Minggu, 30 September 2012

How to Retrieve Check Engine Codes on a 1998 Escort

Self-diagnostic systems date back to Volkswagen's 1969 Type 3, the marque's first non-Beetle car. For the next 27 years, onboard diagnostic system programming was an automotive Wild West, where every manufacturer used whatever system they felt like using. In 1996, the Federal government stepped in to standardize automobile self-diagnostic systems with a programming protocol called On-board Diagnostics, Series 2. This very simple and universal system makes checking and clearing codes a no-skills-required affair.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the OBD-II port on the passenger side of the center console, just below the glove compartment. Remove the plastic or rubber cover from the OBD-II port to access the terminal pins; this connector is the data link that your code scanner will use to communicate with the car's computer.

    2

    Plug the code scanner into the OBD-II port, turn the car's ignition to the "on" position and wait for the scanner to engage the car's computer. Some scanners will automatically recognize the car's manufacturer programming protocol, others will require that you enter vehicle make, model, option package and engine information. Base Escorts got the 2.0-liter, single-overhead-cam four-cylinder engine, and ZX2 models got Ford's dual-cam Zetec 2.0-liter.

    3

    Follow the prompts on your code reader to determine the fault code. If the scanner doesn't carry a code database for Ford, you'll need to compare the code number to an OBD-II database for Ford. You can find such databases online by entering "Ford OBD2 codes" into your web browser, or by simply scrolling down to the Resources link on this article.

Indicator That the Alternator in an Automobile Is Failing

Indicator That the Alternator in an Automobile Is Failing

The alternator is driven by a serpentine or accessory belt that is connected to the crankshaft pulley. The alternator's job is solely to generate electricity to power the vehicle's electronics and recharge the battery while the engine is running. Most alternators put out around 14.5 volts of electricity and between 80 and 120 amps, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. When an alternator fails, all of the electronic components of the vehicle will rely on just the battery, and once that battery charge drops, your vehicle will stall.

Dash Warning Light

    Most vehicles built in the last decade or so have computers that monitor the output of the alternator. When the alternator output drops below a certain point, the computer will trigger the malfunction light, indicating there is a problem. Some vehicles also have volt meters built into the dash; these meters should always read upward of 14 to 16 volts when the engine is running. Sometimes the warning lights are in the shape of a little red battery or a light that says "Gen;" either way, this is a good sign the alternator's life is close to the end.

Dim Head Lights

    Keep in mind the headlights operate off the same battery and voltage supply as the rest of the vehicle, and they draw a lot of electricity when turned on. If your lights have noticeably become dim or are slowly dimming, then there is a clear problem and this is a good indicator that alternator failure is imminent.

Dead battery

    If there are no components left on at night and you have to jump start your vehicle in the mornings, this is generally an indicator of a discharged or bad battery, but it could also mean the alternator is failing. Have the battery diagnosed to determine if the battery should be replaced. If the alternator is only keeping up with all of the electronics in the vehicle, it is not able to adequately supply a good charge to the battery. This causes no-start conditions after the vehicle has been parked.

Noise and Smell

    The alternator pulley is connected to the alternator's rotor shaft, which is supported by bearings and/or bushings. In cases of a loose belt, an over-tightened belt or just excessive use and age, the bearings can wear down. Faulty alternator bearings will create a growling noise, which is a sure sign it is time to replace the alternator. Worn or damaged bushings will create a burning rubber smell, and if the windings inside the alternator become faulty, there will be a smell of burnt electrical wire even when the engine is turned off. Any time you observe any of these symptoms, the alternator will most likely struggle to create ample electricity.

Failing Electrial Components

    In some cases, when the alternator is no longer putting out enough voltage to compensate for the use of components installed in the vehicle, some components will flicker or surge on and off; this is quite common with radios, for example. The dome light or map lights will fluctuate in brightness. Vehicles with after-market stereo systems will experience extreme drain from most components during large power draws from the amplifier, because the alternator is not capable of compensating for such a strong draw.

What Is an EGR Solenoid Malfunction?

What Is an EGR Solenoid Malfunction?

An EGR switch consists of a valve, vacuum and solenoid. When a vehicle's combustion temperature rises above 2500 degrees, the EGR valve opens and the vacuum draws in exhaust to help balance out harmful emissions. The EGR solenoid controls the vacuum process through the valve and if it malfunctions, major problems can develop.

Structure

    A solenoid consists of a coil connected to a plunger that opens or blocks the EGR vacuum. It has 4 wires that are triggered by the power control module to turn the vacuum on or off and monitor its position.

Problems

    The EGR vacuum will not operate if the power control module does not signal the solenoid to switch it on. Also, faulty wiring of the solenoid can cause over-stimulation of the vacuum, creating a stronger suction than needed. As a result, the EGR valve may become clogged or open too widely. Both of these actions can cause emissions and drivability problems.

Symptoms

    Some symptoms of a faulty solenoid include poor idle, poor acceleration, stalling, low engine vacuum and hesitation or rough riding while driving.

How to Troubleshoot a 1990 Mustang LX With No Spark

The EEC IV (electronic engine control version four) in your 1990 Mustang LX uses a distributor mounted ignition module and pick-up coil to trigger the ignition coil and provide spark for the spark plugs. There are several parts in this system that can fail and cause there to be no spark at the spark plugs. Systematically testing and eliminating the possible causes of the fault will allow you to pinpoint the exact cause and prevent unnecessary replacement of good ignition system parts.

Instructions

    1

    Twist the rubber boot on one of the spark plug wires and pull until it unsnaps from the spark plug. Plug the spark tester into the plug wire and clip the ground wire of the tester to the engine block or other suitable source of ground like a bolt or bracket on the cylinder head. Have an assistant turn the key and try to start the engine while you observe the tester. If no spark occurs, repeat the test on a spark plug wire on the opposite side of the engine. If both wires fail to produce a spark, go to the next test.

    2

    Twist and pull the rubber boot on the coil wire in the center of the distributor cap on top of the distributor until it unsnaps from the cap. Plug the spark tester into the coil wire and attach the ground lead to the engine. Try to start the engine. If a spark is produced at the coil wire, replace the distributor cap, ignition rotor (located under the distributor cap) and the plug wires. If no spark is produced at the coil wire, continue testing.

    3

    Attach the battery clip on the test light to the negative battery terminal. In the 1990 Mustang, the battery is located in the front of the engine compartment on the driver-side. Turn the ignition key to the "run" position and touch the probe end to the terminals in the back of the ignition coil's electrical connector. Have an assistant try to start the engine while you observe the test light. If the light in the coil lights up (indicating power is being supplied to the coil) on one of the terminals, but not the other, replace the coil. If power is indicated on both terminals, continue.

    4

    Unplug the electrical connector from the coil. Connect the battery clip of the test light to the positive terminal on the battery. Have an assistant try to start the engine while you test for power in the same manner as the last step.One terminal on the electrical connector should cause the light on the test light to flash. If the light doesn't flash, replace the pick-up coil in the distributor and ignition module attached to the side of the distributor.

Sabtu, 29 September 2012

The Digital Multimeter: How It Works

The Digital Multimeter: How It Works

Your digital multimeter may have various functions to take readings on your car's electrical circuit. You can make a diagnosis when the readings differ from manufacturer's specifications. The meter includes features that you should learn if you wish to make full use of it.

The Dial

    A good multimeter has a dial that turns to set the screen to display D/C or A/C voltage, resistance (or Ohms; megohm, kilohm) and amperes (or amperage or amps; microamps, and milliamps). Set the dial to any of these indicators to take a reading on electronics and wires when using the meter leads.

The Meter Leads

    The meter leads are used to probe the positive and negative ends of electronics or wires so that the meter can take a measurement. The leads need to be plugged into the multimeter to coincide with the dial's setting. The black lead has only one port to plug for ground. The other ports are for the red lead to measure amperage and voltage.

The Ports

    The ports for the leads that come with your multimeter are also available for use by other accessories to make measurements easier. Such accessories may include an inductive pickup clamp (to avoid cutting into wires) and thermo probes that take temperature readings.

How to Retrieve the Trouble Codes From a 1987 Ford Escort

How to Retrieve the Trouble Codes From a 1987 Ford Escort

The second generation of On-Board Diagnostic codes began in 1996, so the '87 Ford Escort predates the OBD-II codes by nine years. Since this vehicle has a different diagnostic system than present-day cars, an OBD scanner will not be helpful. However, you can check the codes without a scanner.

Instructions

    1

    Place the Escort's ignition key into the ignition, but do not start the car. Just leave it there for later use.

    2

    Open the hood.

    3

    Look for two outlets in the engine. The Self Test Output (STO) has six pin receptors. Next to the STO, you should find the Self Test Input. It is smaller and has only one receptor.

    4

    Look at the STO and locate the two bottom outlets. One of them is the ground outlet, and it is on the left.

    5

    Connect the ground outlet to the Self Test Input with a jumper wire.

    6

    Get a pen and notepad and sit in the driver's seat.

    7

    Turn the key in ignition to "Run" and wait. Since the '87 Escort is an older vehicle, the code will not instantly appear.

    8

    Count the number of times the "Check Engine" light flashes. These flashes will correspond to a specific code number. There will be a two second pause between digits in the code. For example, if the trouble code is 11, the check engine light will blink once, two seconds will elapse, and the light will blink one more time. If the diagnostic system reports more than one code at a time, there will be a four-second pause between the end of one code and the beginning of another.

