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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

Some vehicles may develop a musty odor coming from the HVAC system, Dodge has issued a cleaner/disinfectant and a coating for the evaporator designed to inhibit bacterial growth.

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. 

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.

Clogged drains can allow rainwater to accumulate in the plenum tray (at the base of the windshield). The water may leak into the vehicle's interior, brake booster, or electrical components, which can lead to major problems. Our technicians recommend keeping the tray clear of leaves, pine needles, and other debris.

A Loose or worn gas cap may cause Check Engine Light to illuminate. At this time, RepairPal cannot confirm a recall for this gas cap issue.

The front brake rotors can warp and cause a vibration when braking. The rotors will need to be machined or in cases where they are worn to thin, replaced to correct this issue.

Sludge can build up in the engine because Lexus did not recommend frequent enough oil changes. Lexus will sometimes offer a discount on cleaning the engine if necessary. Owners who changed their oil every 3,000 miles did not experience these problems. This sludge build up can lead to excessive oil consumption.

The throttle position sensor (TPS) on the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is notorious for failure which causes:

This issue is related to the throttle position sensor on the gasoline engine, and can be caused by faulty wiring to the TPS, bad connection at the TPS, or a failed TPS. Note, this does not affect the hybrid drive system.

To correct this issue, the wiring harness, connector, and throttle position sensor must be inspected, tested, and/or replaced. The most common cause is a faulty TPS.

The trunk pull down switch may fail causing the trunk lid not to close completely. Our technicians tell us that the failed switch can be replaced without changing the complete pull down motor assembly.

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 timing belt idler and/or tensioner pulley may fail, resulting in server engine damage. Cadillac has recalled certain 1997-2001 models to replace the timing belt and other related components as necessary.

If you experience difficulty starting the engine when cold, stalling at idle, or hesitations during acceleration, it may be the idle air bypass valve. This valve helps the vehicle idle steady when the accelerator pedal is not pressed.

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.

A fluid leak may develop from the propeller shaft seal on the rear of the transmission. Our technicians tell us that replacing the seal will commonly correct this concern.

If a noise from the rear end is heard when going around turns or after driving at highway speed for an extended period, there is an updated differential clutch kit available.

To inspect a connector for the cooling fan motor, Dodge issued a safety recall. Coolant may be drawn into the connector, causing a short circuit and potentially an engine fire. Dealers are installing a revised wiring harness and replacing any damaged fan motors.

A door window may move slowly or stop in mid travel due to a failing power window motor. The affected window may start working again after the motor cools off. Replacing the faulty window motor will commonly correct this concern.

Problems with the anti-theft systems using the raised-chip key can prevent the car from starting. The wires in the steering column to the ignition lock cylinder tend to break. The the key and ignition lock cylinder must be replaced to correct this condition.

A loud ticking noise (hydraulic valve lifter noise) may be heard from the top of the engine, particularly when the engine is still cold. The noise may occur more frequently on higher mileage vehicles; Hydraulic valve lash adjusters may need to be replaced to correct this issue. Following the maintenance schedule for oil changes will also help prevent a recurrence of the noise.

The transmission pressure control solenoid may fail causing erratic shifting. Our technicians tell us that partial dis-assembly of the transmission is necessary to replace a failed pressure control solenoid.

Prior to jacking or lifting a vehicle with air suspension, you must turn off the suspension switch. The switch is generally located in the trunk or on the right side of the passenger foot well.

Due to an ignition component and/or engine coolant temperature sensor failure, the Check Engine Light may illuminate. Replacement of the failed component will be necessary to correct this concern.

Premature automatic transmission failure is common. Diagnoses of the fault will be necessary to determine if repair or replacement is the proper repair.

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 develop a ticking noise from the front of the engine due to a worn timing chain. Our technicians tell us that replacing the timing chain and related component will generally correct this issue.