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Car Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common car problems based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

A leaking axle shaft seal and / or PTU cover seal can cause transmission (red) or Power Transfer Unit (PTU) (brown) fluid leaks at the axle area. The axle shaft seal and / or PTU cover seal may be leaking and should be replaced as required.

On Vehicles with a 4.7L or 5.7L V8 engine, the Check Engine Light may illuminate with code P2181 for a cooling system performance fault. Or technicians tell us that updated software for the powertrain control module (PCM) is available to correct this concern.

The Volkswagen Tiguan uses the TSI direct injection engine. This engine is subject to carbon buildup in the intake system which can cause power loss, OBD codes and a check engine light, and a rough idle. In normal engines, the engine is cleaned by the gasoline flowing through the injectors and into the intake system, however, since the Tiguan uses direct injection, gasoline does not flow through common carbon buildup areas. 

Possible trouble codes include: P0300P0301P0302P0303P0304.

The solution is to remove the intake manifold and professionally clean the intake manifold, intake ports on the cylinder head, and the intake valves. This may need to be done in as few as 20,000 miles. 

Several complaints have been reported regarding Volvo S60 transmission shifting issues. Long shift times between gear shifts, hard shifting, hard downshifting and a loss of transmission operation all together to name a few.

If the issue is minor, a transmission software update may fix this issue. If available, the software should be updated before any repairs are made.

There are several technical service bulletins (TSB's) available from Volvo that address these shifting issues and they should be consulted by the repair shop during the automatic transmission diagnostic process.

Regular servicing of the transmission fluid can help with preventing transmission failure, but not in all cases. Follow the suggested fluid replacement interval recommended by Volvo. You will find this in your owners manual, or find it here: http://bit.ly/Volvo_Owners_Manuals

The power door lock actuators may become slow to operate or stop working completely and require replacement.

Dodge issued a recall for fuel leaks. Dealers will reinforce the fuel rail to prevent cracking and replace the O-ring seals on the fuel rail and fuel injectors.

The intake manifold gasket may develop and external engine oil or coolant leak. In some cases, an internal coolant leak may occur causing coolant to mix with the engine oil. Our technicians tell us that operating the engine  with a coolant/oil mix can result in internal engine damage. Replacing the intake manifold gasket should correct these leaks.

In high dust areas, problems with the EGR system are common. The filter for the EGR solenoid may plug and cause the EGR to activate when it should not; this can cause the engine to stall. The dirty filter should be replaced to correct this concern.

Software enhancements are available to remedy inconsistency and confusion about the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleaning cycle - “Regeneration” mode. The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) will need to be reprogrammed to add several enhancements, including a more reasonable driving experience during the cleaning cycle and instrument cluster notifications of the cleaning status.

Temperature blend and recirculation doors commonly fail, which can cause the AC modes not to change or the temperature to be different on the left and right sides. If replacing blend air doors, a recirculation door, a door link, or a sub-assembly housing, new heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) sub-assemblies are available that improve reliability.

The engine may stall at times due to a failed crankshaft position sensor and/or camshaft position sensor, These sensors can fail intermittently as they warm with the engine. Sensors on certain models have been recalled by Nissan and will be replaced as necessary. Please visit our recall section for this model to see if your vehicle is covered by this recall.

The camshaft adjuster solenoid (which is related to the variable valve timing system) may fail or timing chain/balance shaft components may wear, resulting in illumination of the Check Engine Light and various drivability issues. Mercedes-Benz has released a service bulletin outlining specific repair instructions depending on fault codes stored.

The engine may develop a stalling and/or no start condition due to a failed crankshaft position sensor.

The Honda Odyssey may develop issues with the automatic transmission.

Rough shifting may occur, and the “D4” light and check engine may begin to blink. The check engine light will also illuminate, and OBD trouble codes P0700, P0730, P0740, P0780, P1768 and/or P1768 will be stored in the computer.

If the transmission shifts roughly, the failure is very likely mechanical failure of the transmission. If the transmission performs normally, a faulty sensor, or dirty transmission fluid may be the case.

In most cases, it is necessary to use professional diagnostic equipment to provide a diagnosis, and complete the repair.

The longevity of the transmission is dependent on strict adherence to the manufacturer's recommendation for ATF replacement intervals and procedure.

The fuel pump may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart.

The mass air flow (MAF) sensor may fail, resulting in drivability issues and/or illumination of the Check Engine Light.

The Electronic Throttle Module (ETM) has a higher than normal failure rate. Volvo has extended the warranty on some of the ETMs to 10 years/200,000 miles

If the engine cranks but won't start, the fault may be internal to the distributor. Diagnosis will show no spark and trouble codes for the crankshaft position sensor (CKP) or the camshaft position sensor (CMP). Our technicians recommend replacement of the complete distributor assembly if these conditions occur.

An electrically shorted air flow sensor can cause a crank-no start condition. Diagnosis may show that ignition spark is normal, and there are no trouble codes stored.

If the engine cranks but does not start, it may be caused by a tripped inertia switch. Switch the key to "ON" and the fuel pump should be heard running for a second or two. Listen at the gas filler if necessary. If you do not hear the pump the inertia switch should be reset, it will "click" when it is reset.

The 2005-2008 Toyota Matrix 1.8L I4 models have issues with the circuit board in the electronic control module (ECM) cracking. There is no advanced warning for the issue, and when it occurs drivers will experience:

  • Harsh shifting
  • Possible check engine light
  • Engine stalling while driving

Toyota issued a recall for this issue, and notes the need to replace the ECU if this problem occurs. 

The 2001-2003 Toyota Highlander with the 3.0L V6 engine has a known issue with the valves that if left unchecked, will cause burned valves and engine performance issues. 

The engine ‘breathes’ through valves that are pushed open by the camshaft, and closed by springs. When valves are closed, they seal against a valve seat. In this vehicle, the valve seat is too soft, so after the valve contacts it thousands of times, it becomes crushed. Once it is crushed, the valve can no longer make a proper seal, and the valves erode due to extreme temperature (burnt valve).

Symptoms related to this issue:

To repair the burnt valves, the cylinder head must be removed and rebuilt, which is a costly internal engine repair, however, this issue can be prevented through inspection and adjustment of valve clearances every 40,000 miles.

Intermittent failure of a purge control valve in the evaporative emission system can cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate. A failed valve should be replaced to correct this problem.

The motor for the rear window sunshade in the Toyota Avalon is known to fail. When this occurs, the sunshade will not extend down the window, and a grinding noise is heard until the motor fails as well. 

Replacement of the sunshade assembly is necessary to correct this failure, however, removing the fuse for the sunshade will stop the motor from making the irritating grinding noise. 

At higher mileages, (125,000-150,000) the automatic transmission may not shift correctly. This can be caused by the throttle position sensor being out of adjustment or a shift solenoid needing to be replaced. Typically the transmission does not need to be completely overhauled.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate due to an evaporative emission (EVAP) system fault. Our technicians tell us these EVAP system faults can be difficult to diagnose but it is not uncommon to find a failed charcoal canister or a loose or worn gas cap.

The engine mount on the passenger side of the car can wear out on cars with high mileage. This will put extra stress on the other mounts and the faulty mount will need to be replaced.