Sabtu, 27 Juli 2013

1980 Carburetor Troubleshooting

The vast majority of automobiles manufactured for the 1980 production-year were equipped with a carburetor, since fuel injection did not become a common feature until the later-half of the decade. Although the carburetor had been in use long before 1980, its basic design remained unchanged due to the component's relatively simple design. Troubleshooting a 1980 carburetor is a fairly straightforward process, but doing so should not be attempted without a familiarity with carburetors.

Instructions

    1

    Remove the carburetor from the engine with a wrench without draining the fuel from the carburetor bowl.

    2

    Examine the contents of the fuel in the carburetor bowl for contaminants, such as water, dirt and other foreign matter. Pass a magnet throughout the fuel bowl to capture any iron oxide dust that might cause a leak and the intake needle and seat.

    3

    Inspect the gasket surfaces on the body of the carburetor and on the underside of the air horn for burs or nicks. Smooth the damaged area with a file. Note that some carburetors produced in 1980 were equipped with a vacuum piston passageway. If a leak is present around the passageway due to an uneven gasket surface, the engine may hesitate when cornering.

    4

    Ensure that the carburetor flange nuts are tight with a wrench. If the flange is loose, air can enter the intake manifold from beneath the throttle plate and adversely affect idle quality and engine performance.

    5

    Fill the carburetor with clean fuel before installing it on the engine to prevent any dirt trapped in the fuel system from becoming dislodged by a sudden rush of fuel.

    6

    Run the engine at a low idle after allowing it to warm. Remove the choke heat pipe and block its opening with a finger. If little or no vacuum is detected, inspect the choke housing for leaks or a plugged vacuum passage. If vacuum is present, inspect the vacuum passages in the carburetor between the choke housing and the intake manifold for clogs.

    7

    Depress the throttle pedal to the floor and ensure that the throttle plates are wide open. Adjust the linkage if they are not, because high speed performance will be adversely affected.

    8

    Trace the carburetor's fuel line from the carburetor to the fuel pump while inspecting the line for sharp bends. Such a restriction can lead to vapor lock. Shorten or replace the line if you discover a bend.

Jumat, 26 Juli 2013

A 1999 Mercury Cougar Won't Crank

A 1999 Mercury Cougar Won't Crank

The Cougar is a sedan that was manufactured from the 1967-2002 model years by the Ford Motor Company under the Mercury brand. The 1999 Cougar is equipped with either a four speed automatic or five speed manual transmission. Depending on the package, the Cougar can either have a 2.0 L Zetec I4 or a 2.5 L Duratec V6 engine. Both engines may have problems cranking due to battery/alternator failure or ignition system issues.

Instructions

    1

    Try to jump start the Cougar's battery using jumper cables and another vehicle with a battery of comparable voltage.

    2

    Run the engine at an idle for several minutes if the jump is successful.

    3

    Turn off the Cougar's engine and disconnect the jumper cables.

    4

    Try starting the Cougar again. If it doesn't start at this point, the battery isn't holding a charge or the alternator isn't charging the battery. Auto parts retailers such as Auto Zone and Advance Auto Parts provide free testing services to determine which of these components is malfunctioning.

    5

    Consult a qualified automotive professional if the Cougar doesn't jump start. All components of the ignition system, including the starter and ignition switch, will need to be thoroughly inspected.

Kamis, 25 Juli 2013

How to Troubleshoot a 1998 Cadillac DeVille

Over time, your 1998 Cadillac Deville will encounter issues that will require you to spend time troubleshooting before you know what is causing them. By using the Deville's onboard diagnostic system, known as OBDII, you can find out what specific electrical or mechanical components are failing. Use an OBDII error code scanning tool to scan the diagnostic system for unique error codes that are sent out when components begin to stop working. When you know what specific parts are broken, you can begin the repair process sooner.

Instructions

    1

    Find the location of the OBDII port by feeling around the area below your Deville's steering wheel. The port will be placed in the area above where your right knee would sit if you were sitting in the driver's seat. It is rectangular in shape and will be about two inches wide by three quarters of an inch in height.

    2

    Plug the OBDII code scanning tool into the OBDII port and power the scanning tool on.

    3

    Insert the key to your Deville into the ignition and turn the ignition so that either the engine is idling, or if the engine will not start, to the position before the engine starts. Either will activate the car's electronic system and prompt the code scanning tool to begin its error code scan.

    4

    Take note of the error codes that appear on the display of the code scanning tool as the code scan is performed.

    5

    Determine what the error codes signify by bringing the list to a local dealership, repair shop, or auto parts store, all of whom will have reference materials that can tell you what each error code represents. You can also perform a web search using a search engine to determine what parts are failing by looking up each error code.

Rabu, 24 Juli 2013

What Would Cause an Antifreeze Leak in a 2005 Mustang With a V6 Engine?

While the fine SN-95 platform was hardly a living death for Ford's seminal pony car, the 2005 model year marked a serious rebirth for everything that made a Mustang a Mustang. While enthusiasts might view the car's history through rose-tinted V-8 lenses, Ford knew going in that most of its pony cars left the factory with six cylinders or less. While the Mustang's 210-horsepower, overhead-cam Cologne V-6 produced more power than many of its V-8 predecessors, it's also proven no less susceptible to coolant leaks and other minor failures.

Cooling System Basics

    The 4.0-liter Mustang's cooling system is much like any other designed in that it has a water pump, a thermostat to control fluid flow out of the engine block, hoses to carry the coolant to the heat exchangers, and heat exchangers to remove heat from the coolant and transfer it to the air. The Mustang typically has two heat exchangers: the primary cooling radiator and the heater core inside the HVAC system. The cooling system itself operates under continuous pressure, generally around 15 pounds per square inch at operating temperature.

Typical Failure Points

    Anywhere coolant system components meet is a potential failure point where leaks are concerned, but you're most likely to encounter them where system pressures are the highest. The thermostat housing probably is the single highest-pressure part of the cooling system -- aside from inside the engine block -- since that's where the hot coolant meets its greatest point of restriction. Apart from that, your most likely source of leaking is at the water pump. In this application, about half of the water pump case itself is incorporated into the timing cover; the "case" splits in half in the middle where the pump itself bolts on. This is a prime location for leaks.

The Thermostat Housing

    While the thermostat housing is, by nature of being a point of restriction, more susceptible to leaks than many other parts of the system, the 4.0-liter's thermostat housing is a particular example of what not to do to prevent leaks. This engine uses a two-part thermostat housing; the bottom half of the housing sits on the engine and holds the thermostat, and the top half serves as an attachment point for the radiator hose. The Mustang also uses an external bypass hose to return coolant from the housing to the pump. Between its two-piece design and external bypass, the thermostat housing offers plenty of opportunity for leaks.

Additional Sources

    The Mustang's cooling system gets rid of excess pressure through the coolant overflow tank; high pressures resulting from overheating easily can cause the overflow tank to dribble or spew coolant into the engine bay. Obviously, a damaged radiator, heater core or hoses cause a persistent coolant leak, as does leaking O-rings around the temperature sensor and coolant crossover tube. Very few coolant leaks on the V-6 are particularly life-threatening to the engine, but one at least could indicate something very serious. Fluid leaking from the head gasket, either outside the engine or into it, indicate a head gasket in need of immediate replacement -- a problem with earlier generations of the Cologne V-6.

How to Read Crank Bearing Numbers

Crank bearings come in several sizes to fit standard cranks and cranks that have been turned. The crankshaft journal may become scored over time. Instead of purchasing a new crankshaft, you can have it turned. When you have the crank turned, it removes a few thousandths of an inch of the material, which would make a standard bearing loose. If the bearings are too loose, the engine will not have enough oil pressure, which, in turn, decreases the life of the engine.

Instructions

    1

    Clean the oil off the bearing with the shop rag.

    2

    Locate the number near the end of the bearing. The notation will either be STD or have an number that looks like this: 0.30. If you have the letters STD instead of numbers, the crank has not been turned and it is using standard bearings. If the notation is a number, the crank has been turned. .030 means the crank has been turned 30 thousandths of an inch. .060 means the crank has been turned 60 thousandths of an inch.

    3

    Write down the number. You will need the number for the machine shop. The shop will turn the crank as much as needed, but depending on how much the crank has already been turned, it may not be able to turn it anymore. If you are simply replacing the bearings and not turning the crank, you will need the number to order new bearings.

My 1996 Ford Windstar Cranks Over But Won't Start

My 1996 Ford Windstar Cranks Over But Won't Start

Things can go wrong on older vehicles in just seconds, and a 1996 Ford Windstar fits that category. It may be perplexing to try to figure the problem out. Yet the fact that the vehicle cranks but won't run may not be as serious a repair as it may seem. A little vehicle detective work will get the Windstar back on the road in no time, even if you're not a professional mechanic. If nothing you try solves the problem, you should then call in a professional.

Instructions

    1

    Make sure there is gas in the tank. The gas gauge could be faulty and is not giving a true reading about the amount of gas in the vehicle.

    2

    Clean the battery post cables and tighten them if they seem loose. Battery cleaning tools are available at all auto parts stores.

    3

    Check the fuel filter for clogs that are preventing the fuel from getting to the fuel injectors. Listen for a humming sound when you turn on the ignition. This will indicate whether or not the fuel pump is working.

    4

    Examine the fuses and relays in the fuse box for a blown fuse. A bad fuse will cause an engine malfunction.

