starts, replace the fuel gauge.

    2

    Open the hood of your Chevy van to access the battery in the engine compartment. Inspect the battery terminals for any corrosion. Loosen the battery terminals with a socket wrench and remove them from the battery. Clean the battery terminals by pouring a can of soda over them then scrubbing them off with a wire brush to get rid of the corrosion. Replace the battery terminals onto the battery then try to start the van.

    3

    Jump the battery with a pair of jumper cables and a working car battery. Connect the positive jumper cable to the positive terminal in your Chevy van's battery. Connect the other end of the positive jumper cable to the positive terminal on a working car's battery. Connect the negative end of the jumper cable to the negative terminal on the van's battery. Connect the other end of the jumper cable to the negative terminal on the working car's battery. Turn on the other car and then start your van. Allow the van to run for five minutes. This will charge the battery if it is not dead. Turn off the van then try to restart it. If the van does not restart, replace the battery.

    4

    Turn the ignition and listen for a clicking noise. This indicates that the alternator or the starter may need to be replaced. Remove these components from your van and take them into your local auto parts store. A technician there can test these items for you free of charge.

Troubleshooting a Nissan Pathfinder Cruise Control

Troubleshooting a Nissan Pathfinder Cruise Control

Nissan Pathfinder cruise control systems let drivers lift their foot off the accelerator pedal while allowing the car to continue at speed. The system is sometimes called Speed Control. Problems with the system can include it not maintaining speed, not switching on at all, loss of control and unexpected behavior. Follow some troubleshooting steps to correct these issues.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the Nissan's cruise control on at speeds between 25 and 89 MPH only. The system won't work at lower, or higher speeds. Use the "On/"Off switch. The "Cruise" indicator light will illuminate in the instrument cluster when the system is on. Avoid switching on the cruise control in heavy traffic or traffic that moves at varying speeds if the Pathfinder goes too fast, or too slowly for the conditions. Wait until traffic thins.

    2

    Switch the cruise control system off on winding or hilly roads if the car's handling is unexpected, the car doesn't maintain speed, or the cruise control doesn't otherwise work as expected. Slippery, snowy or icy roads can cause loss of control. Wind can also be a problem. Avoid using the cruise control.

    3

    Avoid tapping the brake pedal if the Pathfinder loses speed. The brake pedal cut off is designed to allow the speed to drop in anticipation of a reset. Push and hold the "Coast" switch if the vehicle slows down and you want to cruise at that slowed speed. Push and release the "Accel/Res" switch to resume the last set cruising speed.

Senin, 20 Agustus 2012

How to Troubleshoot a Manual Transmission That Will Not Shift

How to Troubleshoot a Manual Transmission That Will Not Shift

Automatic transmissions are more common these days, but for people who still enjoy the hands-on approach, a manual, or standard, transmission can present a few problems. Your car's engine transfers power to the transmission via a clutch. Sector forks in the transmission select which gear will be put into use. Although there are components to prevent gears from grinding or sticking, sometimes gears do fail to engage. If this happens, there are a number of things to look for before talking to a mechanic.

Instructions

    1

    Check your transmission fluid. Transmission fluid lubricates the moving parts of your transmission. You should check your fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles in a manual transmission car. Failure to do so can cause your transmission fluid to become contaminated with bits of metal from the bearings, synchronizers and gears. This can make shifting difficult or impossible. Because transmissions give few signals when their fluid is low, it's important to be consistent about checking it. You may also need to upgrade to a different type of fluid if you find that your transmission problems are happening during cold weather, or if you are using a fluid not originally recommended for your vehicle.

    2

    Listen for gear clashing and grinding. Grinding gears will result in a grating sound as you shift between gears. If this is the case, the trouble may be in your synchronizers. Sychronizers are positioned between the two main drive gears and are responsible for locking the gears into the correct speed with the engine. Synchro rings that match the width and depth of the gears on the main shaft can also become worn or bent. Once this happens, your car may fail to shift.

    3

    If your transmission cannot be put into gear when the car is running but you can change gears with the engine off, the problem could be with your pressure plate or clutch disk. Your clutch disk should be checked every 15,000 miles (or less if you engage in stop and go, city driving). There is no way to determine if your pressure plate or clutch disk are bad without dismantling the bell housing of the transmission. If you suspect either are worn, it's probably best to replace them.