    9

    Write down the codes on your notepad. Look up those codes online on websites such as Freeautomechanic.com or Fordfuelinjectors.com. Both offer lists of trouble codes and their definitions.

How to Hook Up a Diagnostic Code Reader

How to Hook Up a Diagnostic Code Reader

Most diagnostic code readers sold are configured for the second generation On-Board Diagnostic codes, though you can buy separate scanners for codes predating the 1996 switch to OBD-II trouble codes. A car's anti-lock braking system works independently of the OBD-II codes. To access the breaking system, you will either need an ABS code reader, or a more expensive diagnostic reader programmed for all codes. Still, OBD and ABS scanners hook up to a cars in the same way.

Instructions

    1

    Connect the diagnostic cable to the diagnostic code reader. One end of this cable will feature a 16-pin plug, which fits into the car's diagnostic port. The other end of the cable fits into the reader.

    2

    Connect the ABS or OBD-II's 16-pronged plug to the car's diagnostic port. This outlet is usually made out of black plastic and lies beneath the dashboard. Locations may sometimes vary, but it's usually either left, right, or directly under the steering wheel. If you can't find the diagnostic port, consult a website like obdclearinghouse.com, which carries an exhaustive database of outlet locations organized by year, make and model of vehicle.

    3

    Turn the scanner on. This might differ by brands and models of scanners. Some will automatically come on once they connect to the car, while others will need you to switch them on by hand.

    4

    Wait for the code to appear. In most cases, you will have to turn the car on to get the diagnostic system running. Whether you have to crank the engine or not depends on the model and age of the car.

How to Diagnose an Automatic Transmission That Starts Out in 3rd

How to Diagnose an Automatic Transmission That Starts Out in 3rd

Automatic car transmissions remove the need for manually shifting by automatically changing gears once the correct engine and vehicle speed is attained. Unlike manual transmissions that downshift by direct user contact, automatic transmissions downshift using a governor, or electronic system, that tells the transmission how fast the car is going. Defective components responsible for downshifting can result in a transmission starting out in a gear higher than first. This is primarily characterized by a slow take-off with noticeable loss of engine power.

Instructions

    1

    Drive the car at 25 mph if possible. Attempt to manually shift the transmission by shifting from the drive gear into second or low gear. If the car does not downshift, a valve body, band adjustment or transmission pump problem is present and most likely due to improperly adjusted bands or blocked fluid channels. If the car does downshift, the transmission's governor or shift solenoids have failed.

    2

    Check the automatic transmission fluid level by removing the dipstick, wiping it once with a rag, then replacing it and pulling it out again to accurately determine the level. If the automatic transmission fluid is low, add fluid according the manufacturer's recommendations. Low transmission fluid will not allow the transmission to shift normally.

    3

    Place a small drop of the transmission fluid on a white cloth or paper towel next to a drop of fresh automatic transmission fluid. If the drop from the transmission smells burned or is significantly darker than the fresh automatic transmission fluid, a fluid change is necessary. Burned fluid with lots of material in it can indicate burned internal clutches, which necessitates an engine rebuild. Check for a clogged valve body, too.

    4

    Scan for codes using an on-board diagnostics scanner if the vehicle is equipped with an electrical diagnostics system. Most auto parts stores will loan or rent a scanner to frequent customers. Hook up the scanner, turn the car to accessory mode and enter the scanner's scan mode. Codes that indicate electrical failure of the transmission will require a check of all affected wires and sensors in the transmission. Use a wiring schematic for the vehicle to ensure no electrical shorts have occurred.

    5

    Adjust the bands in the transmission according to the vehicle's repair manual. An improperly adjusted band can cause permanently engaged gears, such as a vehicle which always starts in third. In most cases, a combination wrench is used for band adjustment.

    6

    Remove the transmission pan using a combination wrench. Place a drain pan under the transmission to catch the transmission fluid. Once removed, inspect the magnet at the bottom of the pan for large chunks of metal. If large chunks of metal or excessive sludge is present, remove and clean the valve body channels.

    7

    Lubricate the governor body and inspect all plungers and channels for free, uninhibited movement. The governor tells the transmission to downshift using the shift solenoid when the car's speed is reduced while under light or no engine load. A defective governor will not allow the transmission to downshift automatically.

    8

    Inspect the shift solenoids for any breakage, wear and tear, corrosion or buildup of material by running 12 volts across the connectors. A properly running solenoid will click in response to the voltage, indicating proper functionality. If no clicking is present, the solenoid has failed and will need to be replaced.

    9

    Replace the transmission pan, using the proper gasket-maker as recommended by the car's repair manual. Complete the diagnosis by filling the transmission with the recommended transmission fluid indicated in the owner's manual.

How to Diagnose Car Air Conditioner Problems

How to Diagnose Car Air Conditioner Problems

Driving a car, during the hot summer months, without a working air conditioner can be an unpleasant experience, to say the least. Warm air blowing through the air conditioner is commonly caused by a refrigerant leak, some kind of system blockage, dirt or moisture buildup. An auto mechanic can easily fix the broken air conditioner. However, for those people adventurous enough to fix it themselves, there are several steps to properly diagnose the problem.

Instructions

Check the Compressor

    1

    Start the car and turn the air conditioner on. Open the hood and locate the compressor, which looks like a pump with valve stems and two large hoses coming of it.

    2

    Verify that the center of the compressor turns. If it is not turning, jump the compressor by hooking a jumper wire directly to the battery. Locate the wire leading to the electric clutch. Unplug the connector in the middle of the wire. Hook the jumper wire to the compressor wire and the positive terminal of the car battery.

    3

    Replace the compressor clutch relay if the air conditioner begins to blow cold air. If the car begins to squeal, the entire compressor may need to be replaced. If the air conditioner blows warm air after jumping the compressor, the refrigerant may need to be charged.

Check the Refrigerant

    4

    Locate a hose marked as the "high pressure line" on the compressor. Attach an air conditioner pressure gauge to the high-pressure line. Ensure there no gaps by visually inspecting the line and gauge.

    5

    Read the gauge after one minute. If the gauge shows green, the refrigerant is normal. If the gauge shows red, the coolant level is low. If the gauge reads high, contact a mechanic immediately to assess the problem. Remove the gauge from the line.

    6

    Refill the refrigerant, if necessary, with two cans of refrigerant. Attach one can to the high-pressure line by fitting the hose from the can around the high-pressure line from the compressor. Follow the product-specific instructions printed on the can to complete the connection process.

    7

    Turn the air conditioner to "High" or "Max." Release the refrigerant into the high-pressure line by unscrewing the connected valve on the refrigerant can. Turn the can upside down. When ice begins to form, this indicates that the refrigerant is almost completely transferred. Shake the can and feel if there is any more refrigerant remaining. When the can is empty, disconnect the hose on the can and discard both.

How to Troubleshoot a 1994 Jeep Wrangler Fuel Problem

How to Troubleshoot a 1994 Jeep Wrangler Fuel Problem

The 1994 Jeep Wrangler YJ came from the factory with either a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder or a 4.0 liter 6-cylinder engine. Chrysler also provided options for manual or automatic transmissions and an extended roll cage for the passengers in the rear seat. While the YJ series was initially known as the Yuppie Jeep for its attention to interior passenger comfort and its smoother street ride, it maintained its off-road capabilities.

Instructions

    1

    Replace the fuel filter. A clogged fuel filter can cause the Jeep Wrangler to hesitate or stutter during acceleration or driving. The engine may stall or idle roughly. The fuel filter is located on the left side frame rail near the fuel tank. Use the crescent wrench to remove the metal shield over the filter. Use the screwdriver to remove the hose clamps. Use the rags to prevent fuel from spilling. Use the crescent wrench to remove the securing strap bolt.

    2

    Check the fuel injectors. Clogged, dirty or defective fuel injectors can cause the engine to miss while idling or run roughly. The engine can also stall or lack power. The 1994 Jeep Wrangler is equipped with a multi-port fuel injection system. Use the automotive stethoscope to listen to each injector. A quick ticking sound indicates the injector is operating. No sound indicates the injector is bad. Replace the injector.

    3

    Check the fuel pump. A faulty fuel pump can cause stalls or surges while idling or driving. Attach the fuel pressure test gauge to the test port on the fuel rail. At idle, the gauge should read 31 pounds per square inch with the vacuum assisted pressure regulator attached and 39 pounds per square inch with it detached. After testing the fuel pressure, shut the engine off and leave the gauge attached for 30 minutes. If the pressure drops 20 pounds per square inch replace the fuel pressure regulator. If it drops more than 20 pounds per square inch replace the fuel pump.

Kamis, 27 September 2012

How to Troubleshoot an Automotive Fuel System

A car needs a few major things to run properly. You will need spark, vacuum and fuel. The fuel system of a car is not extremely complex. If you have an issue with your fuel system, you can do some simple troubleshooting before you take it to the repair shop. You could find the issue on your own and save some money.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the fuel line that enters the carburetor or fuel injector unit. You will know the fuel line because it runs back under the car to the fuel tank.

    2

    Remove the fuel line from the carburetor or fuel injector unit with the screwdriver. Turn the screw on the fuel line counterclockwise to loosen. Pull the fuel line off. Have the container under the fuel line so that you don't spill gas all over the engine. Use the rag to wipe up any spills.

