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Lead Diagnostic Technician for a California Gold Shield Emissions Inspection and Repair Station. Over 25 years of Automotive Technician Experience in Dealerships and Independent Shops. Worked as a Technical Trainer for Snap On Tools and helped write the Exam questions for the California Smog Technician License Exam. RepairPal Staff member since October 2007.
Recent Activity

Question Answered: ambient sensor
January 15, 2009, 03:18 PM
Do you mean the ambient temp sensor for an automatic climate control system? And why are you concerned with it? Ok now we have some more information. This is not the ambient temp sensor, this is the intake air temp sensor. If this sensor was defective enough to cause a running problem, it will usually flag a Check Engine Light Code, but not in all cases. Does your Dodge blow black smoke when it is cold? Does your Dodge use a lot of gas? Does the Check Engine Light come on while driving the van? It could be few things causing this. It could be an idle controller not working properly, it could be a vacuum leak, it could be a dirty throttle body or a bad coolant temp sensor or other things. How does it idle when you turn on the A/C or when you are turning the steering wheel when your are parking cold and hot? How well does your heater work? What I am getting at here is if your thermostat is stuck open, your car will run very rich and stall and eat gas when it is cold. You live in cold climate and this makes the situation even worse. Do both the upper and lower radiator hoses get hot when your van is warmed up? Ok, your heater works fine. This is good. Do you know of a good mechanic( who is reasonable ) who can check your Coolant temp Sensor readings and your Intake Air temp sensor readings with a scanner. Have him/her check for any vacuum leaks as well. I am assuming that your van is in good tune-up shape with good plugs, wires, cap-rotor etc. Sometimes a shop will diagnose a problem and then you can replace the part(s). I do this for people with Emission Inspection Failures on occasion. By the way, usually both of these are located in the Intake Manifold. They are usually not very expensive parts. ( $20 or so )and can be purchased at a good parts store. Look at the Oxygen Sensor when it is warming up. Is it reading high (.900+ ) or low (.100-200). Also, be sure to note how long it takes for the van to go into "Closed Loop". The fact that it is surging sounds like fuel management condition. ( too rich/too lean) Best of luck. I will be in the office on Friday if you have any more questions.
Question Answered: Throttle Pressure adjustment
January 15, 2009, 03:16 PM
Why do you want to adjust it? Is it too hard or too soft? Good, now I have more to go on as far as your concern goes. On earlier years, there is a cable that has 2-> 12 mm nuts that can be loosened and then the tension on the cable can be tightened or loosened. On later Hondas, the throttle pressure is controlled by the computer. See if there is a cable from the trans that is pulled by the throttle being opened. If not, then you need to check for codes in the transmission. It could be a speed sensor not telling the computer the correct time/manner in which to shift the trans. Has any work or fluid changes been recently done to the trans. Do you have a Check Engine Light on?
Question Answered: What happens when magnets in the camshaft posion sensos fall out of mount
January 09, 2009, 11:43 AM
It depends on if the magnets did any damage to the other part of the sensor that is mounted in the engine. Just the top part of the cam sensor can be replaced for about $35-40 plus labor. If the synchronizer housing has been damaged by the loose magnets, it will add about $185 to the job. The labor to replace the cam sensor is about 1/2 hour. To do the synchronizer will add about an hour. Some books will say 2.1 hours but that is excessive in my experience. I have done 5-6 in the last 12 months. I hope this is a help.
Question Answered: Code 22
January 04, 2009, 06:53 PM
generally codes 21 and 22 on pre- 1996 GM cars have to do with the throttle position sensor. you may notice a glitch when accelerating and uneven upshfifting of the transmission as well as unusal idle behaviors ( may idle higher or lower than normal) when the light comes on.
Question Answered: door ajar and interior lighting
January 04, 2009, 06:47 PM
it sounds like your door switch is defective or needs adjusting. Some cars have the courtesy light switch inside the main door lock/latch mechanism. In this case, often the whole assembly needs to be replaced. You can pull your courtesy/dome light fuse, so your battery won't go dead until you get the problem resolved. There should be a fuse guide in your owners manual and a location for the interior fuse panel. There may be a guide on the fuse panel cover as well. it is usually in the left to lower left dash area.
Question Answered: truck shaking after serviced
January 04, 2009, 06:39 PM
it sounds like you need to check all your work. ( this happens to Pro techs once in awhile as well. it has happened to me with 22+ years of exp ) Check all the spark plugs and how tight they are ( 15 ft lbs of torque ia a normal value. ) Then check your new cables and see that they are properly attached and in the correct order. Next make sure that your air boot from your air filter to you throttle body is on right and that any hoses that should be attached are properly done so. If these basic checks don't work, then try you PCV valve. Make sure that is installed correctly and that the hoses are not broken or cracked. Maybe even try your old PCV valve, sometimes a parts store makes a mistake and gives out the wrong valve which can make an engine run very poorly.