    4

    If your clutch engages close to the floor, or if it moves easily but does not allow you to shift, the clutch linkage may have become disconnected or the clutch cable may have snapped. Worn clutch pedal bushings will cause the same problems. Check with your mechanic to determine if you need to replace the entire clutch assembly or individual components of the clutch.

My Jeep Won't Start

My Jeep Won't Start

Troubleshoot your car problems by starting with the basic requirements to operate your vehicle. Eliminate them one by one before you move on to the more serious issues. Keep an actual checklist in your car. Check the oil levels, battery charge, temperature gauge and fluid leaks. Do not force your vehicle to start because you are in a hurry to get to work, you may destroy your engine and find yourself without an operational vehicle for several weeks.

Instructions

    1

    Visually check under your hood, starting with the battery. Verify that no cables appear to be loose. Check across the engine compartment from one side to the next, to see if anything looks out of place. A car that cranks but will not start can be low on fuel, oil or power.

    2

    Physically check your oil and fuel levels, regardless of when you filled up or took your car in for service. Damage to your fuel tank, fuel gauge, fuel pump, oil filter or oil pan can occur at anytime. Check your oil levels after the vehicle has cooled and all of the oil has returned from disbursement throughout the engine.

    3

    Pull out the oil stick, wipe it off and replace it to check the oil levels. Oil that barely covers the tip of the stick can be an indication that levels are too low for it to start. Oil at the minimum required level should be sufficient for the vehicle to start.

    4

    Check for battery power. Manually turn on your headlights or interior overhead light to determine the intensity. Low intensity suggests your battery may be low and may not be able to provide enough energy to start your engine. No power to your headlights, overhead light or radio means your battery may be dead. Try a jump start.

    5

    Jump start your vehicle with another vehicle or portable battery charger. Attach the positive and negative charges with jumper cables from one battery to the next. After several years batteries no longer hold a charge and need to be replaced.

    6

    Check under the vehicle and under the hood for apparent leaks. Sprays of water or drips of water mean a leak in a hose, the radiator or the water pump. No apparent water or leaks can be misleading. There maybe a serious leak, with all of the water evaporated due to overheating.

How to Troubleshoot a 1988 Chevrolet Pickup

How to Troubleshoot a 1988 Chevrolet Pickup

The 1988 Chevrolet pickup was manufactured in 1/2-ton, 3/4-ton and 1-ton models. The pickups changed from the rounded corner design to a box design. The 1988 models do not use a computer diagnostics program and a computer reader is not required to troubleshoot the vehicle and make repairs. The V8 engines are simple when compared to many other models and the large engine compartment allows visibility and room to play with different parts.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the key in the ignition and test the interior lights, head lights and the radio. If the vehicle does not have power or the power flutters, attach jumper cables to the battery and to a another vehicle with full power. Start the truck and allow it to run for several minutes to charge the battery. Stop the vehicle and start again to test the battery for a charge. If the battery is dead, install a new one.

    2

    Attempt to start the vehicle. If the engine cranks but does not start, the fuel injectors are fouled or the spark plugs are fouled. Clean the injectors and replace the plugs for a smooth starting engine.

    3

    Attempt to start the vehicle. If the engine does not crank and the vehicle has full power, the starter may require replacement. Slide under the vehicle and hit the cylinder shaped starter with a hammer to release the locked teeth. If the vehicle starts, the starter must be replaced.

    4

    Drive the truck on a smooth surface. Drive at different speeds to test the transmission. Pay attention to the tightness on a standard model. If it is difficult to find the gear because it is really loose or really tight, the transmission and the clutch require adjustments. If the transmission is an automatic and is grinding and not shifting when you accelerate and decelerate, it requires servicing.

    5

    Test the brakes and the belts as you drive. Listen for squealing on sharp turns and grinding while you brake. The squealing is typically due to loose belts. Use a crescent wrench to tighten the belts and test again on sharp turns. The grinding is due to bad brakes. Replace the brake pads and if necessary, the rotors.

Signs of Fuel Pump Problems

Signs of Fuel Pump Problems

Your fuel pump is an essential part of your vehicle's operating system. It is responsible for moving the fuel out of your gas tank and into your vehicle's engine. If your fuel pump experiences problems or has stopped working, you can expect a number of problems with your car until the pump is repaired or replaced.