Bad Valve Seals Symptoms

Bad Valve Seals Symptoms

Valves regulate the amount of fuel and air mixture allowed in the cylinders for combustion. While the valves have guides or sleeves to keep combustion gases from passing through them, the seals on the top of the valves keep oil in the valve cover from being sucked down into the engine. Seals, typically made of high-strength rubber, fit over the top of the valve stem inside a small collar. When valve seals begin to wear or fail they produce some obvious and unique symptoms.

Cold Engine

    One of the most noticeable signs of worn or cracked valve stem seals will be just after a cold engine start. If the vehicle has been sitting for any length of time or even overnight, the top of the head inside the valve cover will be coated with residual oil that was pumped up earlier during running operation. The rubber valve seal has also cooled during nonoperation, which causes it to contract and leave a small gap. When the engine first starts up, residual oil gets sucked down through the bad seal and into the combustion chamber. A large cloud of blue-white smoke will be seen exiting the tailpipe just after start-up.

Idle and Stop and Go Driving

    Bad valve seals will show themselves during prolonged idling at stop signs or stop lights in congested city conditions. When the vehicle sits at idle for prolonged periods, high levels of vacuum at the intake manifold result because the throttle valve remains closed. The high vacuum attracts oil in the heads to congregate around the valve stems. Upon acceleration, the oil gets sucked past the eroding seal and down through the valve guide, where it burns in the exhaust. Huge clouds of blue-white smoke exit the tailpipe after each acceleration from a stop. The burning smoke will disappear during cruising or highway speed.

Off-Throttle Braking

    Evidence of valve seals being compromised will show up during off-throttle braking, especially when descending a steep downgrade where the accelerator pedal remains static. With the creation of high intake manifold vacuum, coupled with the downward slant of the engine, oil collects toward the front of the valve cover over the head. Upon pushing the accelerator after a long coast, burned oil will exit the tailpipe in copious amounts. The engine will continue to burn the oil longer in this case, but it will still be a temporary condition until finally the smoking stops under normal cruise.

Oil Consumption

    Bad valve seals will cause excessive oil consumption. In an otherwise normal engine with good compression, rings and valve guides, bad seals will cause a loss of oil that can be detected on the oil dipstick. By keeping an accurate record of oil level on the dipstick, a noticeable oil reduction due to the oil being burned along with the fuel will be discovered. Bad seals will be confirmed if no oil leaks can be found on the engine to account for the loss.

Excessive Smoke

    If the valve seals have deteriorated enough, the blue-white exhaust smoke will last longer after start-up and acceleration. Yet the smoke will eventually disappear after long engine operation or during periods of hot weather. Bad valve seals nearly always show an intermittent problem of oil burning, whereas worn piston rings and valve guides will smoke during all times of engine operation and never disappear.

Selasa, 23 Juli 2013

How Can I Tell If My Truck Heater Core Is Bad?

How Can I Tell If My Truck Heater Core Is Bad?

Heating systems are very simple compared to AC systems; after all, getting air hot is easy when you have a big thermal conversion engine not six inches away. Heater cores are the last link in your truck's air-heating strategy, responsible for transferring the heat of your engine to the air in your cab. Checking the heater core is easy once you know how everything works. Just bear in mind that heater hoses are, well, hot.

Instructions

    1

    Determine whether or not your lack of heat is from a heater issue or because the coolant isn't getting hot enough. The simplest way to do this is to look at the temperature gauge, but you can guesstimate its heat by wrapping your hand around the upper radiator hose. If it's really, really hot, then your engine is heating. If your engine is running cold, then your thermostat is likely stuck open and the heater core isn't getting warm enough to heat the air.

    2

    Turn your heater on high and locate your heater core valve. You'll find it in the middle of one of the hoses leading from your engine to the heater core. Gently wrap your hands around the hoses on either side of the valve. They should be the same temperature. If the engine-side hose is noticeably hotter than the core-side, then the valve isn't opening or isn't opening all the way.

    3

    Wrap your hands around the heater core input and output hoses. The input hose is the one with the heater valve in it and the output hose is the other one coming out of your heater core. They should be the same temperature or nearly so; the output hose will typically run a bit cooler than the inlet, but it shouldn't be room temperature or cold after the heater valve opens. If it is, then your core is clogged.

    4

    Go inside the truck and look for water in the carpet and floorboards of your truck. Smell the area around your dashboard and take a good whiff of the vented heater air. If you detect any odor of engine coolant, then you've got a coolant leak in the core and it has to go. If you can't replace the core right away, you're better off disconnecting the input and output lines and installing a piece of metal tubing into the line ends to loop them together. That beats ruining your interior with coolant.

Senin, 22 Juli 2013

How to Troubleshoot a Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra provides the performance of a full-size pickup truck and, depending on the model owned, a variety of options with towing capacity and torque. However, like all vehicles, Tundras can have quirks over time that result in issues need repair. Being able to identify these issues early helps reduce maintenance costs and unnecessary labor costs by saving mechanics the trouble of looking for the problems.

Instructions

Hard Starting

    1

    Go into the truck cabin on the driver's seat and pull the latch to open the front hood of the truck. Lift the front hood until it is fully extended and in the locked position so it won't fall down. Use a shop rag to wipe the truck battery terminals clean.

    2

    Use a crescent wrench and pliers to loosen and remove the battery terminal connectors to the engine. Put them both aside, momentarily resting them elsewhere on the engine. Use a battery tester to determine if the battery has sufficient charge. Connect a trickle battery charger if there is insufficient charge, and let it charge for three hours at least. Remove the charger. Re-connect the battery with the crescent wrench and pliers. Try to start the truck with the vehicle keys.

    3

    Take the truck for a drive for 30 minutes at highway speeds if it starts. Come back and disconnect the battery again and test it again with the battery charger. Pull the old battery out of its holding frame and replace it with a new one if the charge is still low, or the truck could not be started at all to charge it up on the road. Re-connect the battery connector cables with the pliers and crescent wrench. Start the truck again and note if problems still occur.

Torn Motor Mounts, Engine Shifting

    4

    Drive the Tundra out to a clear area such as a parking lot. Warm the truck up if it hasn't already been running for a while. Drive to a position where the truck can be driven in a straight line for a sufficient distance to build up 25-to-30-mph speed.

    5

    Accelerate the truck until sufficient speed is reached. Press firmly on the brakes to come to a stop without slamming the brakes or activating the anti-lock braking system (ABS--it's loud and feels like something broke in the brakes when it's activated). Feel the engine weight while driving to see if it lurches as the truck stops, or if the entire truck slows down as one unit.

    6

    Repeat the test at least five times to determine if the engine is shifting or not when stopping. Take the truck into a mechanic if the lurching is consistent on most of the tests. Point out what you did and how it felt, and have the mechanic check the motor mounts to see if they are torn or solid.

Manual Transmission Slips Out of Gear

When a transmission slips out of gear, the engine is not adequately connecting to the crankshaft. Since the clutch is the piece of equipment that connects the engine to the crankshaft, a slipping transmission is almost always a clutch problem. If the transmission is slipping, the clutch is not doing its job correctly, and the engine is not as efficient as it could be.

Instructions

    1

    Shift your car into first gear and drive slowly forward then shift through the gears while listening to the engine.

    2

    Listen to hear if the engine is accelerating more than it needs to. This indicates a slipping gear -- the engine is accelerating and burning fuel, but it is not connected to the crankshaft so the wheels are not moving with it. If you hear the engine revving but don't experience an increase in speed, the gears are slipping.

    3

    Change the transmission fluid. This is most likely the cause of transmission slippage if your vehicle has low mileage.

    4

    Replace the transmission's internal filter. Over time, filters become less effective and will restrict fluid flow rather than filter it.

    5

    Perform regular fluid and filter changes on your vehicle's transmission every 25,000 miles. This is a preventative measure; if you wait until the transmission slips, the damage may already be done and fixing it will require more parts and labor than a new filter and fluid.

Minggu, 21 Juli 2013

Check Engine Light Diagnostic Tools

Check Engine Light Diagnostic Tools

Engine performance issues were once diagnosed with the use of an oscilloscope and various meters and strobe lights. A skilled interpretation of the oscilloscope pattern was needed to determine exact ignition or compression conditions per cylinder. The advent of computer control devices ushered in the check engine light to alert drivers of emission control system failures. Advances in electronic engine controls allow in-depth testing of engine performance through the components of ignition and emission control systems.

Simple Systems

    On-board diagnostics on early computer systems required little more than a jumper wire to access the computer memory for "trouble" codes. The data exhibited was related to emission control sensors and devices, but did nothing to isolate or determine ignition system failures. Auto manufacturers all used differing versions, and the codes displayed were particular to the car make. These on-board diagnostic systems were called OBD-I, and they inspired federal legislation that obligated uniform codes.

Management

    Solid-state ignition components and fuel management devices became computer operated and monitored by OBD-II systems. The illumination of the check engine light can signify a problem with ignition or fuel delivery operations as well as emission controls. OBD-II systems can display trouble codes to basic code-reading scanners through the interface connector located under the dashboard. Basic code scanners are inexpensive, and some auto parts stores and service centers will retrieve your codes at no charge.

Streaming Data

    An inexpensive code-reading scanner will retrieve codes and shut off the check engine light, but the actual condition that created the code may require more intense scrutiny. Replacing a part that is named in a code interpretation is no guarantee of an effective repair. Sophisticated scanners display streaming data that aids precise diagnosis. High-quality streaming data scanners are expensive, and they are useless without extensive knowledge of automotive electronics.