    3

    Have a helper turn the key to the start position; watch the fuel line for fuel pumping out of it. If you have no fuel pumping out, then you have an issue with your fuel filter or fuel pump.

    4

    Locate the fuel filter on the car. It can be located under the car or in the engine compartment. Most of the time is looks like a metal cylinder. Remove the fuel line from the filter with the screwdriver set. Remove the filter from the car. Wipe off the end of the fuel filter with the rag and try to blow air through it. If nothing passes through, then you need a fuel filter. If air blows through, then you might need a fuel pump.

    5

    Have your helper turn the key to the start position again and notice if any fuel flows out of the fuel line. If you still have no fuel then you need a new fuel pump.

How to Diagnose Brake Squealing Problems

How to Diagnose Brake Squealing Problems

Diagnosing an annoying brake squeal is like trying to diagnose a bad headache. The symptoms are obvious, but it is virtually impossible to pinpoint a single underlying cause. Fortunately, brake squeal is not a headache although it can perhaps give one to the driver. Squeal can be caused by a combination of factors that sometimes add up to create the noise. It can also be a symptom of bigger brake problems.

Instructions

    1

    Determine where the brake squeal is coming from. Drive slowly in an empty parking lot and brake frequently while carefully listening for the squeal. Note if the brakes squeal when they are applied or if the noise is present, while driving, then disappears when the brakes are applied. Determine if the noise is coming from the front or the back and if it's from just one wheel or more. Focus your diagnostic efforts on the wheel or wheels that are the main source of the noise. If the brakes are new and the noise is not alarmingly so, give the new brakes a couple of weeks to wear in to see if the noise goes away.

    2

    Check the thickness of the disc pads and be sure it exceeds the minimum specified for your vehicle (typically 5/64 to 3/32 of an inch for passenger cars). Some pads are fitted with a looped metal leaf wear indicator that will rub on the disc when the pad reaches minimum thickness. These are usually fitted on the inside pads only. The indicator will produce a squeal that will often go away when the brakes are applied. Replace worn-out pads. Uneven brake pad wear can result in uneven pressure between the pads, sometimes causing a squeal during braking. This normally indicates a seized caliper. In this case, the caliper slider pins should be thoroughly lubricated and new disc pads installed.

    3

    Examine the back of the disc pad backing plates to see if shims are present. Soft shims are commonly used here to absorb high frequency vibration and reduce noise. Occasionally, they can detach and fall off. Replace any that are missing and install them if they are not present.

    4

    Check the surface of the disc pads and the discs. Sometimes material can become embedded in the pads. Heavy or severe use can cause the surface of the pads or the disc to become glazed. Dust, either from the road or from brake pad wear, can sometimes form a layer on one or more pads. If any pad or disc surfaces don't look right, then the parts should be replaced.

    5

    Inspect brake drums and shoes if the vehicle is equipped with drum brakes. Squeal is often the result of dust accumulation inside the drums. Check the condition of the shoe linings. The lining thickness should exceed the minimum specified for your vehicle, and the wear should be even. The surface should be free from contamination and should have an even and unglazed appearance. Defective parts should be replaced; and if uneven wear is noticed, then the brakes should be thoroughly checked for proper alignment, bent backing plates and proper return spring operation.

Rabu, 26 September 2012

Symptoms of a Transmission Shift Cable in a Chevy Truck

Symptoms of a Transmission Shift Cable in a Chevy Truck

The Chevy truck has a transmission shift cable which runs from the gear shift to the transmission linkage. This cable is what changes gears when the Chevy truck driver manipulates the shift lever. Symptoms will show up during operation of the Chevy when the shift cable begins to go bad.

Gears Hard to Shift

    The Chevy truck becomes hard to shift from gear to gear when the transmission shift cable is failing. This symptom begins because the shift cable is not pulling on the linkage, and the gear shift lever becomes stiff. Shift becomes hard as the shifter moves from first to second, then to third, and even harder when shifting into fourth or fifth gear. Reverse will become the hardest gear to engage. The only correction for this is to replace the cable and inspect the linkage to ensure no damage has been done to this transmission component.

Pops Out of Gear

    Another symptom of a bad transmission shifting cable in the Chevy truck is when the gear shift begins to jump or pop out of gear. This is more prevalent in first gear because of the stress that decelerating the Chevy places on the transmission and shift cable. The brackets which hold the cable in place are most likely broken, allowing the cable to tighten during deceleration of the truck. The Chevy owner needs to inspect the shift cable to determine if it is still in good condition, and replace the broken brackets to repair this problem.

Shift Cable Stretched

    If the transmission cable is stretched, the driver cannot shift into certain gears, in particular, the higher gears such as third, fourth and fifth. The cable is not engaging the linkage because it has been stretched or loosened. This problem develops over time, under normal driving conditions. Automatic transmission on the Chevy truck can exhibit the same symptom -- the driver can move the lever into drive or "D", but the gear itself isn't actually engaged. The cable must be replaced to correct this problem.

Selasa, 25 September 2012

What Causes a Fan Belt to Squeal?

What Causes a Fan Belt to Squeal?

All modern automobiles have several accessories on the front of the engine including an air-conditioning compressor, alternator, power steering pump, water pump and cooling fan. A drive belt -- commonly referred to as a fan belt -- drives one or more of these accessories. When a component in the fan belt system fails, you may hear a squealing sound from the fan belt. Four main components can cause a fan belt to squeal.

Failed Fan Belt

    A failed belt is the most likely cause for it squealing. As the fan belt ages, it becomes glazed and stretched. Glazing and stretching causes the belt to slip on the pulleys that it drives -- air-conditioning, power steering and alternator, for example. This slipping noise causes a squealing sound from the fan belt, and the only way to rectify this is to replace the belt.

Failed Accessory

    The fan belt typically drives several components besides the fan. If one of these components fails and locks up, it can cause a loud squealing sound from the belt. The only way to rectify this problem is to replace the failed component. The belt also runs over several idler pulleys only there to guide the belt. If the bearing in an idler pulley fails, you may hear a squealing sound as the belt drags along the pulley.

Pulley Glaze

    Just as the fan belt glazes, sometimes a pulley can glaze. Plastic pulleys are more susceptible to glazing than a metal pulley. This can cause the belt to lose its grip on the pulley, causing a squealing sound. The only way to rectify this problem is to replace the glazed pulley.

Belt Tensioner

    The fan belt requires a certain amount of tension to operate correctly -- the tension varies, depending on the vehicle. Some vehicles have a manual tensioner pulley and that allows an adjustment of the tension on the belt as it stretches with age. If your vehicle has an automatic belt tensioner, it does not require any adjusting by you. In the case of a loose automatic tensioner, replace the tensioner to rectify the problem.

Temporary Squeal Elimination

    Several companies sell a belt dressing that reduces or eliminates belt squeal. This dressing is only for temporary use and using it as a repair will eventually lead to belt breakage. If the belt breaks on the road, it can leave you stranded, due to overheating or a drained battery.

Senin, 24 September 2012

How to Check Injectors

How to Check Injectors

Fuel injectors are responsible for fuel delivery to the cylinder. The device is composed of an electrical solenoid that controls a valve which allows fuel to flow at determined amounts. However, with time a fuel injector can become faulty and malfunction. It can allow excess fuel into the cylinders or even stop fuel circulation to the cylinders altogether. There are various symptoms of a faulty fuel injector such as difficulty starting the vehicle or rough idling. You can check your fuel injector regularly for malfunctions by performing a few tests with common items.

Instructions

Ohms Test

    1

    Park the vehicle on a flat surface and turn off the vehicle. Remove the electrical connectors attached to the injector being tested.

    2

    Connect the multimeter leads to the two metal contacts on the injector. Ensure that the multimeter is in the Ohms setting.

    3

    Record the ohms reading from the multimeter on a notepad with a pen.

    4

    Repeat the procedures in Steps 1 to 3 to record the readings on the various injectors. If one injector has a reading that is much higher or lower than the others, it is most likely faulty. All fuel injectors should have similar readings.

Stethoscope Test

    5

    Park the vehicle and leave the engine turned on.

    6

    Position one end of the stethoscope against the fuel injector.

    7

    Listen for a clicking noise which would be the injector firing. An injector that is functional will make a clicking sound each time the electronic valve opens. If the clicking sound is not heard, the injector should be replaced.

Fuel Pressure Regulator Test

    8

    Disconnect the vacuum line that is allowing the fuel to travel to the fuel pressure regulator.

    9

    Check the regulator for fuel presence. The regulator diaphragm is ruptured and feeding raw fuel to the engine if there is fuel present in the regulator.

    10

    Replace the faulty regulator with a new fuel pressure regulator.

Voltage Test

    11

    Park the vehicle and turn on the ignition without starting the engine. Ensure that the multimeter settings are set to "Volts".

    12

    Disconnect any electrical connectors or plugs from the injectors being tested.

    13

    Attach the multimeter to the ends of the injector's electrical plugs to determine the voltage. Generally, the voltage should read approximately 12 volts.

    14

    Remove the multimeter from the electrical plugs. Switch the ignition to turn it off.

    15

    Attach the multimeter's black lead to the vehicle's battery's positive terminal. Connect the red lead to the electrical plug that was not functional.

    16

    Turn the engine over for the fuel injector's electrical lines to charge and observe the multimeter. The voltage should alternate from 0 to 12 volts. Repeat the procedure for each injector plug to check the voltage (injector pulse). Should there be no injector pulse, replace the faulty injector. If the test is positive and the injector is still not functional, you may have to replace the injector as well.

