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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

The anti-theft system may cause a no start condition due to electrostatic discharge (ESD) affecting the wireless control module (WCM). There is an updated WCM to correct this issue.

The AC compressor may seize resulting in loss of cold air from the AC vents. Often when the compressor fails in the fashion, debris is spread through out the entire air conditioning system resulting in very expensive repairs.

Many customers state that whule driving their vehicle, the engine will hesitate, stumble, or lose power. In more severe cases, the EGR valve can be physically damaged. In all cases, the check engine light will be illuminated, and diagnostic trouble codes will be stored in the PCM. 

Diagnosis of the issue has concluded the differential pressure feedback EGR sensor (DPFE) is at fault many times, and incorrectly measures exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR) pressure. 

Correction of the issue requires a diagnostic scan, identification of the faulty sensor, and, ultimately, the sensor and EGR valve may require replacement. In some models, the DPFE sensor is integrated into the EGR valve, and must be replaced together. 

Excessive gear noise can indicate differential bearing failures.

Replacing a pressure solenoid valve in the transmission valve body may fix an issue where the transmission "hunts" between first and second gears. Our technicians report that customers sometimes describe this complaint as surging or bucking.

The 1998-2014 Acura TL V6 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.

Rerouting the ignition coil wire and spark plug wires can help solve a misfire and/or surge problem that occurs at approximately 45 mph. A service bulletin was published that outlines the specifics of the repair. It states the rerouting procedure should be performed before other repairs are done for misfires, surging or spark knock.

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 heat up with the engine. Sensors on certain models have been recalled by Nissan and will be replaced as necessary. Please visit our recall section to see if your Nissan is covered by this recall.

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.

Hood misalignment, cowl cover misalignment, wiper module drain tube(s), and/or the lower plenum drain hose may cause the HVAC housing to leak water onto the passenger side floor. Diagnoses will be required to confirm the location of a water leak in the front passenger area.

A defective HVAC blower motor, blower motor controller, or relay/micro switch in the control panel may cause the heater/AC blower motor not to work. Diagnoses may be required to determine the exact cause of the fault.

The daytime running lights are prone to burning out. Our technicians tell us that the light sockets may show signs of heat damage but usually are OK. Always be sure to use the correct replacement bulb for the best life expectancy. The new bulb recommendation for 1999-2003 models is #4114K (trade number).

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.

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.

On vehicles equipped with rear air springs, the air compressor may fail causing the rear suspension to sit low.

An abnormal noise from the timing chain area is likely due to a failed timing chain tensioner. This condition is generally caused by lack of oil to the timing chain guides and the guides will need replacement. 

The check engine light can illuminate and set a P0008 trouble code when this issue occurs. This is due to the Camshaft and Crankshaft Sensors detecting that the engine timing is out of specification. 

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.

Misalignment of the accessory pulleys or a faulty drive belt tensioner may cause a chirping or squeaking sound while the engine is running. In If the replacing the belt tensioner does not correct the noise, the alternator pulley may require replacement.

The timing chain can develop a rattling noise caused by failing timing chain guides. This is often due to extended mileage intervals between oil changes that allows the oil to become dirty and abrasive which wears away the timing chain guides until they fail. The timing chain and guides should be inspected at each valve adjustment, otherwise serious engine damage may result.

Shifting harshness and shuddering issues related to the operation of the automatic transmission have been addressed by factory service bulletins. The shuddering can feel like the vehicle is being driven over rumble strips.

Squeaks and creaks heard while driving over bumps and turning can be caused be a couple common sources and should be carefully diagnosed. Possible weld issues on the lower control arms can cause the noise concerns and require repair kits for the lower control arms from Ford. A jounce bumper (bump stop) rubbing against dry strut plate can cause an abrasion noise from the strut area. In this case the strut assembly should be disassembled to lubricate the jounce bumper and then reinstalled.

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

The rear evaporator tubes in the rear HVAC unit may develop small leaks, causing weak or no air conditioning. A new rear evaporator unit has been designed to address this and should be installed to address this condition.

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. 

A no crank or no start condition may develop due to electronic lockup of the wireless control module (WCM), also referred to as the Sentry Key Remote Entry Module (SKREEM). When this module fails the remote keyless entry system will also not operate. The WCM is commonly replaced to correct this concern.

On certain models with rear disc brakes, a grinding noise can be caused by corrosion between the rear brake caliper bracket and the brake pad retainers. Cleaning and lubricating the caliper bracket and pad retainers should correct this concern.