Tools

    An illuminated check engine light may signify a malfunction of a circuit or component by the code displayed. Related intermittent problems may cause the code to store in the computer memory, while the actual culprit eludes detection. An open circuit caused by a broken wire will set off the same code as a faulty component. Scanner operation instructions may provide some insight to proper usage, but true diagnosis depends on precise application of the data retrieved.

How to Fix a Passat Code P1857

How to Fix a Passat Code P1857

A "check engine" light is both an alarming and uninformative warning indicator on your car's dashboard; to understand the cause of this warning light, the vehicle can be taken to an auto repair shop or auto parts store to retrieve a more precise warning code. These codes provide a list of possible causes for the check engine light's appearance. A Volkswagon Passat's code P1875 indicates a problem caused by either the engine control module or transmission control module.

Instructions

    1

    Check the engine control module (or ECU) at an auto repair shop. The ECU controls the fuel-to-air mixture, ignition timing and other operations required for an engine to function.

    2

    Check the transmission control module (TCU) with a transmission repair specialist. The TCU collects data from sensors both in the vehicle and in the ECU to calculate the proper timing for changing gears to provide optimum speed, fuel economy and shift quality.

    3

    Choose a repair shop that is trustworthy and provides a reasonable price for repairs. Have them repair the ECU or TCU, whichever is causing the problem in the vehicle. After repairs are completed, monitor the performance of your car by paying attention to how the car feels while driving and being alert for any dashboard warnings; return to your mechanic if the problem persists.

How to Detect a Cracked Engine Block

A cracked engine block is a serious problem that cannot be repaired permanently and indicates the need for replacement of the short block (the lower half of the motor) or the car itself (depending on the vehicle's age and value versus the cost of parts and labor). Although rare, cracks do occur and with few--if any--definitive signs. Apart from the appearance of a large, external hole, only inspection and/or disassembly by a qualified expert can determine with certainty whether your vehicle's block is indeed cracked.

Instructions

    1

    Inspect the radiator and overflow reservoir. Radiator fluid is typically clear or bright green. Brown, murky radiator fluid or the presence of motor oil in the radiator and/or overflow reservoir can indicate an internal engine crack.

    2

    Check the oil. Oil on the dipstick should range in color from burnt gold to dark brown. If it's gray in color or if water is present, the block may be cracked.

    3

    Examine the engine block for leaks. A rust or coolant-colored stripe on the engine and/or steam coming from the block can be signs of a crack.

Sabtu, 20 Juli 2013

How to Determine if Your Car Has a Battery or Starter Problem

How to Determine if Your Car Has a Battery or Starter Problem

When your attempts to start your car fail, it can sometimes be difficult to ascertain the true cause of the problem. The most frequent cause will be a dead battery. Occasionally, though, your car may not start because of something wrong with the mechanical systems of the car. At times, you might need a trained mechanic to discover what is wrong, but there are always things you can and should do before taking the often expensive step of visiting an auto shop.

Instructions

    1

    Turn your ignition key to the "accessory" position. If your battery is functioning, this should feed electricity, directly from the battery, to certain accessories within your car, such as your radio. If these do not work, it is probably a battery problem.

    2

    Turn on your headlights. If they do not come on, or if they are dimmer than usual, it's probably a battery problem.

    3

    Attempt to start your vehicle. If your starter attempts to turn over but your electrical systems cut out, your battery likely has just enough juice to power your accessories, but not enough to start your car.

    4

    Attempt to jump start your car. This entails connecting your car's battery to another car's battery with jumper cables, and attempting to start it. Please note that the second car should not be running when you attach the cables, but should be running when you attempt to start your car. The jumper cables will transfer electricity to your car, from the other car. If your car still does not start, the problem is more than likely not with the battery. Replace your battery if jump-starting your car works.

Jumat, 19 Juli 2013

Problems With the Climate Control in the 1999 Buick

Founded in 1903, Buick is an entry-level luxury vehicle manufacturer. Despite its longevity, Buick is not exempt from mechanical problems. In particular, the 1999 Century and Regal models suffer from climate control problems.

Problem

    Buick technical service bulletins (TSBs) report that the Century and Regal models suffer from air conditioning (AC) problems. TSBs state that the AC unit underperforms in "hot, humid weather."

Cause

    An AC system in need of recharging often exhibits poor performance in hot weather conditions. Your AC loses its cooling efficiency if its refrigerant requires recharging. Aside from weak performance, a system that requires recharging may make unusual noises.

Solution

    Prior to making any repairs, the AC system must be free of contaminants and moisture. The repair consists of adding the necessary refrigerant after the AC system's pressure is gauged. Repair Pal estimates the repair costs for the Regal and Century between $155 to $215 (as of March 2011).

Kamis, 18 Juli 2013

High Idle After Intake Manifold Removal

High Idle After Intake Manifold Removal

Air leaks can be a difficult thing to spot and hard to avoid when doing major work to the engine's induction system. You engine is essentially a big vacuum pump, and it's always trying to pull air in from wherever it can. Manifold removal and replacement means opening the door to numerous opportunities for leaks. While tracking them down and fixing them is always an option, the best solution is prevention.

High Idle Problems

    The basic problem here is one of airflow -- too much of it. An engine can't run without air; it needs the oxygen to burn fuel going into the cylinders. Simply dumping more fuel into the engine will cause it to run rich, unless the engine is very cold and needs the extra fuel. Without some sort of excess airflow, your car's computer -- if it's fuel injected -- would compensate by reducing the amount of fuel injected to bring air/fuel ratio back in line. So, you have to have extra air going into the engine; diagnosing the problem is just a matter of finding the leak.

Manifold Gasket Leak

    This is the most likely source of air leaks, particularly if you just replaced the manifold. Intake manifold gaskets have a nasty habit of leaking where they meet the cylinder head, especially when using a metal valley-pan-style metal gasket and aluminum intake. The cylinder head, metal gasket and aluminum intake all expand at different rates, and any irregularity in the gasket or torquing procedure will cause gasket distortion and air leaks. Reusable, rubber O-ring gaskets aren't always quite as reusable as they appear to be, which is why it's important that you use a new one when servicing the intake. The same holds true for carburetor and throttle body gaskets as well as the duct from your airbox to throttle body.

Vacuum Leaks and Throttle Cable

    Vacuum leaks are an ever-present concern when dealing with anything on the intake, and they're insidious in their subtlety. Rubber vacuum lines harden over time and mold themselves around the fittings to which they're attached. This happens pretty quickly -- usually within about five years, depending upon the lines and under-hood temperatures. If you have the slack, it's always a good idea to snip off at least 1/4-inch of vacuum line tip when reinstalling it. A vacuum line should require a bit of force to push onto the fitting; if it just slides on like it's greased, then the line has hardened and loosened.

Throttle Cable and Sensor, IAC Valve

    This is an easy mistake to make. Throttle cables can easily go out of adjustment when removing the carburetor, throttle body and intake manifold, which is why readjusting the throttle linkage and transmission kickdown linkage is always a good idea after servicing the intake manifold. Throttle position sensors aren't likely to go out of adjustment during this procedure, but checking the position is advisable. Most people will clean the throttle body and idle air control channels while replacing the intake manifold. Some computers are programmed to compensate for clogging in the IAC by holding it open a bit farther; make sure to reset your computer and clear any codes after replacing the intake.

Finding the Leak

    There's an old mechanic's trick to finding elusive vacuum and air leaks, and it requires little more than a can of commercially available starting fluid. Starting fluid -- also known as ether -- is a highly combustible fuel used as a supplemental fuel to help the primary fuel ignite. To find a vacuum or gasket leak, spray the suspect area with a short, one-second burst about 3 inches from the vacuum fitting or mating surface. If there's a leak present, it'll suck the ether into your engine. This extra fuel will work with the extra air from the leak to cause a momentary rise in rpm. Just keep the volatile ether sprays short and away from hot exhaust manifold parts, electronic equipment and the alternator.

Craftsman Auto Code Reading Tools

Craftsman Auto Code Reading Tools

Anyone who drives a car in the U.S. has probably experienced the appearance of the "check engine" light on their car's control panel. Craftsman Auto Code (CAN) Reading Tools allow automobile owners to diagnose the codes on their car's screen. Craftsman manufactures a range of these tools, from the basic tool, which provides a full diagnostic report, the probable cause and repair recommendations and costs, to the more advanced tools with more extensive options.

Craftsman CANOBD2 Car Reader

    The Craftsman CANOBD2 Car Reader is the most basic and least expensive code reader. As of July 2011, it retails for $50 to $60. It provides code diagnosis and a report, the probable cause of the problem and repair information and costs. The Car Reader links to all OBD2 protocols, including CAN, to decode Check Engine light problems. It also checks for compliance with state emissions levels. It is Internet-upgradeable and updateable.

Craftsman CANOBD2 Diagnostic Tool

    Craftsman CANOBD2 Diagnostic Tool also has a Spanish and French interface. It retrieves OBD2 DTCs: Generic Codes (P0, P2, P3, and U0) / Manufacturer Specific Codes (P1, P3, and U1) Communicates with all OBD 2 protocols including CAN. It displays Freeze Frame Data it can flash updated with a Windows PC. It also has battery backup and a memory for analysis once it is off the car. As of July 2011, it retails at around $100.