How to Troubleshoot Lighting on Utility Trailers

How to Troubleshoot Lighting on Utility Trailers

The minimum required lighting on all utility trailers consists of brake lights, tail lights and turn signals. Enclosed utility trailers have the option to include side marker running lights and interior lights. All marker lights on a utility trailer should be wired in parallel rather, than in a series. If the lights are installed in a series, when one light burns out, they all go out because the failed light has just created an open circuit. In parallel, all lights receive power from a dedicated line.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the lights on and inspect all trailer lights to determine which have failed. Leave them on for the duration of these checks. Check the tail lights and turn signals. Make a note of the ones that are inoperative. Have a helper step on the brake pedal and test the brake lights.

    2

    Remove the tail light lens cover using a screwdriver. Push in slightly and twist the light bulb to remove it. Look at the filaments to see if they are broken. Sometimes it is extremely difficult to see if the filament is broken; it is sometimes easier and more reliable to use a new bulb to eliminate this possibility.

    3

    Turn the voltmeter dial to 20 volts DC. Connect the black ground lead to a good ground on the frame of the trailer. Use the red lead with the pointy probe to test for power at the socket. The bottom of the socket has the battery voltage and the sides of the socket are the ground. Be careful when probing a socket that you do not touch the side of the socket and the bottom simultaneously or you will create a short and blow a fuse. Test the bottom of the socket for power using the probe. There should be 12 volts if it is working. If there is no voltage, go to the trailer plug at the towing vehicle.

    4

    Separate the trailer plug. Check the towing vehicle's pigtail for power. If there is power at this point, then there must be a break in the line from the vehicle plug to the lights.

    5

    Probe the wires directly behind the plug on the trailer side to see if the plug is the problem. If no power is present, the plug is defective or corroded. Leave the probe on the wire and twist and bend the plug to see if power is restored. If the power is restored, separate and clean the plug with some baking soda and water. If the power is not restored, replace the plug. If power is present behind the plug on the trailer side, move the probe down the wire a couple feet at a time until the power is located. Now you know what section of wire is defective. Replace this section of wire.

    6

    Check the ground at the socket. Place the voltmeter on the Ohms scale. Leave the black ground lead on a good ground on the trailer frame. Probe the inside side of the socket and watch the ohmmeter display. It will display a 1 when static, meaning there is no continuity. When the probe is touched to a good circuit, the meter will display a number representing the amount of resistance in the circuit, such as 550 ohms; this means the circuit is closed but has this amount of resistance. The higher the resistance, the lower the voltage. If the display on the ohmmeter does not change when testing a circuit it means no voltage can flow through the circuit to ground. A bad socket or bad ground cause this. Trace the black ground wire from the socket to the frame. Remove the ground wire from the frame and connect it to the black lead on the ohmmeter. Probe the side of the socket again. If continuity exists from the socket to the end of the wire, the ground was bad. Scrape the ground clean of all rust and install the ground wire again. If no continuity exists, replace the socket.

    7

    Check the marker lights in the same manner. The marker lights have one wire with power. Each of the marker lights is tied into the main power wire. Each marker light has its own individual ground. Trace the power with the voltmeter, performing the same socket tests you did for the tail lights. Check the power at the socket, then check to make sure the ground is good, clean and tight, and that the bulb is good.

Minggu, 23 September 2012

How to Troubleshoot a 1997 Chevrolet Silverado

Over the course of owning and driving your 1997 Chevy Silverado pickup truck, you may encounter various issues with the engine, drivetrain, and electrical system. Finding out what is causing such issues can become a frustrating process if you do not perform the proper diagnosis. Your Silverado comes equipped with an onboard diagnostic computer, known as OBDII, which will send out unique error codes when mechanical and electrical parts of your Silverado stop working. You can scan the OBDII system for these error codes to find out what needs to be fixed.

Instructions

    1

    Determine the location of the OBDII port in your Silverado by referencing the owner's manual or by feeling around the area below your steering wheel, at the top of the driver's foot well. The OBDII port is approximately 3/4-inch high and about two inches wide.

    2

    Power the code scanning tool on and plug it into the OBDII port on your Silverado.

    3

    Insert your Silverado's key into the ignition and turn the ignition so that the engine is idling or so that the electronics of the car are turned on at bare minimum.

    4

    Allow the code scanning device to perform an automatic scan for error codes. Write down all error codes that appear on the screen of the code scanning device.

    5

    Bring the list of error codes to a Chevrolet dealership or your local auto parts store or mechanic, all of which will have reference materials that can translate the error codes and tell you which parts are broken. You can also perform a web search for the error codes to find out what types of failures they represent.

Sabtu, 22 September 2012

Check Engine Light Codes for Toyota

The check engine light is controlled by a diagnostic computer that monitors sensors located throughout a vehicle's mechanical systems. In case of an abnormal reading, this warning light alerts you that the vehicle should be serviced.

History

    On-board diagnostic computers began appearing in vehicles in the late 1980s. Starting in 1996, an OBD-II (on-board diagnostic, 2nd generation) system has been required on all vehicles sold in the United States. All OBD-II-compliant vehicles share a basic set of codes, which must be read by a scan tool. Many vehicles also have manufacturer-specific codes as well.

Pre-1996 Codes

    OBD-I (first-generation on-board-diagnostic) codes were not standardized from maker to maker, though a few post-1994 vehicles are equipped with an OBD-II-compliant diagnostic computer. To retrieve an OBD-I code, a mechanic must jump two terminals in the check engine connector and observe the check engine light to decode a pattern of blinks.

OBD-II Codes

    All post-1995 vehicles, including Toyotas, share a common set of diagnostic codes. These are five-character codes, one letter followed by four numbers in which the first number is a 0 (zero), such as P0171. Toyota also has a subset of manufacturer-specific codes, in which the first numeric character is a 1 (one), such as P1406.

Reasons for a Blown Turbo

Reasons for a Blown Turbo

A turbo charger, or turbo for short, is a system that compresses the air that goes into the intake side of an internal combustion engine or motor. This creates power for the motor. Turbos increase the air going into the engine which in turn increases the power of the motor. Many vehicles have turbo chargers on them to create more power for the vehicle.

Seals

    The most common reason for a blown turbo is a failed seal. Seals are made of rubber that is resistant to high heat. As with any rubber product, turbo seals become brittle over time. Once the rubber seal is brittle enough to crack, the cracks cause leakage which results in a blown turbo.

Heat

    Heat in a turbo is produced two ways. The primary heat is from the exhaust gasses that spin the turbine. Exhaust coming from a motor is extremely hot because it is coming from the compressed and ignited fuel and air mixture inside the combustion chamber. The other heat is produced by the high speed that the turbine spins at, which creates friction. This extreme heat causes pressure that may result in broken parts and a blown turbo.

Oil Leakage

    Prolonged exposure to heat can cause the turbo to fail. When the heat causes the rubber seals to deteriorate and crack, the oil inside the turbo's turbine leaks out. Leaking oil equates to not enough oil in the turbo to keep the system lubricated. If the system is not lubricated, the bearings will seize up and will result in a blown turbo.

Stress Fractures

    The chamber where the compressed air is pushed through can develop stress fractures from rapid heating and cooling or from receiving a blow from a rock or other object that is foreign to the engine bay of the vehicle. When this occurs there is no longer any way for the turbo to compress air.

Tips on Quieting Steering Pumps

Tips on Quieting Steering Pumps

Steering pumps provide the might and muscle to "power" steering. They operate continuously, anytime the vehicle engine runs. The hydraulic steering system is pressurized whether the steering wheel is moving, or stationary. This constant displacement of fluid means a pump's exertions may produce some unsavory sounds, any time a vehicle is underway. Peace and quiet under the hood inspires confidence in a vehicle, and may be obtained by some simple inspections or minor corrections to silence steering pump operations.

Have a Belt

    The belt that drives the steering pump must be kept at a prescribed tension to avoid slippage. A slipping belt can not only produce disturbing rackets at different speeds, but may also indicate intermittent loss of pump function. This is especially true at low speeds, when the load on the pump is maximized. While serpentine belts are typically kept taught automatically, V-style drive belts require periodic adjustment. Either style of belt can malfunction if the pump is not mounted securely, and squarely. Sighting down the line of belt travel might reveal a pump pulley that is off kilter. Belt tension can be checked with a specific gauge, or by examining automatic tensioner position indicators. Worn belts must be replaced to ensure proper operation.

In the Drink

    Power steering fluid levels must be maintained as specified by the vehicle manufacturer, to prevent certain conditions that may irritate the ear. Buzzing and whirring sounds usually indicate fluid aeration, which occurs when the level is too low. This audible signal can change pitch as the steering wheel is turned, or show up under some certain circumstances, like climbing or descending steep inclines. Aeration can lead to foam forming in the fluid, throughout the hydraulic system, and the noise persists under all conditions. Allow time for the air to escape the fluid, before attempting to adjust the level. Adjust the level in consideration of manufacturer's recommendations, and engine compartment temperature, once the foam has cleared..

Cocktails

    Dirty engine compartments can contribute to pump noise and deterioration.
    Dirty engine compartments can contribute to pump noise and deterioration.