Spitting, Sputtering and Stalling

    If your car is sputtering as if it is running out of fuel even though you know you have a full tank, your fuel pump may not be working properly. If your fuel pump is working in spurts or not pumping enough fuel to your engine, your engine does not receive fuel in a steady stream. The car behaves as if it is running out of gas, and it may even stall out several times because of the gaps in fuel delivery.

No Fuel Pump Noise

    The absence of a particular noise could be a sign of a failed fuel pump. To test this, turn your vehicle's key to the "ON" position, and have another person stand next to your vehicle's gas cap. If the person hears a whining electronic noise, your fuel pump is working. If no such noise is heard, the fuel pump may not be turning on. If there is no distinctive sound, it probably means either your fuel pump is not working or a problem exists in the wiring between your vehicle's ignition and the fuel pump.

Won't Start/Run

    If your car has plenty of gas and a functioning battery yet still won't start or run for more than a moment, your fuel pump may be to blame. Without receiving gasoline, your car's engine cannot start or stay running.

Minggu, 19 Agustus 2012

Oldsmobile Alero Ignition Coil Troubleshooting

General Motors introduced the Oldsmobile Alero in 1999. The 2001 Oldsmobile Alero was equipped with the option of a 2.4-liter in-line 4-cylinder engine, or a 3.4-liter V-6 engine. Both engines use a coil module and coil packs in the ignition system. Over time coil packs can wear out, and replacement becomes the only option. Testing the coil to make sure it is properly functioning is a good way to save money, and properly diagnose what is really wrong with the vehicle. Testing the coils on a 2001 Alero should take about one hour.

Instructions

2001 Oldsmobile Alero: 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder Coil Testing Instructions

    1

    Raise the hood of the Alero. Position yourself in front of the vehicle so that you can access the coil pack on the top of the engine. Unplug the electrical harness from the coil. The ignition coil is located on the passenger top side of the engine. Simply pull the electrical connector from the coil module by hand.

    2

    Install an ohmmeter onto the electrical connector end of the control module. Connect the black lead wire from the ohmmeter to the plug end marked with a "-". Place the red lead from the ohmmeter onto the plug end marked with a "+".

    3

    Read the dial indicator on the ohmmeter. If the coil on the 2001 Alero, 2.4-liter engine does not read greater than 10,000 ohms of resistance, then the coil is bad and needs to be replaced.

2001 Oldsmobile Alero: 3.4-liter, V-6 Coil Testing Instructions

    4

    Raise the hood on the Alero. Label each spark plug wire on the coil module, using masking tape or labels. Write the numbers "1-2-3-4-5-and 6" on the spark plug wires from left to right.

    5

    Remove two spark plug wires from one of the coil packs. There are three coil packs, with two wires on each pack. Each pack controls two spark plugs. Set the plug wires on top of the engine, away from any moving parts. Step away from the vehicle so that no part of your body is touching the car at all.

    6

    Ask an assistant to turn the ignition key to the "Start" position for no longer than three second intervals. The vehicle will not start with the spark plug wires detached from the coil. Visually inspect the coil while the engine is cranking. Look for an electrical arc or spark to connect between the two coil towers while the engine is turning over. Ask your assistant to stop turning the key after no more than three intervals of cranking the engine. If the inspected coil has spark, then reinstall the spark plug wires and proceed to testing the next coil pack.

    7

    Remove the coil pack that has no spark, as well as the coil pack directly next to it. Use a 1/4-inch drive ratchet and socket to remove the two mounting screws that hold each pack in place. Switch the two coil packs by pulling both pack straight upward to remove them, and then placing them straight downward to attach them. Tighten the coil pack mounting screws back into the coil packs and module, with the 1/4-inch drive ratchet and socket. Leave the spark plug wires off of the suspected bad coil pack, but reattach all other spark plug wires.

    8

    Ask your assistant to again turn the key to the "Start" position for no longer than three second intervals. Do not touch the vehicle in any way while the engine is turning over. Visually inspect the coil pack towers of the suspected bad coil pack. If the coil pack does not have spark in this second position, then the coil is bad and needs replaced. If the coil that had no spark in its primary position has spark in the secondary position, then the coil module is bad and needs to be replaced.

