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Shop Owner last 4 yrs of mobile auto repair/service company. Have been thru the mill, starting as oil change boy in '74, worked at dealers & independents over last 38 yrs (has it been that long?). ASE Cert Mast w/ L1 Cert.
Recent Activity

Question Answered: How long should the power steering rack on my car last?
August 26, 2012, 07:51 PM
I believe you are correct in your concerns for the longevity of the rack, but, if its leaking, its leaking. I thought $600 for the rack was too much, though. I call around and find out the nominal price, then figure the shop needs some mark-up room on that price, to pay for shop overhead, etc. You can call Kia and see if there is a recall, but, barring that, the repair bill is yours. Not being the original owner will not help your situation, either, at least not with Kia.
Question Answered: Why does it turn over, have spark, and fuel pump works, but will not start?
August 26, 2012, 07:40 PM
If you are certain that you have spark and PROPER fuel pressure (the pump running is not enough to go on),and since you must be fairly mechanical to replace the crank sensor, check for injector pulse. Having spark & fuel, but no injector pulse, would indicate a failure of the camshaft position sensor circuit. I don't know what computer you rented, but what is needed is likely a scanner with graphing capabilities. There needs to be certain wave forms generated by both the crank and cam sensors, and they must be in synch, for the engine to be capable of starting on the ignition side of things. Unfortunately, the engine needs to be turning RPM's of at least 675, steady for about 10-20 secs, with no "start" signal present, before the ECM will even consider starting to run "after start" self-checks. However, start by verifying fuel pressure at the port on the fuel rail. If ok, & I think the spec key-on/ engine off, w/o looking it up to be sure, is about 40-44 psi, at a minimum. If pressure ok, since you know you have spark, then take some brake parts cleaner, a flammable spray, and sprayy a couple times in the throttle body or air intake tube every 5 secs while cranking. If it starts, you know the injectors are not doing their job, and the most likely cause, being not 100% sure, but maybe 90%, is the cam position sensor.
Question Answered: Van is screeching when started sometimes.New flywheel & starter
August 26, 2012, 07:01 PM
It almost sounds like you're describing two separate issues. The first being that there is a metal-on-metal screeching sound while the starter is engaged & shortly after engine start. I would agree with the conclusion of the shop you normally use that the starter needs to be "shimmed", meaning, insertion of metal spacers, like elongated washers between the starter motor & the engine block. This provides the necessary spacing for the bendix, or gear drive of the starter, to extend, contact the flywheel to turn the engine during the start process, and retract without hitting the flywheel at a small angle, which is enough to create the binding of the starter gear, which is the source of the screeching. The second issue seems to be that when you turn the key to try to start the engine, sometimes you get nothing - no click, no screech - nothing. This is an electrical issue. It could be the starter solenoid, wiring connections or the ignition switch. Someone just needs to find out where the power "stops" when you try to start and nothing happens.
Question Asked: This is aimed at some shop out there that still has OLD labor time guides...
August 25, 2012, 10:54 AM
Ignore the veh listed. Need FRH's for oil pump & starter, as independent jobs, on 76 Eldorado, a/t, a/c, 8.0L. Thanks.
Question Answered: What's the average cost of an INTERNAL transmission inspection?
August 25, 2012, 10:42 AM
These are always ineresting situations - on both sides of the fence. I understand the internal ispection, but usually, at that point, if a shop is even considering a removal & tear down of the trans, they offer options. We offer the removal & tear down, which may reveal a $50 part causing the problem, but you still have an extra 4-6 hrs in labor for the tear down. Option "B" is to not figure out the "exact" cause, but just confirm the problem is internal, and offer to replace the trans with either a rebuilt unit or a used one, and explain the pros and cons of each decision, thereby only having the 1-1.5 hr diagnosis & maybe 5-6 hrs for replacement (plus the cost of the trans). You are being billed based upon "flat rate hours" not "real" hours. Every job that can be done on a car is listed in a book or in a computer base as to how long it should take the average technician to do that job in hours. If the technician is experienced, they will always do it faster than the listed time allotment. However, the shop still bills, and pays the technician, the number of hours listed in that book or program. That can create "time warps" one customer told me when I explained the system. But if it takes longer in "real" time than the listed time, you are still only billed the listed time. Depending on the laws of your state, and what you signed, you may be stuck for the $1100.
Question Answered: time to replace water and timing belt
August 25, 2012, 10:29 AM
I figure you are asking how long does it take, not at what mileage - your owner's manual has that info. That particular job, if you do it yourself, you're probably looking at a 4 hr process.
Question Answered: the truck was not leaking untill i took it to kwik lule. They told me i needed
August 25, 2012, 10:26 AM
The first issue is that it was NOT leaking until you went to this place - that needs to be resolved, at their expense. The second is that your entry was incomplete - what do you "need"?
Question Answered: My truck is hard to crank in the morning.
August 25, 2012, 10:22 AM
Try this. Before trying to start, cycle (turn the ignition switch) from off to run (that's when all the dash lights come on) 5 times, leaving it in the run position for 5-8 secs each cycle, then try to start the engine. If it pops right off, your fuel pump most likely needs replaced (it's in the tank). If that doesn't create a change, there is an electrical pulse issue between the crank sensor & computer (fairly unlikely), or a failing crank sensor (more likely). There is an outside chance you have injectors stuck open, causing pressure bleed off, as they drain the primed fuel (when you rotate to run & hear the pump) into the cylinders. It can be just one causing the problem, and if you suspect that, & have a multimeter, check the resistance across each injector (should be 10-16 ohms, approx). Usually if you have an injector issue, you will alo have an issue with how the engine runs, esp at idle.
Question Answered: why does this 91 Buick Regal keep blowing crank sensors
August 25, 2012, 10:03 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by "blowing", other than they electrically short & no longer work. If so, check the harness running down to the sensor that lies against the engine timing cover & where it makes its exit out of the main engine harness for broken wiring insulation. It sounds like you have a 'short to ground' or 'short to power', basically wires touching things they shouldn't. Also inspect the connector itself for broken insulators & bent contacts. Find where its touching, and wrap it up with elec tape, & you'll prob have solved your issue. If these things are atually getting damaged on the end where the pick-up is located, you have a problem that may only be fixed by replacing your crankshaft pulley assy (it has a steel ring on the inside that may be damaged).
Question Answered: dashboard message reads, service brake booster.
August 25, 2012, 09:57 AM
We had one of these recently, and it turned out to be an electrical problem. I don't remember the details, but I believe it was a corroded connector at the ABS Module causing the problems. If your brakes are actually feeling ok, with no dropping or hard brake pedal, the problem is likely electrical rather than mechanical (meaning, the booster itself is ok). May wish to consider getting a professional on this one, depending on your skill level.
Question Answered: Where is the thermostat located on a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer?
August 25, 2012, 09:53 AM
Firstly, it depends on your engine. You'll either have the 4.2L or the 5.3L; the most common is the 4.2L. the thermostat is located on the drivers side of the engine, just to the rear of the alternator, if memory serves correctly (I'm not looking this up or looking at that particular engine to pass on general info). The ECT (Engine Coolant Temperature) sensor is located directly above it. Unless you are having issues with overheating, the problem will likely be the sensor itself. It takes a little digging, so, as long as you are there, I'd recommend doing the thermostat just as a preventative measure; it's only a hose and three 10mm bolts (again, if memory serves). Most competent DYI's can probbly do this in an hour to an hour and a half.
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