    Some vehicle manufacturers use a brand-specific transmission fluid for steering hydraulics, while others employ particular oils for the task. Pump seals and impellers are designed with fluid composition in mind, and adverse reactions to incorrect fluids can be vociferous and destructive. A system that requires frequent fills not only displays symptoms of leakage, but is more likely to be topped off with incorrect fluid. Inadvertently introducing fluids of different viscosity and composition to the pump reservoir can contaminate the fluid. Well-meaning, but misguided lube technicians might not notice a specific requirement for a particular vehicle, and repeated visits to quick-service oil change facilities might increase the potential for multiple fluid types being intermixed. The fluid specifications for type and level are often imprinted on the reservoir fill cap, or dipstick.

In the Doghouse

    Reading the instructions on a steering pump cap or underhood sticker may be foiled by dust and road grime that has accumulated on the surfaces. Such debris can also shorten the service life of drive belts, and conceal leaks in the system. Sand and soil contacting belt and pulley surfaces can act as an abrasive, and cause premature wear. Belt tension beyond specifications, meant to silence slippage, can damage the pump, or associated belt pulleys. Consult the vehicle owner's manual, or dealership service departments to ascertain proper specifications, if the information in the engine compartment is missing, or illegible. Repair any leaks that lead to insufficient fluid supplies, and clean the engine compartment as needed, to ensure seamless and silent operation of this vital steering system component.

Kamis, 20 September 2012

How to Check for Rust on a 1963 Nova

The Chevy Nova from 1963 was made with poorer-quality steel than modern cars and as such suffers from rust issues as it ages. Given that any car from 1963 has decades of use on it now, there is a danger of the rust being widespread and throughout the frame, body and even the engine itself. You may need to partially disassemble the car just to examine all the possible areas where rust could have taken hold

Instructions

    1

    Drive the Nova up onto wheel ramps, all four wheels preferably since rust could be anywhere on the underbody. Crawl under the body and turn on your flash light. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from parts that may fall off or flaking rust.

    2

    Look along the structure of the car itself, particularly where components and attachment straps are bolted on as these crevices are the most likely to develop rust. Feel with your gloved hands; do not use your exposed flesh due to the danger of tetanus bacteria. Pay particular attention to the fuel tank in the rear as cars of that era were poorly supported. Even if one bolt is rusted away then the entire tank may fall off.

    3

    Look at the gaps between the body panels. They should be straight and a consistent distance from each other. If the gaps are not even then rust may have corroded away one of the attachment points, allowing the body panel is hang free and warp.

    4

    Open the hood of the car and look at the engine block itself. You may have to clear dust and dirt off of it to properly examine. Look for the tell-tale patina of rust where the hoses connect to the engine. Look also at any O-clamps that secure the hoses to the engine as they may rust as well.

    5

    Pry the carpet flooring up with a Flathead screwdriver and examine the steel floor underneath. There should be no brown spots or warping of the metal. Also look at the chair supports that anchor the chair to the floor as they may have rust as well.

How to Troubleshoot a Chevy Fuel System

How to Troubleshoot a Chevy Fuel System

A Chevrolet's fuel system is part of the vehicle's powertrain. Checking the system is the same process as troubleshooting the engine. This can be done by hand, but using the vehicle's On-Board Diagnostic system will save you a lot of time. A Chevy's Powertrain Control Module keeps track of malfunctions and faults within the engine, fuel and emissions systems. Once a problem presents itself, the PCM creates a diagnostic code. Accessing the PCM will lead you to a list of these codes and the problems responsible for them.

Instructions

    1

    Locate two lists of OBD-II codes and their definitions. You will need to find the generic codes that are universal to all OBD-II compliant vehicles. Your scanner's handbook will likely have these codes and coding definitions. You will also need to find General Motors' supplemental list, which pertains to all vehicles in the GM family. Most scanners' handbooks lack these codes, and you will not find them in your Chevrolet's owner's manual. You can either locate these codes online for free or find them a Haynes repair manual.

    2

    Read through the codes. With a highlighter, mark the codes that deal with the fuel system. Codes P0001 through through P0004 deal with the fuel volume regulator, for example. If you want to be thorough, check the emissions system as well, which will include components such as the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.

    3

    Look underneath your Chevrolet's dashboard. There you will find a computer outlet known as a Data Link Connector. The DLC is usually made out of black or gray plastic, and it features 16 pin receptors. The DLC will be located in different areas, depending on the model and year of Chevy you own. For most Chevrolets, it is usually in the vicinity of the steering column. It should be uncovered and easy to access.

    4

    Attach an OBD-II scanner to its diagnostic cable. Plug the cable into your Chevy's DLC. Turn the scanner on.

    5

    Insert your key into your Chevy's ignition and turn the electrical system on. This will also turn on the Chevrolet's PCM. However, you may own a brand of scanner that requires a running engine. If so, turn the key all the way and start the engine.

    6

    Wait for the scanner and your Chevy's PCM to interface with each other. This should take only a second. Many scanners are preset for automatic code retrieval; but if you do not own one of those devices, you will need to enter a "retrieve" or "read" command. All devices function differently by brand, with various button layouts. Exact instructions will be found in your device's manual.

    7

    Read through all the codes on your scanner's screen. Consult your resources from Steps 1 and 2. Eliminate any codes that do not deal with the fuel system and make a detailed list, including both the alpha-numeric OBD-II code and the OBD-II coding definition.

    8

    Turn your OBD-II scanner off and remove its cable from the DLC. Turn off the engine and the electrical system.

    9

    Open your Chevy's hood and begin to troubleshoot every area that deals with the vehicle's fuel system. Depending on the problem, you may need to lift the vehicle and support it on jack stands. Investigate not only the problem related to the codes you found, but the systems and areas around those problems. For example, if there's a fault or a problem with a spark plug, you may need to look at all the spark plugs. If a code details problems with an EGR sensor, check the entire EGR system.

    10

    Drive the vehicle to a General Motors-approved mechanic if you cannot locate the problem with your vehicle. Bring the list of codes with you as this will save the mechanic some time. It will also save you in diagnostic fees.

Selasa, 18 September 2012

The Power Windows Are Slow on My 1996 Honda Accord

The Honda Accord was introduced in 1976; it is currently available as a full-size sedan or mid-size coupe. Edmunds.com reports that the Accord is an "automotive icon" due to its reputation for reliability, performance, safety and resale value.

Window Regulator

    Honda Technical Service Bulletins report that the main cause of power window failure in the 1996 Accord is window regulator failure. The window regulator is a mechanism responsible for raising and lowering a window. Slowly operating windows are an indicator of potential regulator failure.

Warning Signs

    Prior to a slowly operating window or intermittent failure, there is a major warning sign that may indicate potential window regular failure. A "screeching" sound when lowering the window is an indicator of looming problems. Over time, the noise may become louder and more frequent.

Solution

    Honda TSBs state that replacing the window regulator will solve this particular power window problem. Auto MD estimates the cost to replace a 1996 Accord window regulator at $293 for parts and labor per window. Although the part itself is relatively inexpensive, the labor cost is high because it takes approximately two hours to fix.

Symptoms When the Thermostat Is Stuck Open

Symptoms When the Thermostat Is Stuck Open

A vehicle's thermostat is partially responsible for maintaining proper engine temperature. It's designed to control the flow of coolant through the engine. If it's not opening and closing properly, your vehicle may display several different problems. Though your car is better off with the thermostat stuck open rather than closed, you should repair the component immediately if you suspect it is stuck open.

Low Engine Temperature

    If your car is running unusually cool and not building up any heat in the engine, it's likely that your thermostat is stuck open and is letting too much coolant through. A thermostat that is stuck in the closed position will cause your vehicle to overheat. Most drivers know when the vehicle's engine temperature gauge creeps toward the red area but may not be aware that an engine is running cool. It's important to know your engine's regular operating temperature because running too hot or too cold are both signs of problems with the cooling system.

No Heater

    Your vehicle's heater works in conjunction with the engine's cooling system. The heater builds up warmth as the vehicle runs and brings in the warm air from the engine to warm the interior of the car. If the engine does not warm up enough because the thermostat is stuck open, the heater will not deliver warm air to the interior.

Reduced Fuel Economy

    When your engine runs cooler than it should, it can cause your fuel to condense on your engine's cylinders because of the lower water jacket temperature. If your fuel becomes condensed, it will not burn like it should and your car will get slightly worse gas mileage than it did before the thermostat got stuck in the open position.

Symptoms of Bad Timing in a 2G DSM

Symptoms of Bad Timing in a 2G DSM

The Eclipse 2G is a second-generation car produced by Mitsubishi that features an engine by Diamond-Star Motors (DSM). The car's engine timing controls the ignition of fuel by producing a spark at a precise time in the cylinder's stroke. This ensures that fuel burns completely and evenly in the Eclipse 2G cylinders. When the timing becomes incorrectly set, such as from a stretching timing belt or chain, the vehicle begins to run poorly, producing symptoms that indicate the timing needs to be corrected.

Poor Performance

    When the timing is bad, the spark is unable to ignite all the fuel in a cylinder. This causes incomplete combustion and reduces the engine's performance. The Eclipse's peak horsepower output will drop notably and acceleration will take longer. During hard acceleration while entering freeways, bad timing causes stuttering and hesitation in the motor. If the timing is very off, the car might stall while driving.

Engine Noise

    Each piston stroke in a cylinder produces a sound caused by combustion. If the timing is off, the piston will not make it to the top of the cylinder before fuel ignition. This in turn causes an engine knock. You might also hear a distinct metallic pinging sound under heavy acceleration.

