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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

Problems with the ignition coil can cause poor engine performance due to misfires. This may cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Nissan offers an upgraded ignition coil.

There have been some issues reported with the electric sliding doors. Our technicians remind us that proper diagnoses will be necessary to determine the cause of various faults which may occur.

Bulletin 13N02 - This program extends the coverage of the brake booster to ten years of service or 150,000 miles from the warranty start of the vehicle, whichever occurs first. This is a one time repair program.

In some of the affected vehicles, it is possible for the brake booster to develop a small tear in the diaphragm under certain driving and environmental conditions. If this occurs, the driver may hear a hissing noise while depressing the pedal and may also experience a "spongy" pedal feel without a noticeable effect on braking performance. If the vehicle is not serviced, the tear will eventually expand and the pedal effort required to stop the vehicle will gradually increase. However, in all cases, the fundamental vehicle braking system remains functional.

Reprogramming the transmission control module with the latest Kia transmission software may fix abnormalities in the automatic transmission and erroneous transmission-related Check Engine Light illumination. Software updates are commonly most effective on newer vehicles. Higher mileage vehicles may exhibit a similar symptom caused by a component failure. However, whenever major transmission repairs are performed the transmission software should be checked and updated as necessary.

The composite (plastic) intake manifold may crack near the thermostat housing and cause a coolant leak. Ford released an updated manifold that was reinforced to prevent a recurrence. No recall was issued for this problem but Ford did extend the warranty to seven years on some models from the date of purchase.

Owners may experience one or more of the following conditions: Transmission shifting issues, torque converter clutch apply issues, fault code P0741 (torque converter clutch performance), and a vehicle surge condition. Our technicians tell us that in most cases these issues may be corrected by updating the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) software.

The inside and outside door handles are prone to breaking.

The computer can misinterpret a low battery voltage and can cause a false Check Engine (MIL) light to come on. Updating the PCM can correct this issue.

One or more power windows may stop working due to a failed regulator or motor which will require replacement. Our technicians tell us the regulator and motor is replaced as a set on these vehicles.

The Airbag (SRS) warning light may illuminate due to one or more failed sensors. Our technicians recommend complete diagnoses of any stored fault codes because these sensors can be very expensive to replace.

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 courtesy lights and liftgate ajar light may illuminate intermittently. Our technicians tell us that switching the wires at the liftgate ajar switch connector will correct this condition.

The 4WD transfer case encoder motor position sensor or the selector switch may fail causing the service 4WD message to be displayed. Fault code(s) stored in the transfer case control module will be of assistance in determining the exact fault causing the message to be displayed.

Electrical issues that are difficult to diagnose—and sometimes intermittent—are typically due to ground wiring issues. The most troublesome ground locations are under the battery or at the engine.

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.

The water pump and/or other cooling system may develop a coolant leak. Oil leaking from the  valve cover gasket is also common.

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.

Failure in the blower motor power module (automatic temperature controls) or resistor block (manual AC) may cause the heater blower motor to work only on the high setting. The connector to the power module/resistor block is known to overheat (and sometimes melt). The connector or terminals should be replaced; a replacement connector is available.

One or more heater & AC (HVAC) air delivery and/or temperature mode door actuator may fail. This can result in incorrect air delivery or temperature. If this occurs, fault code(s) stored in the HVAC control module should be available to assist with diagnoses.

The distributor may develop internal faults. This can cause a rough running engine or stalling condition, the Check Engine Light may or may not illuminate. Our technicians tell us that the distributor should be overhauled or replaced to correct this concern.

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.

Bad spark plugs or an ignition coil can cause ignition misfire, which will illuminate the Check Engine Light.

The engine may develop and oil leak due to a porous engine block casting. The repair procedure is dependent on where the leak is located. Honda has released a service bulletin covering model years 1998-2003. Honda may offer assistance with repairs, determined on a case by case basis.

Check Engine Light illumination—combined with a lack of power or a stumble on acceleration—may be caused by the throttle position switch (TPS). Kia released an improved part which should correct this concern.

The engine may misfire and/or buck while driving at freeway speeds with no fault code stored in the powertrain control module (PCM). This can be caused by an intermittent fault with the camshaft synchronizer assembly. This condition can be diagnosed by monitoring knock sensor data as per Ford service bulletin #05-22-12. Replacement of the synchronizer assembly will be required to correct this concern.

A chirp noise from the timing belt area can be caused by a tilted idler pulley. Installing a corrective shim from Honda will commonly correct this issue.

A side door window regulator may fail causing the window to stop working, in some eases falling into the door. Replacement of the failed regulator will be required to correct this concern.

The 4WD transfer case encoder motor position sensor or the selector switch may fail causing the service 4WD message to be displayed. Fault code(s) stored in the transfer case control module will be of assistance in determining the exact fault causing the message to be displayed.