How to Diagnose Emissions Problems

How to Diagnose Emissions Problems

Emissions problems can make your vehicle run poorly, waste fuel, pollute the environment and, in some states, cause your vehicle to be banned from the roads. If your car has an emissions problem, you must diagnose and repair it as soon as possible.

Instructions

    1

    Examine your car while it is running. Look at the dashboard to see if your check engine light is on; if your emissions system has problems, indicator light should be on. Observe whether the vehicle's tailpipes emit an unusual amount of smoke, or thick blue, black or white smoke; this is another sign of an emissions problem. If you cannot find the tailpipe, it may have rusted and fallen off; you probably need to replace the entire exhaust system.

    2

    Attach the OBD-II code reader to your vehicle's internal computer. Insert the diagnostic prong on the code reader's cable into the port on the computer, which is under the dashboard. Check your vehicle's owner's manual if you cannot find the computer.

    3

    Turn the OBD-II scanner on and press the scan button to check your car's systems for problems. Emissions problems that cause the check engine light to come on will appear in code on the scanner's screen. Specific OBD-II devices may vary slightly in their operation procedures, so read the code reader's instruction manual before use.

    4

    Write down all of the codes that the scanner reports, then decode them by looking them up in the scanner's owner's manual or a website such as Engine Light Help, which lists specific manufacturer codes as well as generic ones. Once you have decoded them, you will know which components in your vehicle's emissions system are malfunctioning.

How to Extract the Diagnostic Codes From 1998 3.4 GM Vehicles

How to Extract the Diagnostic Codes From 1998 3.4 GM Vehicles

All 1998 General Motors vehicles are compliant with the second generation of On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) codes, When a vehicle's diagnostic system senses a problem, it issues a trouble code and the codes can be extracted by using an OBD-II scanner. A mechanic also can retrieve the codes, but many mechanics charge fees for the service. The scanners are widely available, can be purchased and are easy to use.

Instructions

    1

    Turn off the vehicle's ignition and electrical system.

    2

    Insert the OBD-II scanner into the GM's diagnostic jack. The location may slightly vary by model of GM vehicle. It is usually located beneath the dashboard and steering wheel.

    3

    Turn on the scanner. If you look at the screen, you will not see a diagnostic code.

    4

    Place the GM's keys into the ignition and turn on the vehicle.

    5

    Watch the scanner's screen. It should take no more than a few seconds for the diagnostic code to appear.

    6

    Write down the code on a slip of paper. Turn off the car and then turn off the scanner.

    7

    Consult your scanner's user's manual where you should find the generic Society of Automotive Engineers codes. However, some codes may be specific to the vehicle manufacturer, which may not be in the scanner's manual. For those codes, consult one of the many OBD-dedicated websites online, such as obd-codes.com.

    8

    Read the code definition to determine if can repair the vehicle. If not, take the car to a professional mechanic to fix the problem.

1981 Ford F-150 Front Suspension Troubleshooting

The 1991 Ford F-150 came equipped with three basic types of suspension: a two-wheel drive coil-spring suspension, a two-wheel drive leaf-spring suspension and a four-wheel drive dual shock and coil-spring suspension. Testing each type of suspension requires a series of different steps. Confirming that all the suspension parts and bushings operate correctly is essential to the operation of all three types of front suspensions. Suspension parts on the 1991 F-150 can wear out over time or become corroded because of environmental elements.

Instructions

Two-Wheel Drive Coil Spring Front Suspension

    1

    Press downward forcefully on the front of the F-150, then release the truck. If the truck plunges downward and up only one time, then the front shocks and springs are in good condition. If the truck bounces or goes down and up several times, then the springs or shocks on the front of the truck need to be replaced. Inspect the shocks and springs for excess rust or fluid leaking from the shocks. Moisture around the casing of the shocks is a good indicator the shocks are bad.

    2

    Kneel next to the wheel well on one side of the truck. Locate the forward and rearward mounted leaf-spring shackles if you have a dual leaf-spring front end. Ask your assistant to bounce the front end of the truck. Inspect the radius arm that protrudes rearward from the axle assembly and is mounted to a shackle on the chassis. Look for any play in the bushing at the rearward end of the radius arm. Repeat this step on the other side of the truck. Replace both radius arm bushings if you find that one or both are bad.