Craftsman Scan Tool CanOBD2

    Craftsman Scan Tool CanOBD2 performs all of the above. It Provides SAE enhanced Live Data views, records and plays back live PCM data streams. It also displays Freeze Frame Data and retrieves OEM Enhanced and Transmission DTCs Communicates with all OBD 2 protocols: CAN (Controller Area Network), ISO 9141, J1850PWM, J1850VPW, KWP 2000 ISO 14230-4. It also retrieves OBD2 DTCs: Generic Codes (P0, P2, P3, and U0) / Manufacturer Specific Codes (P1, P3, and U1). As of July 2011, it sells for around $155.

Craftsman CanOBD2&1 Scan Tool Kit

    The Craftsman CanOBD2&1 Scan Tool Kit comes with PC Software & Optional Repair Solutions. It provides OBD2 coverage plus OBD1 coverage for General Motors 1982 to 1993 and some 1994 to 1995 models. It performs KOEO, KOER, Timing Check, Cylinder Balance Test, Output State Test, Wiggle Test. As of July 1011, it sells for around $250.

Craftsman CanOBD2 ABS+SRS Scan Tool

    Craftsman CanOBD2 ABS+SRS Scan Tool is the top-of-the-line scan tool. It retrieves OEM Enhanced and Transmission DTCs. It communicates with all OBD 2 protocols: C.A.N. (Controller Area Network), ISO 9141, J1850PWM, J1850VPW, KWP 2000 ISO 14230-4

    It provides SAE enhanced Live Data, and it views, records and plays back live PCM data streams. It displays Freeze Frame Data. It also retrieves OBD2 DTCs: Generic Codes (P0, P2, P3, and U0) / Manufacturer Specific Codes (P1, P3, and U1). As of July 2011, it retails for around $320.

How to Troubleshoot a 1979 Chevrolet P30 Van

How to Troubleshoot a 1979 Chevrolet P30 Van

The 1979 Chevrolet P30 is a step van with a 6.2-liter engine. The box van is designed for hauling cargo and making deliveries. It has two front seats and a sliding door in the cab for access to the cargo area. The back of the van uses a locking roll-up door for access to the cargo area. Troubleshooting the van requires basic mechanical knowledge and the ability to detect changes in performance.

Instructions

    1

    Attempt to start the vehicle. If the engine does not have the power to start, attach jumper cables to the battery and to a running vehicle. Allow the battery to charge and start the vehicle. If the problem persists, check for an auxiliary battery and a battery isolator. A bad isolator will cause the starting battery to drain.

    2

    If the van does not have an auxiliary battery and the starting battery charges, use a voltage meter to test the alternator. Replace the alternator if it does not supply electric current. The bad alternator will ruin the battery if it is not replaced.

    3

    Attempt to start the vehicle. If the engine cranks but does not fire, replace the spark plugs. If the engine still will not start, the carburetor must be serviced. Spray the carburetor with a commercial cleaner and attempt to start. Have the carburetor fixed if the problem continues.

    4

    Pay attention to the van's performance as you drive. If the van sputters and the engine power surges, the fuel pump may be going bad. If the van is difficult to steer and turn, the power steering pump may require replacement. If it grinds on turns, the U-joints may require replacement.

    5

    Drive at variable speeds to test the transmission. If the van jolts or hesitates while shifting, the transmission must be serviced. The transmission is likely to develop issues over time if the van is used for heavy-duty hauling.

How to Find & Fix an EVAP Leak

How to Find & Fix an EVAP Leak

Vehicles driven on public roadways must typically pass emissions tests before the car can be registered with the state of residence. Emissions exude from the car's exhaust pipe. The fumes are by-products of the gasoline combustion within the engine. Each vehicle is equipped with a system called EVAP (Evaporative Emission Control System) for reducing the emissions emitted into the Earth's atmosphere. However, the EVAP system may require troubleshooting if it detects a leak.

Instructions

    1

    Verify that the gas cap is firmly tightened onto the gas tank entry point. The EVAP system includes the fuel tank. As a result, a loose gas cap is translated by the EVAP system as a leak, causing the "Check Engine" light to illuminate.

    2

    Lift the vehicle's front end with two car jacks. Chock the rear wheels for preventing any slippage.

    3

    Locate the EVAP service port adapter within the engine's compartment. Typically, the port is near the engine's front on the passenger side. The port has a valve and supply hose protruding outward.

    4

    Place the smoke machine tester's hose into the service port adapter. Turn on the smoke machine by choosing the "Test" mode.

    5

    Allow the smoke to fill the EVAP system for approximately 60 seconds.

    6

    Visually inspect the EVAP system by running the UV light across the vehicle's underside, following the system's path from the engine compartment to the rear fuel tank. The UV light will illuminate any leaks along the system since it will react with the smoke. As the smoke exits through a leak, the UV light will show an obvious plume of air.

    7

    Replace any leaking or cracked hose within the EVAP system. In addition, repair or replace any EVAP purge valve that may emit fumes.

Rabu, 17 Juli 2013

Signs of a Bad O2 Sensor

Signs of a Bad O2 Sensor

An oxygen or O2 sensor measures the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gases of a vehicle. The automobile's computer system uses the information gathered by the sensor to control the engine operation. When something goes wrong with the oxygen sensor, a check engine light is generally activated. However, when the sensor is just beginning to go bad, it may cause problems without activating a light.

Rough Engine Idle

    A bad O2 sensor can cause an engine to run rough or irregular because they control many different engine functions. A faulty sensor can cause a disruption in the fuel/air mixture, engine timing or engine combustion intervals. The car senses an O2 sensor malfunction and injects more fuel than it needs to prevent engine trouble. The extra fuel results in a stall which causes the rough engine idle.

Engine Missing

    A engine miss, or irregularly running engine, can be caused by a bad air/fuel mixture or incorrect engine combustion. It also can cause a problem in the fuel delivery/combustion inside an engine. Each of these problems can be caused by a bad O2 sensor. It is easiest to diagnose at idle or at lower engine speeds.

Poor Gas Mileage

    Typical gas mileage is disrupted when the automobile's fuel-delivery and fuel-combustion systems are made irregular by a bad O2 sensor. If the systems are thrown off, then too much fuel can be injected into an engine's cylinders or the air/fuel mixture of the engine is disturbed. The automobile injects more fuel than needed when the sensor fails and causes more gas usage than normal.

Increased Vehicle Emissions

    The oxygen sensors of a vehicle help to keep the automobile's emissions within certain limits. When the O2 sensor fails, the vehicle can output smog because the sensor is not accurately measuring the air/fuel mixture and does not adjust engine operations accurately enough to keep these emissions in the proper ratio.

How to Run On-Board Diagnostics for a 1991 Ford Tempo

In 1996, On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) became the standard for cars and light trucks. Before then, vehicle diagnostics differed by brand. Ford vehicles used a system called Electronic Engine Control (EEC), and the 1991 Ford Tempo uses the fourth generation of that system (EEC-IV). An OBD-II scanner cannot be used on the 1991 Tempo, but there are code readers for EEC-IV vehicles. There is also a cheaper method that excludes scanners all together. Deciding which to use is a question of convenience. If you need to diagnose your Tempo often, buying a scanner is probably a good idea.

Instructions

With Code Reader

    1

    Consult your code reader's user manual. How to use a code scanner is similar in spirit across brands and types, but the specific parts of the process do differ. Older code scanners, for example, need a lead attached to the Tempo's battery. Newer ones do not. Also, bookmark the pages that contain the EEC-IV trouble code definitions.

    2

    Pop the Tempo's hood. You are looking for a two outlets. One is six-sided and is called the "Self Test Outlet." The other is a smaller one right next to it that has only one slot. This is the "Self Test Input." Connect the code reader to both of these. If your code reader has a lead that needs to be attached to the Tempo's battery for power, attach it to the positive terminal.

    3

    Turn off the air conditioning. Engage the parking brake and shift the transmission into park or neutral. Warm up the engine to its average running temperature. Switch the engine off but leave the key in the ignition.

    4

    Wait 10 seconds. Turn the key to power the electrical system, but do not start the engine.

    5

    Return to the engine and switch the code reader on. If your reader features an LED screen, you can read the codes and key in commands. If you have a cheaper reader, you may have to count flashing lights (see the end of the Section 2 on how to interpret the flashes).

Without Code Reader

    6

    Engage the parking brake, shift into neutral or park, and turn off the air conditioning. Crank the engine and let it run for 10 minutes or until it reaches normal operating temperature. Turn the engine off.

    7

    Pop the hood and look for the Tempo's six-sided self-test outlet and input. Connect the two with a jumper wire.

    8

    Return to the driver's seat. Turn on the Tempo's electrical system but do not start the engine.

    9

    Watch the check engine light. It will start flashing codes at you. EEC-IV codes are either two or three digits in length. There will be slight pauses between code numbers and longer pauses between the whole trouble code sequences. For example, code 15 will entail the check engine light flashing once, followed by a brief pause, then five more flashes.

    10

    Consult the internet for code descriptions, since you will not have a code reader manual to consult. There are generic sites that archive EEC-IV codes and their descriptions (see Resources).

How to Check the Blower Motor

How to Check the Blower Motor

Motor vehicles have blower motors which are fans that circulate air through your car for heating and cooling purposes. If you notice that your air circulation is weak, your blower motor may need to be repaired. Before taking it to a mechanic, however, you can perform several tests to ensure that, indeed, the blower motor is broken.