Longer Starts

    During ignition, fuel is drawn into the cylinder, where it is ignited by a spark. If the fuel is ignited too soon, however, the piston is impeded on its way to the top of the cylinder. This causes sluggish starts and and long turnover times. If the fuel is ignited too late, the fuel mixture becomes lean and can make starting impossible. This wears the Eclipse 2G's starter down faster, resulting in shorter part life.

Cautions

    Incorrectly set engine timing causes uneven torsional force on engine parts. If a spark fails to ignite the fuel, the piston can complete its stroke with no restriction, which results in cylinder wear. If the fuel ignites too soon, the piston meets resistance during its compression stroke, resulting in bent or broken piston rods.

Senin, 17 September 2012

Chevy Code P1875

Chevy Code P1875

Modern cars have on-board diagnostic computers. The computers store and transmit codes relating to faults sensed by the on-board diagnostic system. Chevy Code P1875 relates to the four-wheel drive low-switch.

Code P1875

    In Chevrolet vehicles, code P1875 is given the description "4WD Low Switch Circuit Electrical." A fault has been sensed in the electrical switch circuit for the low setting of the four-wheel drive when this code appears.

Four-Fheel Drive Low

    Four-wheel drive low is used when towing a heavy trailer or driving off-road. It is helpful when low-speeds with high torque are useful.

Four-Wheel Drive Low Switch-Circuit Electrical

    The problem sensed is within an electrical circuit that connects the Vehicle Control Module to the Transfer Case Control Module, specifically the four-wheel drive low-input of the TCCM. It is possible to test and fix the circuit with the appropriate Chevrolet wiring diagram.

What Causes a 1998 Mercury Sable to Backfire & Sputter?

What Causes a 1998 Mercury Sable to Backfire & Sputter?

The 1998 Mercury Sable has several reports about problems from different car review websites. These problems vary depending on the problem, but when the Sable engine begins to misfire or sputter, it can be narrowed down to three causes. An engine misfire is when one of the cylinders loses power relative to the other cylinders.

Fuel Problem

    Fuel issues (lack of fuel to one cylinder, bad fuel or a problem with one of the fuel injectors) often cause the 1998 Mercury Sable engine to misfire or sputter. A lack of fuel in one cylinder prevents the cylinder from working at maximum power. Bad fuel can come from gasoline that has water contamination or from otherwise low-quality gasoline. Fuel injectors allow the proper amount of fuel into the cylinders. When an injector is not releasing enough fuel into a cylinder the Sable engine will misfire or lose power.

Mechanical Problem

    A mechanical issue with the 1998 Mercury Sable is another cause of a misfire or sputter in the engine. This mechanical problem can come from a bad valve, worn crankshaft or worn cylinder. Wear is common inside a Sable engine because these are parts which create a lot of friction during operation. If the mechanical parts are not being properly lubricated by the engine oil, they create more heat and wear prematurely. Improper lubrication can come from a bad oil filter, bad oil pump or clogged oil filter, all of which prevents oil or lubricant from entering into the engine. When a cylinder has a worn part, the engine can misfire or sputter.

Spark Problem

    Lack of spark is another cause of a misfire or sputter in the 1998 Mercury Sable engine. Lack of spark can come from a faulty spark plug, a worn spark plug wire or a bad distributor. A tune-up will generally correct this misfire problem.

How to Troubleshoot a Chrysler Sebring Air Conditioner Leaking

The Chrysler Sebring air conditioning system consists of the condenser, high- and low- side hoses, compressor, accumulator and the evaporator. Any of these items have the potential to leak. If the Freon escaped due to a leak, the system needs to be recharged in order to locate the leak. Freon is colorless and odorless so the only way to locate a leak is to use a Freon detector or install a dye and look for the leak with an ultraviolet light.

Instructions

    1

    Connect the system dye bottle to the low side Schrader valve. Connect the R134 refrigerant charge bottle and hose to the other side of the system dye bottle. Open the valve on the Freon can and allow the Freon and dye to enter the system.

    2

    Probe the entire system using the Freon detector. The closer the detector gets to Freon the louder it clicks or whistles depending on the make of detector. Start at the condenser in front of the radiator. Move the detector slowly, keeping in mind that Freon is heavier than air and will sink. Check the condenser cores and move on to the Freon lines exiting the condenser. Check all connectors thoroughly. Move on to the air compressor and check the manifold where the lines exit and around the clutch pulley. Follow the lines toward the firewall to the accumulator.

    3

    Check the evaporator by placing the Freon detector probe in front of the condensation hose sticking through the firewall on the passenger side. It will be low in the area of the floor board.

    4

    Check for a leak with the ultraviolet light if no leak has been detected so far. It may take an hour or two for the dye to seep out enough to be seen. Under the light, the dye will appear bright yellowish green. If it is difficult to find the leak, start the engine and turn on the air conditioning for 15 minutes and then shut the vehicle down and look again.

Minggu, 16 September 2012

Signs of Bad Shocks

Signs of Bad Shocks

Shock absorbers keep your car's tires flat against the surface of the road, providing even pressure so the tread wear remains consistent. Another function of the shocks involves absorbing vertical up and down impacts and movements for the rear axle and front end suspension. Without shock absorbers, the vehicle's ride would be noticeably rough and jarring, causing other components to wear much faster than normal. Shock absorbers exhibit numerous signs when they have weakened or failed.

Shock Height

    Fully extended and with fully functioning seals and pistons, shocks have a predetermined height, positioning the vehicle at the proper distance from the ground. All sides of the vehicle should remain within a few inches of each other if the tires have the exact pressure and the front end suspension parts have no damage or wear. Any noticeable deviation in height can indicate a weakened or leaking shock tube.

Excessive Bouncing

    Excessive bouncing or rebounding when the vehicle rolls over driveway lips or bumps can point to shocks that have lost their dampening effect. Trapped hydraulic fluid inside the shock cylinder slows the vertical movement of the shock piston; when the seals have leaked or when McPherson strut springs have weakened, there is a definite bounce to the car, a sure sign that the shocks must be replaced. A simple rebound test can be performed by shoving down hard on the front or rear bumper. Generally, a car that rebounds more than twice has a shock issue, indicating replacement.

Leaks

    Any visual leaks around the shock body tube, either at the top or body of the shock, indicate that the seals have worn or split. As a result, there is a loss in hydraulic fluid, and all dampening effect has disappeared. Oil will be plainly visible on the shock body along with grime and dust.

Undercarriage Noises

    Loud clanking or knocking noises coming from the undercarriage, when driving over bumps or curves, may indicate a broken shock mount. Sometimes the bolts break, and the shock tube disengages completely, causing that side of the vehicle to sag. A broken shock can also produce a scraping or grating noise.

Tire Wear

    Worn shocks cannot keep the tires firmly planted on the road surface. With worn shocks, the tires have a tendency to wheel-hop or skip, and at high speeds this causes chunks of tire to be torn from the tread. The tire wear pattern resembles cups or "scalloping," where the tread appears wavy all around the circumference. This wear pattern specifically points to worn shocks since no other component causes such abnormal tire wear.

Excess Lean and Suspension Noise

    If the vehicle leans excessively into a tight or gradual turn, this means the shock cannot maintain its height and has lost the ability to carry the frame's load. Noises, such as creaking and groaning, can mean other suspension parts are bottoming out (touching or grazing the frame), and this can be a sign that the shocks have lost their strength.

How to Troubleshoot a BMW That Is Burning Oil

If your BMW's engine is burning oil, one of the key indicators will be low oil pressure, or a low oil level. Finding out why the car is burning oil can be really time consuming and frustrating. Fortunately, like most modern cars, BMWs are equipped with a onboard diagnostic system that facilitates troubleshooting. By scanning the diagnostic system for errors, you can find out which specific parts of the engine are failing and causing the burnt oil. Unique codes are given for each component that's hooked up to the diagnostic system so once you have obtained the error code, troubleshooting becomes as simple as decoding it.

Instructions

    1

    Find the onboard diagnostic port in your BMW's interior. Inspect the top of your foot well on the driver's side and look for the rectangular female plug that is about two inches wide. It should be marked "OBD" nearby or on its plastic cover, which may or may not be present depending on the model of your BMW.

    2

    Connect the OBD II code reader to the diagnostic port and turn your BMW on. If you can, allow the engine to idle; however, if the engine won't start, or if you are afraid to start it due to low oil pressure, you can simply turn on the electronics by twisting the ignition to the second "Accessories" position.

    3

    Turn on the OBD II code reader and allow it to scan for error codes. Keep your eye on the display of the code reader and write down any error codes that appear on the display.

    4

    Contact your local mechanic or BMW service center to cross-reference the list of error codes and find out what specific components of your BMW's engine are at fault and causing the oil to burn.

How to Troubleshoot a Nissan Pick-Up Engine

How to Troubleshoot a Nissan Pick-Up Engine

An On-Board Diagnostic scanner makes troubleshooting a Nissan Pick-up engine easier, quicker, and efficient. Propping open the hood and searching by hand can consume a lot of time, especially if you do not know exactly where to look. The Nissan uses a Powertrain Control Module, which monitors sensors located throughout the engine. Once a system fails, or a component malfuctions, the PCM assigns the problem an alpha-numeric code. Once you pull these codes from the system, you will have a list of known malfunctions within the engine and fuel system.