    3

    Ask your assistant to continue to bounce the front end of the truck. Inspect the upper end of the wheel well, at the upper coil-spring seat. If you notice any movement in the upper spring seat, stop the bouncing of the truck. Raise the front of the truck with a jack and place jack stands beneath the front frame rails of the truck. Lower the truck onto the jack stands. Inspect the upper spring seats closer to verify the upper spring seats are not broken or rusted through.

    4

    Raise the truck off the jack stands once the inspection is finished. Remove the stands from beneath the truck and lower the truck to the ground.

Two-Wheel Drive Leaf-Spring Front Suspension

    5

    Press downward on the front bumper of the truck then release the truck. If the truck only dips one time and bounces right back up, the front shocks and leaf springs are in good shape. If the truck bounces more than once or continues to bounce, check the physical condition of both front shocks and leaf springs. Replace front shocks or leaf springs as needed.

    6

    Kneel next to one wheel well, and ask your assistant to bounce the truck up and down. Inspect the front and rear leaf-spring shackles, looking for play or movement in between the spring ends and the shackle bolts. If you find that one end of the leaf spring has play in it, replace both leaf-spring bushings inside the shackles. Repeat this step on the other side or just replace the bushings.

    7

    Inspect the stabilizer links, located just rearward from the front shock towers. If the stabilizer links are broken or only being held at one end, replace both stabilizer links. Wiggle the link side to side. If the link provides no resistance and moves freely, then replace the stabilizer links on both sides of the truck.

    8

    Lie beneath the driver's side of the truck. Ask your assistant to bounce the truck up and down. Visually inspect the front track bar assembly ends for play. The track bar extends from the front upper shock mount diagonally across to the passenger side frame. Replace the bushings at both ends of the track bar, even if you see movement only in one end.

Four-Wheel Drive Front Suspension

    9

    Press downward on the front bumper of the F-150 then release it. If the truck comes upward and rests after only one bounce, then the front dual shocks and coil springs are in good shape. If the truck bounces repeatedly, inspect the coil springs and dual shocks on both sides of the truck for damage. Replace both shocks on either side of the truck even if you only find that one is bad. Replace the shock bushings as well. Replace the coil springs on both sides of the truck if you find that one spring is bad.

    10

    Ask your assistant to bounce the front of the truck, and inspect the radius arms on both sides of the truck. The radius arms extend from the front axle housing to a shackle attached to the chassis. If you see play in either rearward end of a radius arm, replace both radius arm bushings.

    11

    Visually inspect the stabilizer link, on the rear side of both steering knuckles. Wiggle the link with your hand. If there is no resistance from the link ends, then replace both links. If the link ends are broken or only attached by one end, replace both stabilizer links.

Sabtu, 18 Agustus 2012

Should I Be Able to Blow Air Though a PCV Valve?

In the past, a vacuum operated positive crankcase ventilation valve, or PCV valve, was common. As vehicles became more advanced and computer controlled, the vacuum PCV valve became less common. The most common testing process for a vacuum PCV valve is to blow through it.

Construction

    The PCV valve is a small tube with a check valve on the inside. This check valve opens up as the engine's rpm increases, allowing more pressure to escape the crankcase. Over time, the valve may become clogged and not operate properly, leading to a rough idle.

Air Intake Side

    The valve on the inside is designed to prevent air from getting into the crankcase. If you attempt to blow through the top portion of the PCV valve -- where the vacuum hose connects -- you will feel little to no air coming from the bottom portion with a working valve.

Crankcase Side

    The valve is supposed to allow air to escape from the engine and into the vehicles intake for re-burning. If you attempt to blow through the bottom of the valve -- the part that inserts into the engine -- air should pass freely through the valve and out of the hole in the top. If there's restriction or no airflow, the valve needs replacing.

Jumat, 17 Agustus 2012

Rotten Egg or Sulfur Smell Coming from Diesel Exhaust

Diesel exhaust has always had a significant smell compared to the smell of a gasoline engine's exhaust, but in general it shouldnt exhibit much of a sulfurous smell. A sulfur or rotten egg smell is exactly that, the presence of hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust system. There are a number of causes for the rotten egg smell you are experiencing, including a source of stench that may not even have anything to do with the exhaust or engine at all.