Instructions

    1

    Turn your ignition to the "run" position, but do not start the vehicle. If you start the engine, you may not be able to hear to hear the blower motor run.

    2

    Turn on your car's heat and air conditioning. Place your hands over the car's vents. If you feel air blowing, your blower motor is likely functioning properly. However, if you do not feel any air, your blower motor may need to be replaced.

    3

    Locate the blower motor, which most likely located under the passenger side dash. Remove the screws that hold the blower motor's sound insulation panel in place. If your motor is not located here, consult your vehicle's user manual to determine its location.

    4

    Tap on the blower motor lightly using your clenched first, a mallet or similar tool. Non-functioning blower motors may merely be stuck and can be repaired by tapping on them.

    5

    Test the motor blower with a 12-volt test light. Connect the test light's tip to a good ground, such as a screw connected to metal. Using the other end of the test light, which resembles a screw driver, touch a fuse terminal on the blower motor. If the device lights up, the fuse is in working condition. If not, the fuse needs to be replaced.

318I BMW Idle Issues

318I BMW Idle Issues

Many BMW 318i owners face a myriad of idle issues, especially on older models with questionable maintenance history. In normal operation when you start a cold vehicle, the 318i on-board ECU raises the idle RPM to an increased value until the engine reaches a preset operating temperature. At this point the idle begins to decrease until it finally reaches and stays at an assigned value. Several engine components look after and monitor this process. If even one of them malfunctions, a poor idle condition may occur.

Symptoms of Poor Idle

    The BMW 318i suffers from a variety of idle problems, including rough/low idle, and erratic or surging idle. Associated with ongoing engine rpm increases and decreases, a "hunting" or wandering idle condition frequently occurs when engine rpm is unable to stabilize at any value. The rpm typically wanders from 700 rpm to 1500 rpm or higher. However, a rough idle results from an engine struggling to stay running due to a low rpm, often giving off strong vibrations felt throughout the passenger cabin.

Causes

    These issues occur due to engine components which regulate idle functions. If the idle rpm is unusually high, a stuck open thermostat is the likely culprit, not allowing the engine to properly warm up to full operating temperature. In addition, check vehicle timing. A too-aggressive setting contributes to raised idle levels, causing the engine to "run rich", which in turn burns excessive fuel. You should check the MAF, (mass air flow) O2 sensors, and the ICV (idle control valve) for problems. They may need replacement. These components are prone to wear and fail over an extended period of time. In many cases a "check engine" light appears on the driver's side dash console, providing diagnostic information. It can quickly identify any malfunctioning components.

Preventive Maintenance

    Be sure to perform annual engine tune-ups on the 318i including replacement of the air filter, spark plugs/wires and even the O2 sensor. In an effort to reduce deposits in the gas tank, fuel lines and engine, pour a bottle of fuel system cleaner into the gas tank when performing an oil change. This often cures hesitation and rough idle.

My 1994 Lincoln Mark VIII Won't Crank

The Mark VIII is a luxury sedan manufactured by Ford Motor Company under the Lincoln brand name. The Mark VIII made its production debut in the 1993 model year as a successor to the Mark VII. The Mark VIII boasts an eight cylinder Intech 4.6L engine. Reasons that this engine may have trouble cranking are similar to that of most combustion engines and are typically related to problems with the battery or ignition system.

Instructions

    1

    Attempt to jump start the battery on the Mark VIII.

    2

    If the jump is successful, idle the engine for several minutes in order to give the battery an opportunity to charge.

    3

    Shut off the Mark VIII's engine and remove the jumper cables.

    4

    Attempt to restart the Mark VIII. If it doesn't start at this point, either the battery will not hold a charge or the alternator is malfunctioning. Many auto parts stores will test both of these items for no charge and tell you which one needs to be replaced.

    5

    Have the ignition switch, starter and all other ignition system components inspected by a qualified automotive professional if jump starting the Mark VIII doesn't work.

Selasa, 16 Juli 2013

Evaporative System Monitor Repair Tips

Evaporative System Monitor Repair Tips

The evaporative emission control system in a vehicle helps capture fuel emissions that may escape as an engine shuts off and residual fuel sits in fuel lines or valves. Gasoline reverts to a gaseous state when exposed to air and as it dries. These fumes then leak out of the engine into the environment. To avert this problem, federal emission controls require a recapture system with appropriate sensors to signal when the emission capture is not working right. This requirement can then trigger a vehicle's "check engine" light in response.

Diagnosing the Problem

    The first sign of trouble with the evaporative emission control system, also known as the EECS, frequently involves a sensor signal being sent to the onboard diagnostic computer and triggering the "check engine" light. However, there are multiple sensors that can cause the trigger, which makes finding the problem harder. Issues can include a loose hose, a bad coal canister where the fumes are captured, a bad signal sensor or a loose gas tank cap. To repair the issue you have to go through a process of elimination.

Start with the Easy Task

    When the "check engine" light goes on, plug in a vehicle computer code reader to first confirm the trouble signal. You can buy a basic reader at any automotive parts store for between $50 and $100. This saves the hassle and expense of taking your car to a mechanic to do the same thing. Next, unscrew and reinstall your gas cap. Erase the error code using the car scanner and turn the car on again. By driving your car around you can then determine if the problem will still trigger the "check engine" light or if it was just a loose gas cap. If it was the cap, you saved yourself anywhere from $60 to $150 from an unnecessary mechanic visit.

Other Easy Fixes

    The EECS works in a vacuum when it recaptures fumes, so if there is a pressure leak somewhere in the system, it will trigger a problem. This assumes one of the sensors is not malfunctioning. Another common cause can be a loose hose. Using a car repair manual, identify where your hoses are in the engine compartment and check them for tears or cracks. If you find the leak, the fix can be a simple hose exchange. Once finished, again erase the error code from the car and drive it to see if the "check engine" light comes on again.

More Complicated Repairs

    The repository for the fumes captured is a coal canister underneath the car. When the engine runs again, the canister is opened and the fumes go back into the engine to burn up. If the coal canister is old, it tends to fail and trigger a minor leak signal. Swapping out the canister with a new one or a replacement from a used parts supplier can solve the leak signal problem. If you know how to work on your car, you can replace it yourself. Otherwise, rely on a mechanic to do the repair.

The Guessing Game

    If the issue is not the canister or the gas cap, and the leak is not evident, you will need to have a mechanic perform a diagnostic of the EECS. This involves pressurizing smoke into the system to see where it leaks out. Unless you have the right equipment at home, this repair is best left to a professional mechanic's shop. Unfortunately, finding the problem can require repeat tests, which drive up labor costs on repairs. The same goes for a faulty EECS sensor. Your system may be working fine, but a sensor may have gone bad. A mechanic will need to eliminate the problems one by one.

Do Nothing?

    Ultimately, your car can perform fine without the EECS being repaired, but your "check engine" light will turn on every time you start your car. If you have a code reader, you can confirm the signal and just wipe the code. It can be an annoying task every startup, but it only takes a minute to perform. It is necessary to check, though; otherwise your "check engine" light may be signaling a different problem and you won't know what it is. This option may work for a while until you save up the funds for the professional repair.

How to Test for an Oil Smell

How to Test for an Oil Smell

If you turn on your car and smell something burning, chances are there is an oil leak in your engine. Oil leaking from a valve in the engine causes a foul, acrid odor. People driving behind you may see smoke from the tail pipe and smell the burning oil. Test for an oil smell in your car.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the car on and drive around for 10 minutes. Smell the air inside the car. Does it smell like something is burning? Burnt oil has a distinctive smell that most car owners recognize easily.

    2

    Open the hood after turning the car off. Is the smell stronger near the engine? If so, chances are oil is leaking from a valve and burning on hot engine parts.

    3

    Find out when the last oil change was for the car. Recent oil changes can lead to burnt oil smell due to excess oil in the engine. After the car drives for awhile, the excess oil burns off and the smell disappears.

    4

    Run the car in idle with the hood open and watch for smoke. If you see smoke and smell burning, there is oil leaking somewhere in the engine.

    5

    Stand behind the car while it's running. Do you see smoke coming out of the tail pipe? Have someone give it a little gas while in park and watch for black smoke from the exhaust. It smells like burning oil if oil is burning in the exhaust system.

How to Remove a Tail Light Lens on a Toyota Highlander

How to Remove a Tail Light Lens on a Toyota Highlander

The tail light lens on your Toyota Highlander sports utility vehicle keeps your tail lights protected. A cracked tail light lens can eventually allow water to get in which, in turn, can cause damage to your tail light and electrical system. The tail light lens of your Toyota Highlander is molded onto the tail light assembly. As a result, the entire tail light assembly will have to be replaced. The tail light assembly can either be purchased straight from your Toyota dealership or ordered at an auto parts store---probably for a cheaper price.

Instructions

    1

    Open the rear hatch of your Toyota Highlander and locate the two retaining screws.

    2

    Remove the two tail light retaining screws with the Phillips screwdriver.

    3

    Twist the tail light bulb and socket to the left and remove it from the rear of the tail light assembly. Set the old assembly aside.

    4

    Place the tail light bulb and socket into the rear of the new tail light assembly and turn it to the right to tighten it into place.

    5

    Put the tail light assembly back into place and replace the retaining screws.