Question Answered: How to change the starter solenoid
January 04, 2009, 06:27 PM
it is best to replace the whole starter on a vehicle that is this old because the starter motor and brushes are worn as well. ( you will have to do the same repair twice ) You replace the whole starter motor as a unit with the solenoid. You can get a Chiltons manual at an auto parts store to help you. Be SURE and disconnect both negative ( 1st) and positive battery cables before you do anything and be sure that the starter matches up perfectly. there are a few different starter configurations for your Celica.
Question Answered: Slow Warm-up
January 02, 2009, 01:20 PM
what does your temp gauge say when the car is heating normally? It sounds like there is a circulation problem that is helped by the faster speed of the engine when you are on the highway. It could be that the impeller of your water pump is worn and it takes a higher engine rpm to circulate the water, especially in a cold environment like winter in ND. Another possibility is that your heater core could be restricted and the higher engine rpm pushes/forces more coolant flow. It is pretty simple to flush out a heater core while checking a water pump impeller is more involved and requires timing belt component removal. I would begin with flow testing the heater core by disconnecting the heater hoses and either blowing through it or using a hose to flow water through it. If it is restricted, then you can flush it with some radiator flush. It is not an uncommon problem, especially if the coolant changes have been infrequent ( like more than every 30,000 miles ).
Question Answered: Car will not start
January 01, 2009, 06:36 PM
Believe it or not, jump starting a modern vehicle with several computers can cause a lot of problems. it can corrupt the software in 1 or more of the major computers. I know this because I was a lead diagnostic tech at major German and European Dealerships and Independent Shops. If you don't feel confident about the work being performed at the dealership, go to a MB owners forum online and find out ask who the best MB shop is in your area and who specializes in sophisticated electrical and computer trouble shooting. Excellent independent shops have the where with all to reprogram the computers with the HHT ( the MB diagnostic and reprogramming capable laptop ) Typically if a car has been jump started several times, ( many tow truck drivers are very behind the times in this area ) the computers need to be reprogrammed which can take many hours but should not require too many parts other than an over load relay or 2.
Question Answered: Engine cooling fans
January 01, 2009, 06:06 PM
there are 2 fans to aid in cooling the engine during heavy loads and at high temperatures. When the A/C is on ( or the defroster which also uses the A/C system to dehumidify the windshield ) the engine is hit with a 20 horsepower load and the A/C condenser near the radiator, gives off a lot of heat, 200 + degrees on a hot days. During these periods of operation at least 1 fan should run. During the cold weather, it is not uncommon for neither cooling fan to operate because as you drive the wind through the radiator cools the engine and coolant sufficiently. Is your car overheating at all? If you are very concerned about the operation of both the cooling fans, a good mechanic could use a scan tool to verify that both fans do in fact operate. My 2 fans only come on when the outside temp is 90-100 and I'm in stop and go traffic with the A/C working.
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Comment: ABS Differential Sensor
September 17, 2010, 12:06 PM
Be sure to replace the Rear Differential fluid when you replace the rear differential ABS Sensor. Over time the fluid gets tiny metal particles from the ring and pinion gear operation and may cause another rear ABS Sensor code to set and could damage the new rear ABS Sensor
Comment: P0420 - OBD-II Trouble Code
September 14, 2010, 12:05 PM
The extension of the warranty is not for every Audi vehicle and it does not apply in every state. Once you have a proven P0420 code, have a service writer check you VIN in the database. The manufacturers are being forced into this against their own will, so please don't expect them to be very accommodating, in fact it may take some arm twisting. The original warranty for any Emissions System problem was 3 years and/or 50,000 miles, so the 8year/80,000 is already an extension of that. I would call Audi customer service as well. What specific year, mileage, and engine Audi vehicle do you have and do you have a confirmed P0420 CAT code? I also need to know what state you live in and if your car is Federal ( 49 state ) or California Emissions Certified.
Comment: P0420 - OBD-II Trouble Code
September 10, 2010, 10:53 AM
Usually the Emissions Warranty is only 3 years or 50,000 miles so 8 years and 80,000 miles is an extension of the usual warranty. A few of the VW and Audi Models have had their Catalytic Converter Warranties extended even beyond 8yr/80k. The extra long warranty is determined by many things in addition to the Year/Model criteria, such as Production date, Manufacturing plant, Engine Serial number, Production date etc.
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