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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 engine may develop a low idle or stalling condition due to a failed idle air control valve. Our technicians tell us the replacement of the faulty valve is required to correct this condition.

The speedometer or other instrument panel gauge may begin to work erratically at times. Our technicians tell us that the instrument cluster must be sent to a repair facility to correct this fault. The warranty has been extended on some of these units to 7 years or 70,000 miles.

The Engine Control Module (ECM) can fail causing stalling, and engine and transmission drivability concerns.

There have been problems with the climate control system not working at times. Volvo has made a Software upgrade for the AC control module is available that can correct certain climate control system faults.

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 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.

The front or rear differential may develop an abnormal noise due to worn bearings or another internal fault. Our technicians tell us that a complete overhaul of the affected differential is commonly necessary to correct this condition.

It is common for the fuel level sensor in the fuel tank read the fuel level incorrectly. The sensor must be replaced to correct the condition. Our technicians recommend having the complete fuel pump module replaced on high mileage vehicles.

The active body control system can leak fluid from numerous areas, including the tandem pump, hydraulic lines, struts, and/or seals. If it is not repaired, the vehicle ride height could drop too low and cause damage to the undercarriage.

The CD player in the radio may fail. Our technicians tell us that the radio will need to be removed and sent out to a radio repair shop to correct this condition.

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

The relay which turns the airmatic suspension pump on may fail causing the pump to run continuously. This can result in failure of the pump motor or a dead battery as the pump motor will continue to run after the car is turned off. Also, Worn airmatic pump mount bushings can causes noises in the front axle while driving on bumpy roads or a buzzing noise while the pump is running.

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.

The electrical contacts in the ignition switch may fail and result in erratic instrument panel gauge operation or illumination of the Check Engine Light. A failed ignition switch will require replacement.

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.

The automatic transmission may develop shifting concerns. On lower mileage vehicles, upgrading the software in the powertrain control module (PCM) and the transmission control module (TCM) may correct the problem. As the mileage increases, internal transmission damage can occur. Repairs could involve replacement of the valve body or a complete transmission rebuild. Whenever major transmission repairs are made, it is important to be sure the PCM and the TCM have the latest software updates to help prevent these issues from reoccurring.

The Evaporative system may have problems with the vapor canister releasing charcoal pellets that plug the vent valve. Typically a Code P0441, P0442 and P0446 will be set. The key code is the P0446 which is a vent valve electrical failure. The proper repair is to replace the entire canister with all the valves as a unit. This is located on top of the fuel tank and is expensive. Our Technicians tell us that for awhile Toyota was covering these problems, but this may have changed. It would not hurt to call the dealer if this problem occurs to see if Toyota is still helping with these repairs.

Vehicles equipped with a 7-speed automatic transmission may develop a rough shifting condition, most commonly going up from first to second gear and going down from third to second or second to first gear. Our technicians tell us this is due to an internal component failure. Mercedes has released updated parts; the transmission will need to be removed and disassembled to complete the necessary repairs.

Excessive gear noise can indicate differential bearing failures.

Power door locks can activate intermittently due to a faulty door lock actuator in the driver's door.

Toyota issued a recall on the lower ball joint due to the possibility of premature wear from improper finishing in production. The ball joints will be replaced under the recall. There are two separate recalls combined here, one applies to 2002-2004 and the second to 2004-2006 Models.  Please contact you local Toyota dealer to see if your vehicle is included.

The thermostat may fail resulting in engine overheating and/or illumination of the Check Engine Light. Replacement of the thermostat along with a complete inspection of the cooling system will be necessary to correct this concern.

Overheating can cause severe engine damage. If the engine begins to overheat it is recommended to stop at the first available location and have your vehicle towed to a repair shop.

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 Camshaft position sensor can leak oil into its electrical connector causing the Check Engine light to illuminate. The engine may also stall intermittently as a result.

The center multi-function display may failure. This is commonly caused by poorly soldered internal connection. Our technicians tell us that these display panels can be successfully repaired or reconditioned by a shop specializing in such repairs.

Erratic turn signal operation can be a result of a failing turn signal flasher relay which will require replacement.