Senin, 15 Juli 2013

Mazda 6 Transmission Issues

Mazda 6 Transmission Issues

Transmission repairs on Mazda 6 vehicles can be expensive because of the cost of individual components and the labor associated with complicated installation. Common issues to look out for include transmission overheating, clutch problems, mechanical flywheel failure and torque-converter faults.

Overheating

    If the transmission system in your Mazda 6 is hot to the touch or its fluid heats past 200 degrees Fahrenheit, you may see the transmission circuit producing smoke. The solution is to install a transmission cooler, the size of which can vary and must be matched to the maximum allowable weight of cargo, including passengers and luggage, you carry on a regular basis. Transmission coolers work to reduce the temperature of the transmission circuit by increasing the airflow around the hot components. Install it as close to the transmission as possible, between the radiator and the air conditioning condenser.

Transmission Fluid

    Check the transmission fluid dipstick for low fluid levels. This condition can reduce the transmission's efficiency, performance and engine-cooling power. If there is insufficient fluid level for an extended period of time, the whole car will suffer as a result, and you could see the engine fail. Black, dirty and burnt fluid indicates the fluid needs to be changed. According to Samarins, you should change the fluid between 30,000 and 50,000 miles. Mazda recommends using M-V fluid in 2.3L automatics, T-IV in 3.0L automatics, and GL-4 or GL-5 in manuals.

Rattling

    Often an intermittent sound, rattling in low gears is a common problem and has been identified as a transmission-related issue. The steering wheel will shake between 25 and 37 miles per hour. Rattling has also been noticed in some Mazda 6 wagons at slower speeds. To fix this issue, you will need to examine the half-shafts that link the differential with the wheels and replace them if they are showing signs of wear and tear, excessive motion or loss of grease. You can also replace the transmission bearings.

Jolting

    Some Mazda 6 transmission systems cause jolting in the vehicle. This issue can begin as a small annoyance but will become increasingly frequent and severe. Jolting is due to a problem with the torque converter or the solenoid inside the valve body. Look for damaged components and replace them if necessary.

Shifting or Slipping

    Sudden shifts, also called slips, in gears can be an issue while driving. The revolutions per minute (RPM) counter on the dashboard of the vehicle will change dramatically with the sudden change in component performance. Check and replace the transmission valve body as this problem is potentially dangerous: regular gear slippage can cause significant damage to the clutch and gear mechanism; and if the gears fail at high speed, accidents can occur. Some gearboxes can also lose their shifting ability on an intermittent basis or will fail entirely.

Delayed Engagement

    As the term implies, delayed engagement means that the gears hesitate before meshing. To test your Mazda 6 for this issue, shift the car into park and start the engine. Keep your foot on the brake then shift into reverse. If the transmission engages immediately, it works fine. If it does not, you have a sign that the transmission is faulty or, at the very least, in need of some attention. No jolting or jerking should occur. Try alternative gears using the same technique. According to Samarins, if the delay is 1 second or longer, there is an issue.

DIY Spark Discharge

DIY Spark Discharge

Spark discharge is one of the most common methods of checking your car's ignition. You can visually check to see if your engine is producing a charge by removing the spark plug cover and cranking the engine. If you see a spark discharged from the end of the wire, you can rule out ignition problems when your car is missing or won't start at all. This technique has been used for years, and even experience mechanics will check it before moving on to other more complicated diagnosis.

Instructions

    1

    Lean over the hood of the car while the engine is off and pull off the nearest spark plug wire with your fingers. Remove the spark plug with a spark plug socket.

    2

    Place the end of the spark plug back into the spark plug wire just as if it was before you removed it. Put on a pair of leather gloves.

    3

    Hold the spark plug with your fingers by the thick rubber portion at the end of the wire.

    4

    Instruct an assistant to sit in the driver's seat and turn the key to turn over the engine briefly. If the engine starts, that's okay. Observe the end of the spark plug. If it discharges a consistent spark, the ignition is fine. If you don't see any spark, you could have a problem with the ignition system.

Sabtu, 13 Juli 2013

How do I Troubleshoot a 1990 Mustang?

The 1990 Ford Mustang GT was equipped with a 5.0-liter eight-cylinder engine. It came with several different standard features, including a driver front airbag, bucket seats, power brakes, tilt steering wheel, 15-inch wheels, alloy wheels, power windows and power exterior mirrors. Because the Mustang is made up of many different systems, parts and components, it can be difficult to troubleshoot what parts need to be replaced when you are having a problem with your vehicle. One method is to notice different type and location of smells your Mustang emits as you use the car.

Instructions

    1

    Locate the oxygen sensor when the Mustang has a sulfur or rotten egg smell coming out of the exhaust system. The sensor may be damaged or faulty. You should also check the PCV valve and catalytic converter to see if they are clogged or faulty. Find the carburetor to see if it is dirty or broken and check the PCV hose to see if it is clogged or is collapsed.

    2

    Look at the Mustang's valve stem seals when the car emits a smoke smell out of the exhaust when you start up the car. The seals may be damaged or faulty. Inspect the head gasket inside the engine to determine whether there is any coolant leaking into the engine's cylinders.

    3

    Inspect the oil filler cap when you smell oil around the engine compartment while the Mustang is parked. The cap may be damaged or missing. You should also inspect the PCV valve, the valve grommet and valve elbow to determine whether any of these components are plugged, damaged or collapsed. Look also at the head gasket to see if oil is leaking out of it because the gasket is damaged or faulty.

    4

    Find and examine the Mustang's heater core when you smell a mold or mildew odor inside the passenger compartment. The heater core may be leaking coolant into the Mustang's floor area. If the moldy smell is coming from the trunk check the weather stripping around the trunk door to see if it is stripped or worn and is allowing water to enter the trunk.

How Do I Reset an OBD-II for a Toyota 4Runner?

How Do I Reset an OBD-II for a Toyota 4Runner?

Your Toyota 4Runner can sense when certain problems occur. The vehicle's computer can generate a trouble code and activate the warning light on your dashboard. While that light is always disconcerting, it can be triggered by something simple, such as needing to replace the gas cap. No matter the complexity of the repairs, resetting the 4Runner's computer afterward is a relatively easy process. All you need is an OBD-II hand-held scanner.

Instructions

    1

    Plug the diagnostics scanner into the port beneath the steering wheel. The scanner's cable ends in a 16 pin plug that should easily fit into an outlet with 16 receptors.

    2

    Press the "on" button on the scanner.

    3

    Insert the key into the ignition of the 4Runner and turn on the vehicle.

    4

    Wait for the now obsolete trouble code to show on the scanner.

    5

    Clear the code by hitting the appropriate button on the scanner. Most OBD-II scanners have a dedicated "clear" button, but if there's any confusion, consult your particular scanner's manual.

Jumat, 12 Juli 2013

How to Test a Digital EGR Valve

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves are present in most engines and prevent the build up of nitrogen oxides within your exhaust by recirculating a portion of the exhaust gases into the engine. Nitrogen oxides are pollutants which pose environmental hazards. There are many types of digital EGR valves which operate in different ways. Some of these different operating methods include single-stage, multi-stage and linear. Consequently, there are also different methods of diagnosing a faulty digital EGR valve.

Instructions

Non Back-Pressure-Sensing EGR Valve

    1

    Disconnect the vacuum hose from the EGR valve by removing the clamp that secures it.

    2

    Attach the hose from the vacuum pump to the port you just disconnected and secure the hose with a hose clamp.

    3

    Start the engine, allow it to warm up and then start the vacuum.

    4

    Monitor the EGR valve as the engine warms up. When the valve opens, listen for a drop in engine idle speed. You will know the valve is open because the vacuum line will start pulling. If there is no drop in idle speed when the valve opens, the valve is faulty.

Back Pressure-Sensing EGR Valve

    5

    Disconnect the vacuum hose from the EGR valve by removing the clamp that secures it.

    6

    Attach the hose from the vacuum pump to the port you just disconnected and secure the hose with a hose clamp.

    7

    Start the engine, allow it to thoroughly warm up and then start the vacuum.

    8

    When the valve opens, listen for a drop in engine idle speed. You will know the valve is open because the vacuum line will start pulling. If there is no drop in idle speed when the valve opens, the valve is faulty.

What Are the Causes of a 2003 GT Eclipse Radiator Leak?

The third-generation Eclipse was a bit of a change-up over previous models -- more boulevard cruiser than road-and-track bruiser. But, in the process, the Eclipse became a more versatile and highway friendly creature, with all of the amenities and equipment required to go the distance. Radiator leaks aren't especially common with this chassis, but it may fall victim to leaks in other areas.

Radiator Damage from Debris

    Radiator leaks aren't especially common on newer cars -- but not because he radiators themselves are so much better. It's because they're fairly well protected on the front side of the vehicle by the air conditioning condenser in front and by the plastic electric cooling fans behind. Even with the Eclipse's radiator opening being as low as it is, stones and debris kicked up into the opening are more likely to damage the AC condenser than the radiator. So, unless the radiator fan motor is somehow shoved forward into the radiator, you don't have much to worry about in terms of damage from debris.

Plastic Problems

    If the Eclipse's radiator has one Achilles heel, it's the plastic radiator reservoir tanks that many came with. Plastic reservoir tanks are nothing new, and they don't usually cause problems -- but it is one more thing that can go wrong. Manufacturers create these tanks by "welding" the plastic together, then join the plastic tanks to the aluminum core. These tanks can crack and leak at the welds, but are just as likely to leak where they meet the aluminum radiator core. Aluminum and plastic expand and contract at different rates, so, some kind of failure isn't unlikely as time goes on.