Instructions

    1

    Prepare some research materials before you begin. Open your scanner's handbook and locate a list of generic OBD-II coding explanations and definitions. Bookmark those pages. On the internet, find Nissan's special and supplemental OBD-II codes and print them out. If you own a Haynes or Chilton manual for your Nissan's model and year, you can skip searching the internet. The repair manual will have Nissan's codes. Your vehicle's owner manual, on the other hand, will not contain these codes. Compile these materials and place them in your Nissan's center console or navigator's seat.

    2

    Attach your OBD-II scanner to the Nissan's Data Link Connector. The DLC is the PCM's computer outlet and the location may vary by the Nissan's model and year. Typically, the DLC is under the dashboard, somewhere between the left kick panel and the acceleration pedal.

    3

    Turn the Nissan's electrical system on. Depending on the brand of scanner you own, you may have to also start the engine and let it idle. Also, the scanner may immediately switch itself on and gather codes. If you are using a simpler OBD-II code reader, you will have to switch it on yourself and key in a retrieval command. Since buttons are all slightly different and vary by brand, you will need to consult the device's manual for the exact instructions.

    4

    Look at the codes on the scanner's display readout. Since you are concerned with engine functionality, pay attention only to the codes that start with "P." These are powertrain codes related to the engine. You can investigate chassis, body, and network codes later. Also, you will need to distinguish between codes labelled "trouble" and "pending." All "trouble" codes have a history of consistently repeating themselves. Your Nissan's "pending" codes could represent isolated incidents, or malfunctions trending towards a future "trouble" status.

    5

    Consult the research materials you put in either the center console or the navigator's seat. Look up the definition for each of the powertrain codes on your scanner. Make a list of priorities as follows: copy the exact codes onto a separate sheet of paper, and copy their definitions next to them. All trouble codes need to go at the top of this list. Place the pending codes at the bottom.

    6

    Shut down all running components within your Nissan and remove the key from the ignition. Disconnect the scanner from the DLC outlet. Prop open the hood over the Nissan's engine and investigate each of the areas that correspond with an OBD-II code. Look beyond the narrow definition, too. If you have code that details "EGR sensor failure," troubleshoot not only that sensor, but the Exhaust Gas Redirection system as a whole. Cross off each code as you eliminate it from consideration. The codes remaining on the list will be the repairs you will need to do.

Sabtu, 15 September 2012

How to Troubleshoot a Dome Light in a 1997 Toyota Camry

How to Troubleshoot a Dome Light in a 1997 Toyota Camry

The dome light in a 1997 Toyota Camry provides interior lighting for the vehicle. The light is controlled by manual operation of an "On/Off/Door switch. When the switch is in the "Door" position, operation of the light is controlled by the opening and closing of the car doors. The light will be on when any door is open. Power to the switch comes through a 7.5-ampere dome-light fuse to a "hot" terminal. The "On" terminal is connected to a vehicle ground. The "Door" terminal is connected to an integration relay that senses door positions.

Instructions

    1

    Put the dome light switch in the "On" and "Door" positions and see if the light operates in either position. If not, pry the dome light lens from the dome light housing using a flat-bladed screwdriver. Remove the bulb from the terminals. If necessary, use the screwdriver to pry out the bulb. Inspect the bulb visually to see if it is burnt or the filament is broken. If so, replace the bulb. If the bulb is OK, go to Step 2.

    2

    Use a circuit tester or voltmeter to check the voltage between the hot terminal and a ground (bare metal on the vehicle frame). If there is no voltage, go to Step 3. If voltage is present, disconnect the battery cable at the negative terminal using pliers. Then use a self-powered continuity tester to check for continuity between the hot terminal and the "On" terminal and between the hot terminal and the "Door" terminal. Replace the dome light switch if it fails this test. Otherwise, check for continuity between the "On" terminal and the ground connection to the vehicle.

    3

    Go to the fuse box located behind the lower part of the dashboard to the left of the steering column. Pry off the cover using a flat-bladed screwdriver. Locate the dome fuse. Remove it with your fingers and check to see if it is blown. If it is, install a new fuse. If the dome fuse is good, go to Step 4.

    4

    Check for voltage at the hot side of the fuse terminal before installing a new dome fuse. If there is voltage, install the new fuse, and check for broken or disconnected wiring between the fuse and the dome light switch. If there is no voltage, check the wiring between the fuse and the positive terminal of the battery. Repair any faults found. Install the dome fuse and reinstall the fuse box cover.

    5

    Install the dome light bulb and check the dome light for operation. If the light comes on manually but not with a door open, the problem is in the integration relay or door switches. At this point, you will probably require the services of an automotive electrical specialist.

Sebring Convertible Stalling Problems

Chrysler Sebring Convertibles are reliable vehicles but they reportedly can develop stalling problems at around 90,000 miles. After the car has stalled and the driver waits a few moments, the Sebring can start again and run well. This is a problem that can be difficult to diagnose. The problem is related to the flow of gasoline to the engine, possibly involving the fuel pump, according to Edmunds.com.

Check the Fuel Pump

    Check to see if the fuel pump is functioning correctly. If the engine is starved for gas, it will stall.

Cause of the Stalling

    Look for corrosion on the outside of the fuel tank. If the tank is corroded, pieces of metal can flake off the interior of the tank and clog the intake to the fuel pump. This debris and the resulting blockage can starve the engine of gas and will cause your Sebring to stall.

Solution to Stalling Problems

    Replace the fuel pump if it is not functioning correctly. Check the fuel filter for blockage from debris as a result of fuel tank corrosion. If the intake is clogged with debris, the fuel line must be flushed and a new gas tank installed.

Indications of a Dead Car Battery

Indications of a Dead Car Battery

A car battery stores electric energy until it is used to power the starter motor, the lights and the vehicle's ignition. The car's engine powers a system that recharges the battery continually while the engine is running. Leaving your car's lights on after turning off the engine can drain the battery's energy in a matter of hours.

Low Battery

    If your car is slow to crank, there's a good chance the energy level in your battery is low. You can check the level using a hydrometer or voltmeter, but some batteries have indicator dots that are green when the battery is more than 75 percent charged and black when the percentage drops below that level. If you are able to start the car at all, you can allow the engine to recharge the battery by driving around for about 30 minutes.

Dead Battery

    Jumper cables can help recharge a battery in just a few minutes.
    Jumper cables can help recharge a battery in just a few minutes.

    If your ignition doesn't make a sound when you turn the key, the battery might be very low or completely dead. If your console lights still come on, the battery is not completely discharged. You can recharge it using jumper cables and another car, or a battery charger.

    Jumper cables draw the energy from another car's battery while the engine is running. Attach the cables to both batteries before starting the car, carefully following the directions that came with your set. Start the second car and let the engine run for 5 minutes. Then try to start the car that had the dead battery. If you are using a battery charger, attach its cables directly to the battery and turn the charger on. Again, the car should start after 5 minutes of charging time.

Recharge or Replace?

    Recharging the battery will get your car running again in the short term, but if you find yourself recharging it again soon, or if it will not recharge at all, it's time for a replacement. The life span of a battery is three to five years under ideal conditions, but few experience ideal conditions. Driving mostly short distances, exposure to cold temperatures, and multiple battery discharges from leaving the lights on will all shorten the battery's life span. Most car owners need to replace batteries about every three years. If you are finding that recharging your battery doesn't help for very long, replace the battery.

Jumat, 14 September 2012

How to Test a Fast Idle Thermo Valve

How to Test a Fast Idle Thermo Valve

The fast idle thermo valve (FITV), commonly used on many Honda cars, is a sensor that controls the fast idle or warmup circuit of the fuel system. The FITV contains a thermowax device that controls a plunger. When the engine is cold, the plunger contracts to allow additional air into the throttle body (intake manifold), creating a deliberate vacuum leak. The vacuum leak raises the engine rpm until operating temperature has been reached. When the thermowax heats up, it seals the plunger, cutting off the extra vacuum to the throttle bottle. A process of elimination is required to narrow down a faulty fast idle thermo valve.

Instructions

    1

    Place the vehicle in "Park" for an automatic, or "Neutral" for a standard transmission. Apply the emergency brake. Raise the hood of your vehicle and disconnect the snaps to the cold air intake box that sits over the throttle body. Use a screwdriver if the cold air box is fastened with screws. Pull the box and cold air hose away from the engine. to allow access to the throttle body.

    2

    Locate the fast idle thermo valve near the throttle body or on the side of the intake manifold. Consult your service manual for its location, if you are unsure. The valve will have a cooling hose and a vacuum line running to it. Check the various vacuum lines that enter into the intake manifold, and at the throttle body location.

    3

    Find the vacuum line routing schematic on your engine cover. It will show all of the lines and their locations. Check each vacuum line for burns, kinks or loose connections. Pull the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve from the valve cover and shake it to make sure the check ball inside floats freely. Ensure that the vacuum line routed from the fast idle thermo valve to the throttle body has a good connection at both ends.

    4

    Use a socket and wrench to tighten the intake manifold bolts, starting in the middle of the manifold, and working outward toward the ends. Get them good and snug, not overly torqued. Check the tightness of the throttle body base bolts, and tighten them if they seem loose. Look inside the throttle body opening -- the throttle plate should be completely closed. If it's open even slightly, use a socket to loosen the throttle cable bracket and move the cable one notch, to relax the cable and shut the throttle plate.