A Bit More About Diesel

    Diesel fuel is often referred to as diesel oil because it is refined from crude oil, just like gasoline. Interestingly enough, diesel produces more energy than gasoline at 147,000 BTU per gallon as opposed to gasoline's 125,000 BTU. There is always going to be a certain amount of sulfur in diesel fuel, which depends largely on the quality of the crude oil it was made from. The different companies that produce diesel fuel are bound to certain specifications; however, the amount of sulfur in any given company's diesel fuel will vary.

Types of Diesel

    There are two different types of diesel; Basic diesel and ULSD, or ultra low sulfur diesel. Regular diesel can have up to 5000 parts per million of sulfur to be legally sold within the United States, as to where ULSD-rated diesel can have a maximum of 15 parts per million. Technically, there are three different grades of diesel fuel rated for use with diesel engines: No. 1-D S15, or ULSD, which is rated at a maximum of 15 PPM, No.1-D S500 can have a maximum of 500 PPM and NO.1-D S5000, which can have a maximum rating of 5000 PPM.

Sulfur Smell in Exhaust

    There are a couple of things than can cause a sulfur smell to be emitted with your exhaust gases. The first of which depends on the quality of the fuel available from your local gas station. If your gas station supplies the lowest grade of diesel, there could be up to 5000 PPM in sulfur content, which could cause a light-to-moderate sulfur or rotten egg smell in your exhaust. Pay attention to the grade of fuel you purchase, as a ULSD-grade diesel fuel -- noted on the pump -- has a lower sulfur content. ULSD-grade fuel can often be found at more popular or brand name gas stations. The only other likely cause for the sulfur smell, barring fuel quality, is either too much fuel being wasted and burning off in the catalytic converter or a clogged catalytic converter that releases too much sulfur. However, your vehicle may not be equipped with a catalytic converter, since diesel engines release lower amounts of noxious gases compared to gasoline. If your vehcile has a catalytic converter and ULSD grade fuel doesnt solve your problem, you should probably look into replacing the converter.

The Battery

    Often a noticeable sulfur smell in the cab can be confused for a rotten egg smell in the exhaust. The only thing under the hood that will likely emit a sulfur smell would be your battery or batteries, depending on your vehicle's set up. This will involve looking into your alternator or generator's performance, as well as the voltage and amperage it should be supplying. An alternator that is faulty or has a bad external regulator could be overcharging the battery, causing the electrolytic fluid inside to boil; which in turn creates a sulfur smell. Let your engine idle for a while and inspect your battery. If there is fluid escaping the caps on the top of the battery, your charging system probably has a fault that needs to be diagnosed and repaired immediately. Keep in mind that an over charged battery poses the risk of a potentially deadly explosion, making it a good idea to wear safety glasses and fire-proof clothing when inspecting the battery and charging system.

1998 Mitsubishi Montero Compression Troubleshooting

1998 Mitsubishi Montero Compression Troubleshooting

The Mitsubishi Montero is a sport utility vehicle available in two- or four-wheel drive. It is equipped with a 3.5-liter single overhead cam V-6 engine in the four wheel drive model. If the engine does not have the correct amount of compression, it will not start or run correctly. Compression is vital for the fuel and air mixture to burn cleanly and efficiently. One of the most obvious signs of low engine compression is if the engine cranks faster than normal. To diagnose this condition for certain, you will need to perform a compression test.

Instructions

    1

    Check the engine oil to see if the level is normal before starting this test. Verify that the battery and the starter are in good condition. You will need to be able to crank the engine over at its normal cranking speed to complete this test. Compression tests should also be performed with the engine at operating temperature. The coolant temperature must be between 175 and 200 degrees. If the coolant temperature gauge is in the normal operating range, the engine should be warm enough. Compression must be tested with a hot engine so that the parts are expanded to their maximum size.

    2

    Disconnect the spark plug cables using the spark plug boot pliers. Use these pliers to prevent damage to the cables. Take note of the location of each cable so that you will be able to install them in the same location. Use the spark plug socket and ratchet to remove all of the spark plugs. Disconnect the crankshaft position sensor located in the front of the engine. This will shut off the ignition and fuel injection.

    3

    Cover the spark plug hole with a rag. Crank the engine over a few times. Inspect the rag for any foreign material clinging to it. If you see foreign material, that cylinder could have experienced a major failure, and will need to be evaluated further. Keep away from the spark plug holes at all times when cranking. Screw the compression gauge into the first spark plug hole. Completely open the throttle, and crank over the engine for about 10 seconds. Read the compression value and take note of it.