Hose Ends

    Most radiator leaks don't happen at the radiator at all, even if that's where you find the water; the vast majority of leaks happen at the hose ends and at the radiator cap. Rubber hoses, after constant subjection to heat, stress, vibration, oxygen and exhaust fumes, will harden over time. The hose conforms to the shape of the radiator outlet and clamp, and shrinks slightly away from the fittings. Mitsubishi coats the nozzles with a layer of sealant before they leave the factory, but subsequent repairs and removals will disturb the seal and make the hoses more prone to leakage.

Nozzle Problems

    If the Eclipse's cooling system does have one design flaw -- which the tanks aren't, really -- then it has to do with the upper radiator hose nozzle. The upper cooling system nozzle is made of aluminum, which tends to corrode and pit differently than steel. The aluminum nozzle is part of the reason that Mitsubishi used hose sealant from the factory. So, If you or a previous owner have ever removed the upper hose without sanding the nozzle to rid it of corrosion and old sealant, then applied sealant afterward, you will eventually have problems with it. If you do remove the hose for whatever reason, you know now what to do to prevent problems in the future.

How to Check a Wire Harness

How to Check a Wire Harness

Troubleshooting automobile electrical systems is a process of trial and error. By following the wire from the device to its source you can inspect the condition of the cable insulation along the way and test each connection. This process of elimination leads you to figuring out where the trouble lies. Once you have the problem narrowed down you can make the necessary repairs to complete the circuit. With a 12-volt test light and some patience you can fix almost any electrical problem.

Instructions

    1

    Turn the ignition switch to the "power on" position.

    2

    Connect the alligator clip on the 12-volt test light to any bare metal on the vehicle. An automobile electrical system uses the metal body as a common ground for all devices.

    3

    Disconnect the harness from the device and probe the bare metal connections with the 12-volt test light probe. If the test light illuminates you have power at that connection. If you detect power at the harness which attaches to the device, but the device does not power on, it is most likely broken and needs to be replaced.

    4

    Follow the wire along its path looking closely at the condition of the cable insulation cover. If you discover areas where bare metal wire is exposed, make the necessary repairs. An exposed conductor causes a short when it comes into contact with the metal body of the vehicle.

    5

    Follow the wire to its first connection. Disconnect the harness and test the bare metal connectors on the source side with the 12-volt test light. If you discover power on the source side of the wire, but none after, repair the connection.

    6

    Continue following the wire checking the insulation and each connection along the way until you find the problem area.

How to Tighten the Steering on a Ford Crown Vic

How to Tighten the Steering on a Ford Crown Vic

Ford Motor Company has been producing cars bearing this nameplate from 1956 to the present day. A reputation for strength and reliability has made this model a favorite of law enforcement agencies and motorists for generations. Design changes have taken place over the years but the Crown Vic remains a full-framed rear-wheel drive vehicle. Steering looseness can greatly detract from the superior ride quality this model is known to afford. Accurate steering response delivers safe and precise handling while adding to the overall smooth operation of your Ford Crown Victoria.

Instructions

Front Suspension Checks

    1
    Size and brand of tire is imprinted on the sidewall.
    Size and brand of tire is imprinted on the sidewall.

    Inspect the car tires for abnormal wear or visible defects. Extreme uneven wear of front tire tread may indicate suspension component failure. Replace worn or defective tires because they will adversely affect handling characteristics. Check the size of all four tires. All should be the exact same size as specified by the manufacturer. Tires should be the same brand, since slight variations in dimension can exist between brands having the same size. Set tire pressure to specification for your Crown Vic model year.

    2
    Worn out shock absorbers can contribute to premature tire wear.
    Worn out shock absorbers can contribute to premature tire wear.

    Test the shock absorbers by pushing down repeatedly on the front bumper. Stop pushing and monitor the reaction of the car body. Continued bouncing after you stop pushing indicates weak shocks which should be replaced by a qualified professional. Perform this test on the rear shocks as well. Rear shock performance will affect steering on bumpy or uneven road surfaces. Drive the car slowly over a speed bump to test the shocks should you lack ability to bounce the car by hand. More than one bounce after a bump also signifies poor shock performance and indicates need for replacement.

    3
    Follow the owner's manual instructions and recommendations closely.
    Follow the owner's manual instructions and recommendations closely.

    Raise the front of the car with a jack until the front wheels are three inches off the ground. Place jack stands according to the owner's manual recommendation. Check wheel bearing run-out on the front tires one at a time. Grasp the tire with your hands at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions. Push with one hand while pulling with the other, alternating action in attempt to "wiggle" the tire. Acceptable limits in this plane are less than .010-inch and barely detectable. Easily detected movement requires wheel bearing service or replacement by a qualified professional.

    4

    Unlock the steering wheel by turning the ignition key to the run position without cranking the starter. Check steering components by grasping the passenger side front tire at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions and attempt to steer the tires back and forth. The tire movement should be uniform and smooth. Looseness felt at this time may indicate steering or suspension component failure and should be corrected by a qualified professional.

    5

    Remaining looseness at the steering wheel may be eliminated by steering gear sector shaft adjustment on Crown Vic models so equipped. Rack-and-pinion equipped models require replacement of the steering rack if looseness persists. Front-end alignment can also tighten steering response by calibrating tire movement and angle. Any of these services should be done by a qualified professional as incorrect procedure could result in loss of vehicle control and subsequent personal injury and property damage.

Kamis, 11 Juli 2013

Engine Overheating & Smoking

Smoke rising from the engine of your car signals a problem that needs to be addressed quickly. A smoking and overheated engine should be shut off and allowed to cool before the cause can be determined.

Causes

    Many factors can cause an engine to overheat and smoke. Some common causes include lack of coolant, cracked radiator hoses, a faulty thermostat, a broken fan belt or a failed water pump.

Solutions

    Check your coolant level and replace as needed. Manufacturers recommend a 50/50 combination between coolant and water. Radiator hoses should be replaced if cracked or worn. You can manually test your thermostat by dangling it in a pan of water on the stove. If the problem is a malfunctioning water pump or fan belt, these parts should be replaced by a qualified mechanic.

Prevention

    The best way to prevent an overheated, smoking engine is to perform regular service checks on the engine. Replace worn or brittle hoses before they crack. Keep coolant fluids topped off, especially during extreme temperatures. Keeping your engine clean of grease and grime will also help to prevent a smoking engine.

98 Dodge Grand Caravan Oil Pump Problems

98 Dodge Grand Caravan Oil Pump Problems

The 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan has no recalls or technical service bulletins (TSB) published on the oil pump problems many Caravan owners are experiencing. Many of the oil pump problems are being attributed to other engine problems, which are causing the oil pump to not work properly.

Oil Pump Leaking

    The 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan is reported to be having a problem with the oil pump leaking. The seals on the oil pump are prematurely wearing, causing the seals to fail and creating a leak. The oil pump is running hotter than normal because the oil filter is allowing excessive debris to filter through and into the oil pump. This overheating of the oil pump is causing the seals to crack and prematurely wearing out, creating a leak. The oil filter needs to be replaced at regular intervals to prevent this oil pump problem in the Grand Caravan. The Dodge owner's manual recommended the oil filter be changed during an oil change at 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Oil Pump Failing

    The 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan is having a problem with the valve cover gaskets and cam plugs leaking oil, causing the oil pump to fail. This oil leak causes the oil pump to work harder to pump oil through the engine, creating an overheating problem. Once the oil pump begins to overheat, the pump fails, preventing oil from flowing through the engine, causing the engine to overheat. The valve cover gaskets and cam plugs need to be replaced to prevent the oil pump from failing. The Grand Caravan owner can determine if the valve cover gaskets are leaking by inspecting the engine. Oil can be seen seeping out of the valve covers just above the spark plugs and wires.

Timing Belt Fails

    The timing belt is stretching on the 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan, causing the oil pump to not allow oil to flow through the engine. When the timing belt loosens because of stretching, the oil pump pulley does not rotate at the required speed to pump oil through the engine, causing the engine to not be lubricated. If the engine is not properly lubricated the cylinders wear more quickly and build up heat inside the cylinder causing the cylinders to warp. The engine can completely fail and need to be replaced when the cylinders warp. The belt must be replaced or tightened in order to ensure enough tension remains on all the engine components, including the oil pump.

Overheating in a 1996 Cavalier

The Chevy Cavalier became one of the best-selling automobiles during its production cycle in the United States. Its production cycle ran from 1982 through 2005. There are several reasons a Cavalier may overheat: low coolant or oil levels or if the engine is stressed under load. Finding the possible cause requires looking at a few different areas in your 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Instructions

Coolant and Temperature

    1

    Look for the "Coolant" light and temperature gauge on the dashboard. If the "Coolant" light comes on and does not turn off, this is a warning that the car may be low on coolant. If the needle on the temperature gauge is leaning more towards the "Hot" side, this is also an indication that the coolant levels are low.

    2

    Pull over to the side of the road and turn off the engine. Let it cool for about 10 to 15 minutes. Overheating can occur while driving up a hill or running the air conditioner.

    3

    Lift the hood and check the coolant fluid level. The coolant tank is located on the front passenger's side in the engine compartment. If the fluid is boiling, do nothing until it cools down. Once the coolant is safe to check, note if the coolant is at the "Cool/Full" line on the tank. If it is not, this may be an indication of a leak in the cooling system. Call for a repair service to assist you further. If it is a small leak, fill the reservoir with coolant or water and drive the car to a service station for repairs.