    5

    Connect one lead of a tachometer to the negative (-) pole on the distributor coil, or on the coil pack (newer vehicles). Connect the other lead to a good engine ground source. Turn the tachometer knob selector to the appropriate number of cylinders on your engine. Start the engine and look at the rpm numbers. For a cold engine, the fast idle rpm should be anywhere from 1,500 to 2000 rpms, according to your service manual specifications. If it reads significantly below this number, with the choke functioning normally, the problem might be the fast idle thermo valve.

    6

    Keep the tachometer leads connected and the engine running. Look inside the throttle body opening for two very small holes, or ports. The top port belongs to the idle air control valve (IACV). The small port below it belongs to the fast idle thermo valve. Place your finger over the bottom hole. If the engine is cold, you will feel a definite suction. If no suction occurs, the valve is not opening properly, and this could be due to a clogged-frozen plunger in the valve. The valve must be cleaned or replaced.

    7

    Run the engine until it has reached normal operating temperature or when the radiator cooling fan activates. Place your finger over the fast idle thermo port again and feel for any vacuum suction. The engine idle should now read from 675 to 750 rpm, according to your tachometer. This means the fast idle thermo valve has closed, cutting off vacuum. If the idle remains very high after complete engine warmup, it indicates the thermo valve has remained stuck open. The valve will have to be replaced or cleaned.

How Do I Test Nissan Outboard CDI Voltage Specs?

When inspecting and evaluating the performance of a Nissan outboard CDI (capacitor discharge ignition), be advised that it is extremely dangerous to handle any of the components therein. There is enough voltage and amperage to cause bodily injury. Specialized tools are needed to properly evaluate the CDI output and the resulting voltage at the plugs. There are two stators under the flywheel -- one supplies power to the boat and the other to the ignition. The flywheel also houses permanent magnets used as triggers for the ignition.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the engine cover and install the mouse ears on the lower unit. Connect the KV tester clamp to the highest plug wire on the engine and work downward, recording the voltage spikes and duration after the engine is started. Make sure to grab only the KV clamp and nothing else.

    2

    Call the dealer or look in a service manual for the particular engine and get the coil output KVs. Coils are not common in terms of voltage. Coil KVs or the amount of voltage it will put out depends solely on the number of windings it has. The more windings, the higher the voltage. There are literally millions of combinations. If it is difficult to get these specifications, don't worry about it. As long as the coil is putting out in excess of 10,000 volts and the duration is similar on all cylinders, it is fine. This is all about locating a dead or weak coil. A very weak coil will be obvious on the tester. A weaker coil can be determined after the comparison of all other cylinders.

    3

    Turn the water on so water is moving through the water pump to keep the engine cool as it runs. Start the engine and allow it to idle. Watch the KV display.

    4

    Record the KV strength in thousandths of volts and the length of duration of the spark. If you have an analog-style tester, flip the switch from "KV" to "Duration." If you have a oscilloscope style, you will see a high spike, which is the KVs being generated.

    5

    Follow the line across from the top of the spike; read the total KVs and record this. Flip the switch to "Duration" and read the figure in milliseconds, then record this. If the KVs are very low -- for example, under 10,000 KVs -- the coil is weak. If the duration is too short or too long, the spark plug is bad. To determine whether the duration is too long or short, compare all cylinders first. Once one is recorded, move to the next plug wire in rotation until all of them have been recorded.

    6

    Replace any coils that have a 10 percent differential lower than the other cylinders. Shut the engine off. This test is to locate misfiring cylinders and will also demonstrate how good a spark each cylinder has. The engine will need to be shut off and restarted for each cylinder to prevent electrocution changing the tester from one cylinder to another.

    7

    Pull a spark plug wire off the plug. Install the tester on the spark plug and the other end into the spark plug boot on the wire. Start the engine and watch the light flash on the tester. If the light is bright there is a good spark. Compare this to all cylinders also.

    8

    Watch the light for dropouts or misses. A misfire is indicated when the light fails to light for a millisecond every so often. Should a dim light or a misfire show up on the tester, it must be determined whether it is the wire or the spark plug. If the tester was brightly lit while the engine was operating, the coil and wire are OK, but the plug is bad and needs to be replaced. If the light was dim compared with the other cylinders, the wire is bad.

How to Unlock a Transmission

You're running late for work and scamper out to your car, throwing your brown-bag lunch into the passenger's seat. Thrusting the key into the ignition, you hurriedly start the car and look left and right for oncoming traffic. Quickly, you shift the gear into drive and press down on the accelerator, but the engine just revs up and the car stays put. You try punching the accelerator again to no avail. The transmission is locked and you have to unlock it.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the vehicle off and take your foot off the brake. Turn the key to "IGN" and depress the brake firmly, listen for a clicking sound from the brake shift interlock solenoid. This component "tells" the car the brake is engaged and the transmission can be shifted into gear.

    2

    Shut the engine off. Take your foot off the brake again. Turn the ignition to "ACC." Depress the brake firmly. Try to shift the car into "Neutral," then start the car. Attempt to shift the transmission into "Drive." Listen again for the solenoid click. If you do not hear the click, the fuse may be out; go to the next step.

    3

    Retrieve your vehicle's owner's manual. Open your vehicle's fuse box. Find the fuse going to the brake shift interlock solenoid using the owner's manual as your guide. Replace the fuse. If you cannot replace the fuse, find the override lever under the dash. This is usually an orange or red lever that will manually disengage the locking mechanism. With your foot on the brake, press the override lever toward the front of the vehicle, then shift the car into gear.

Kamis, 13 September 2012

O2 Sensor Related Idle Problems

O2 Sensor Related Idle Problems

The O2 sensor, or oxygen sensor, in your automobile provides information that is used to adjust the mixture of air and fuel used for combustion. A defective O2 sensor may cause a number of issues, including problems with an engine idle.

Idle Problems

    When an oxygen sensor begins to fail, the engine's computer is not able to properly adjust the fuel mixture. This will often result in a fuel mix that is too rich (too much fuel, too little air). This results in unburned fuel in the engine and causes the engine to run hot. The engine may idle sluggishly or completely stall with a defective oxygen sensor.

Wiring Inspection

    Before cleaning or replacing an O2 sensor, a car owner should check the wiring that runs to the sensor. The wiring can easily be damaged by objects in the roadway or contact with hot exhaust or engine components. The wiring should be carefully inspected and repaired if problems are found.

Cleaning and Replacement

    The O2 sensor can become coated with sediment from the engine exhaust. Cleaning these deposits from the sensor may restore proper performance. When replacing an oxygen sensor, the use of anti-seize compound on the threads will ease sensor removal in the future. Be certain to take up excess wiring to prevent it from becoming snagged on obstructions or contacting hot surfaces.

How to Troubleshoot a Suzuki Aerio

The Suzuki Aerio ended production with the 2007 model year. The 2007 Suzuki Aerio came equipped with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. The Aerio also came with standard features including 14-inch steel wheels, cloth front bucket seats, power mirrors, rear ventilation ducts, split-folding rear seat back, remote power door locks, cruise control, intermittent wipers, a rear defogger, front cup holders and power steering. One way to troubleshoot the Aerio is by applying general troubleshooting techniques.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the oil filler cap inside the Aerio engine when you can smell oil or grease coming from the engine compartment. The oil filler cap could be missing or damaged. The PCV valve grommet may also be damaged or missing or the PCV valve elbow could be loose, damaged or missing. Look also at the PCV valve itself to ensure that it isn't plugged or damaged. You should also inspect the head gasket of the engine to see if any oil is leaking from the gasket.

    2

    Check the clutch disc of the Aerio when it feels like the vehicle is hard to shift. The clutch pressure plate could also be worn or damaged, or there may be an improperly adjusted clutch cable or linkage inside the transmission system. If your Aerio has a manual transmission, the shifting linkage may be loose or worn. Look also at the clutch springs to check whether any of them are broken, missing or weak. You should also check the plate diaphragm fingers and make sure that none of the fingers are broken, missing or excessively worn.

    3

    Examine the differential fluid level inside the Aerio when you hear a groaning noise underneath the vehicle while you are driving. The fluid level may be too low. One or more of the differential bearings may also be worn or damaged, or you may have the incorrect differential fluid type in the vehicle. If the groaning noise comes more from the rear axle area, look at the pinion teeth on the differential drive and see if any of them are missing, damaged or worn.

What Happens When Your Head Gasket Blows?

What Happens When Your Head Gasket Blows?

The head gasket sits between the engine block and cylinder head. Its main function is to prevent coolant and engine oil from mixing. Repairing a blown gasket is expensive, because it requires removal of the engine head.

Causes

    There are a number of factors that can lead to the malfunction of the head gasket. Engine overheat is the most common cause as the expansion of the metal of the engine head and block pinch the gasket. Pre-ignition or detonation may also result in head gasket failure. Either of these conditions can result in out-of-time combustion which puts undue pressure on valves, pistons and the head gasket.

Repair

    Although the head gasket itself is not an expensive part, repair or replacement is costly, because of its location in the engine. Repair requires removing the engine head and maneuvering among pistons, cylinders, rods and the crankshaft. Repairs should be done by a certified mechanic.

Prevention

    Keep your engine tuned to avoid gasket problems.
    Keep your engine tuned to avoid gasket problems.

    The best way to keep a head gasket in good working order is to prevent engine overheating. Maintain proper coolant levels and regularly check the thermostat and hoses.