    4

    Check the compression the same way on the other five cylinders. Note the results from each cylinder. The standard compression reading is 171 pounds per square inch. The minimum acceptable reading is 127 pounds per square inch. The cylinders can vary between all six by 14 pounds per square inch. Any reading or difference in readings outside of these ranges is a sign of a problem.

    5

    Squirt a small amount of motor oil into the spark plug hole of the cylinder with the abnormal reading. Repeat the compression test by inserting the compression gauge and cranking the engine with the throttle open. If the compression increases after you add the oil, the problem is in a piston ring or worn cylinder surface. If the compression does not rise, the problem is in the valve train. It could be a burnt or defective valve or seat, or pressure could be leaking from the head gasket. Connect the crankshaft position sensor and install the spark plugs and cables.

How to Troubleshoot an EGR Valve on a 1987 Ford Ranger 2.9

The exhaust gas recirculation, or EGR, valve in your 1987 Ford Ranger 2.9L engine allows small amounts of exhaust gases into the intake manifold. These gases mix with the air and fuel inside the combustion chambers to lower the temperature and reduce hazardous emissions. Thus, it is common for carbon buildup and miles of service to have their adverse effect on the EGR valve. Still, you can troubleshoot the valve at home to help you diagnose the component's condition before you decide it is time to replace it.

Instructions

    1

    Open the hood and locate the EGR valve and the idle air control valve. You will find the EGR valve around the top area of the engine. Look for a round, flat, metal component, about three to four inches in diameter. It has a small vacuum hose connected on top and a pipe, connected to the bottom of the valve leads to the exhaust manifold.

    2

    Make sure the two EGR valve-mounting bolts are tight and the vacuum hose is well connected and undamaged.

    3

    Start the engine and allow it to idle for about 20 minutes so that it reaches operating temperature. Disconnect the vacuum hose from the EGR valve and attach a vacuum gauge to the hose. The gauge should read less than 1.0-inch Hg (3.4 kPa) of vacuum. If the gauge registers more vacuum than the specified, inspect the EGR solenoid for proper operation.

    4

    Locate the idle air control, or IAC, valve. This valve mounts on the throttle body, which connects to the air cleaner assembly that houses the air filter. The IAC valve is a small cylinder, about three to four inches in length and about an inch in diameter. It has a slightly smaller cylinder on top with an electrical connector at the end. Two bolts secure the valve to the throttle body. Unplug the IAC valve electrical connector.

    5

    Leave the engine idling, disconnect the vacuum gauge from the vacuum hose and plug the hose with a suitable nail or similar object. If the engine will not remain idling without the IAC valve connected, ask an assistant to depress slightly the accelerator to keep it at idle.

    6

    Connect a hand-held vacuum pump to the fitting of the EGR valve where the vacuum hose connects. Apply 10-inch Hg (34 kPa) of vacuum to the EGR valve. The engine idle should drop below 100 rpm and return to normal when disconnecting the vacuum pump from the valve. Otherwise, turn off the engine, remove the EGR valve and clean any carbon build up in the passages. Repeat steps 4 through 6. If you find no carbon buildup or the valve fails again the test after cleaning the passages, replace the valve.

Rabu, 15 Agustus 2012

Ford Focus Transmission Problems

Ford Focus Transmission Problems

Problems with your Ford Focus' transmission may be difficult to diagnose and correct at home. There are a few indicators of transmission faults that you must consider. Certain repair procedures may be done at home, while others must be done by professionals.

Transmission Fluid

    It is important to maintain the level of transmission fluid in your Focus. Leaking or low transmission fluid can cause mechanical problems, such as transmission slippage, rough or difficult shifting and noises that occur when driving. Also, you may experience no acceleration when the car is in forward or reverse gears if the transmission fluid level is low.

Shifting Problems

    The shift linkage on the automatic transmission should be checked and adjusted if the engine starts when the shifter is on gears and not in Park or Neutral, the shifter indicates a different gear than one you are selecting or when the car moves while in Park. You can adjust the linkage at home with the proper tools.

Transmission Won't Downshift While Pressing the Accelerator

    When the Focus' transmission doesn't shift down while the accelerator is being pressed down, the throttle cable may need adjustments. However, this would require special tools and the procedure should be performed by professionals.