Oil Level

    4

    Check the "Oil" light on the dashboard and notice where the needle is pointing. If it is leaning towards low, the engine oil may be low which can lead to overheating.

    5

    Pull over to the side of the road, turn the engine off for at least 15 minutes to cool the engine down then lift the hood.

    6

    Pull the dipstick out of its holster and wipe it with a clean rag. The dipstick is typically located in the center of the engine behind the oil cap.

    7

    Reinsert the dipstick, pull it out again and note if the oil is at the "Full" or "Add" mark. The "Add" mark indicates that oil needs to be added. Replace the dipstick and add engine oil to the "Full" mark. Also, note if the fan is running if the car overheats. If the fan does not come on, call or take your car in to an auto service shop to determine the cause of the engine overheating.

Symptoms of Fuel Filter Problems

Symptoms of Fuel Filter Problems

The fuel filter is designed to keep contaminants out of the fuel system. The fuel injector sprays a fine mist of fuel into the cylinder moments before the spark is ignited. The orifices in the injector are very small and can become clogged with dirt and metal debris in the fuel. Knowing the symptoms of a dirty fuel filter may help you eliminate costly repairs.

Engine Runs Rough

    The engine will run rough when it is not getting enough fuel into the cylinder. A partially blocked fuel filter will allow some fuel into the cylinder to keep it running but not enough to keep it running smoothly.

Engine Stalls

    An engine will stall when the demand on the fuel system exceeds the fuel supplied to the cylinder. Accelerating from a stop may cause the engine to stall because the engine cannot produce enough power to keep the car moving.

Engine Cranks but Won't Start

    A blocked fuel filter will limit the amount of fuel that is injected into the cylinder. If the cylinder is not getting enough fuel, the engine will not start.

Rabu, 10 Juli 2013

How to Troubleshoot 1988 Chevy Cheyenne Truck Codes

How to Troubleshoot 1988 Chevy Cheyenne Truck Codes

Diagnostic codes are created when a malfunction occurs in the engine of your 1988 Chevy Cheyenne truck. The engine interprets the malfunction, creates a code and stores it within the computer for your retrieval. Accessing the code and finding out what it means helps you track down the source of the trouble and repair it. Use a scanner to pull the code or go to a car parts store like Auto Zone or Napa Auto Parts for a diagnostic check free of charge.

Instructions

    1

    Retrieve the engine codes from your 1988 Chevy Cheyenne. Using a diagnostic scanner is the easiest way to pull trouble codes. Plug the scanner into the test port under the driver's side dash, turn the key "On" and follow the prompts on the scanner to read the codes. The codes display on the screen of the scanner.

    2

    Consult a repair or owner's manual for the meanings to the codes. Each code indicates a different system malfunction, pointing to the source of the problem. Codes are also available online. Click the link in "Resources" for a list of GM codes and their meanings.

    3

    Address the indicated problem. For instance, a code indicating a rich fuel-to-air ratio usually indicates a bad oxygen sensor. Replace the suspected defective part.

    4

    Clear the original trouble code. Use the scanner as in step 1, first plugging it in and turning the key "On." Pull the codes and select the option to clear them.

    5

    Test the Chevy for trouble codes again after driving several times. If the repairs addressed the problem, the codes won't reappear.

The Effects of Fire on Engine Blocks

Engines are in the business of fire; they use it to make power, they contain its wrath and they channel excess energy away where it can do no harm. But in the same way that a badger on a chain is more useful and less dangerous than a school of sharks, allowing that blaze to leave the confines of the combustion chamber can cause serious problems for your engine's metal components and everything attached to them.

The Basic Problem

    Pure iron liquefies at about 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit, and aluminum at around 1,200 degrees. The fuel in your engine's combustion chamber burns at somewhere between 2,500 and 3,800 degrees depending upon the engine; diesel engines can easily top those temperatures in some high-boost applications. Given that, it's fair to wonder how an engine survives at all, particularly considering the fact that most use aluminum pistons and cylinder heads. The reason that engines survive is that the actual surfaces never get that hot; heat penetrates the metal to a certain degree but quickly conducts through the metal to the cooling system.

The First Stages of Burn

    Most engine fires happen because either the oil sludge around it ignites or because a fuel line bursts. In the open air, gasoline burns at about 500 degrees, oil and grease at around 700 and diesel at about 750 degrees. While burning oil or diesel can and will turn aluminum parts into a shiny puddle, it's what that fire does to your fittings and cooling system that ultimately destroys the engine. Once the fire melts the electrical wiring, the engine stalls and the cooling system stops. Next, the 700-degree oil fire burns through the fuel, power steering and transmission cooler lines, which adds even more liquid fuel to the blaze.

The Meltdown

    While additional fuel oil doesn't help, all Hades really breaks loose once the fire weakens and pops the hose clamps on your coolant hoses. The water inside the hoses will actually protect them to a certain degree, but the fire will soften the hoses and the thin aluminum and tin straps holding them to the block. Once coolant sprays out of the block, all coolant capacity in the cylinder heads goes away. At this point, the block, seals and everything metal inside the engine quickly reaches the temperature of the fire. Aluminum doesn't stand a chance, especially if there's adequate ventilation around the block and fire temperatures go up.

Warpage

    Heating any material up, particularly a crystalline material like iron, causes it to expand; cooling it causes the material to contract. You've probably heard that old bit of advice about not putting cold water into an overheating engine. That's because doing so will cause rapid, localized contraction in some places and rip the block apart from the inside out. The iron foundry that poured your engine block and heads used a giant furnace and multiple cooling stages to ensure that the whole block cooled at the same rate. And even then, the block required machining to ensure the proper tolerances afterward. While getting the block hot may not necessarily damage it, uneven cooling from 700-plus degrees will cause it to twist and warp.

Material Changes

    Anyone with experience in welding or fabricating metal can tell you that a lot goes on with metal before it gets to its melting temperature. Tempering and annealing are ancient techniques that involve heating the metal up to a given temperature and either quickly cooling it to make it harder or slowly cooling it to anneal it. Iron will reach a temper point at well below 700 degrees, and getting it up to 700 degrees or more will permanently rearrange the material's atoms. How quickly or slowly you cool the metal will determine its hardness, which is the other major reason that foundries carefully control cooling rates. Uneven cooling rates in the engine will not only warp it but will cause variances in hardness that will certainly prove detrimental in the long run.

What You Can Do

    If you lose all the coolant and the engine is worth salvaging, then you're almost certainly going to need to re-machine everything in it. This includes the main bores, cylinder bores, block and head decks, lifter bores, valve guides -- basically every point where the block touches something. Failure to do so will quickly destroy your engine's bearings and moving components after you put everything back together. At this point, you might be better off just buying a new engine. But if it is worth salvaging, you might seriously consider having it cryo-treated to not only restore even hardness, but actually improve it. Cryo-treating involves heating the engine block up to about 350 degrees, slowly cooling it to negative-350 with liquid nitrogen and repeating the cycle several times over several days. While pricey, cryo-treating will change the crystalline structure of your block from a standard Austentite to a super-strong Martensite. This process can make every part in your engine about 2.5 times stronger and longer-lasting.

What Causes a Clutch Master Cylinder Failure?

What Causes a Clutch Master Cylinder Failure?

In a hydraulic clutch, the clutch pedal pushes the master cylinder piston. This forces hydraulic fluid out of the cylinder, moving the slave cylinder piston. Short of a cut hydraulic line, there are three common causes for a clutch master cylinder failure: seal failure, pitted cylinder walls and air in the system.

Pitted Cylinder Walls

    Pitted cylinder walls are the result of grit getting into either or both the mast and slave cylinders, though grit in the master is far more common than in the slave. Badly pitted cylinder walls can prevent the master from fully returning to the rest position. This leaves the cylinder partially engaged and the clutch intermediate between engaged and disengaged. Replacing or rebuilding is required.

Seal Failures

    A front seal failure allows hydraulic fluid to seep back into the master cylinder reservoir rather than going through the outlet pipe, resulting in decreased or no movement of the slave piston and resultant failure to fully disengage the clutch from the transmission. The remedy is to replace-rebuild the master cylinder.

    A rear seal failure allows fluid to leak out of the rear of the master cylinder. You will know you have a rear seal failure if there is hydraulic fluid on the clutch pedal. The solution is the same as for a front seal leak.

Air in the System

    When air bubbles get into the hydraulic fluid line, problems occur. The compressed air can cause either or both the master and slave cylinders to fail by preventing them from fully depressing or fully releasing. Luckily, you only need to bleed the system and carefully top it back up with new fluid to correct this problem.

Selasa, 09 Juli 2013

How to Reset Codes in the PT Cruiser

The PT Cruiser's computer sends a code to a light on the dash when one or more of the engine's sensors malfunctions. If the light comes on and stays on, that is a hard code. If the light comes on, but goes out during driving, or the next time you start the car, that is a soft code. The problem sensor or the component that is causing the computer to send a soft code -- such as bad plugs or wires -- must be repaired before you can reset the codes, or else the code will just come back.

Instructions

    1

    Plug the code scanner into the data port, which is under the dash and just to the left of the steering column.

    2

    Turn the ignition key to the "On" position, but do not start the PT Cruiser.

    3

    Press the "Erase" key on the code scanner, and the scanner will erase the codes.