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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 valves can prematurely fail. The cylinder head will need to be replaced due to wear in the area where the valves seal. Intake or exhaust valve failure may illuminate the Check Engine Light. The car may have poor engine performance and fail emission tests.

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 too thin, replaced to correct this issue.

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

A coolant leak may develop from the water pump. This can result in an engine overheating condition. A leaking water pump will require replacement.

The automatic transmission may develop shifting problems and/or the Check Engine Light may illuminate due to internal component failure and/or software issues. It is always best to be sure the transmission control module has the latest software installed when any major transmission repair is performed.

The fuel level sensor in the fuel tank may fail causing erratic fuel gauge operation. Our technicians tell us that on high mileage vehicles you may wish to replace the complete fuel pump module assembly if this condition occurs.

On certain 2005 - 2007 vehicles, General Motors has provided a special service policy covering the fuel level sensor, agreeing to pay 50% of the repair cost. This coverage extends for 10 years or 120,000 miles from the original "in service" date of the vehicle. Please contact your local GM dealer for more information.

To find a dealer near you, please click here»

The common problem for ignition misfires are ignition coils going bad. Replacement of the bad ignition coil is necessary. These should be fixed as soon as a problem is detected. Otherwise the misfire can cause damage to other components.

Nissan issued a recall on the fuel pump for premature failure. There was an owner notification program and labels were placed on the fuel pump access panel and next to the AC charge label in the engine compartment.

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 heater - AC blower motor may stop working at one or more speeds due to a faulty blower motor resistor block.

The inside and outside door handles are prone to breaking.

Ignition switch failure may cause the car to stall or fail to start. Honda issued a recall to replace the ignition switch. For more information on this recall please click here»

An ignition coil may fail causing one of the cylinders to misfire. Each of the two banks of cylinders has its own coil assembly. If one ignition coil fails the coil assembly for the corresponding cylinder bank must be replaced.

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.

Loose or worn suspension and steering components can cause a wobble or shaking in the steering wheel. It may happen at a certain speed and subside as the vehicle accelerates through the range. Tire balance can contribute to this as well.

A whining from the front while driving may be caused by the front axle shafts. This would be felt between 20 and 45 MPH, and the half shafts can be replaced with revised dampened axles.

The Ford Ranger V6 is known for a rough idle, engine stalling, loss of power, and misfires, accompanied by the check engine light.

The intake manifold O-ring gaskets commonly leak, which creates a large vacuum leak. This vacuum leak causes unmetered air to enter the engine, and the fuel system becomes insufficient to compensate for the large amount of air reaching the engine. 

Replacing the intake manifold gaskets corrects this concern.

Bogging, hesitation or stalling may be experienced during moderate to heavy acceleration. This can be caused by a failing of many sensors or modules in the fuel injection system. It is recommended to have an experienced shop perform diagnosis to find the root of the problem.

The passlock sensor in the ignition lock cylinder may fail causing an anti-theft system fault and a no start condition. Our technicians tell us that the ignition lock cylinder should be replace to correct this condition.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate with a fault code P1121 stored. It is commonly caused by a failed three way coolant control valve. Valve replacement is recommended if this occurs.

Non-Hybrid models equipped with navigation units may suddenly stop playing audio from all speakers. This includes sound from CD players, radio, navigation, satellite radio, and telephone calls. All other features may still function properly.

Note: this does not apply to hybrid vehicles. 

This fault requires no part replacement, and is a software glitch that can be rectified by a 'hard reset'.

To perform the hard reset, simply disconnect the vehicles negative battery terminal, wait 15 minutes, and reconnect the negative battery terminal.

The headlight switch used on the GMC Yukon XL 2500 is known to fail through normal operation. Since the headlight switch is also integrated into the interior lights, a malfunctioning switch can cause issues with interior lights as well.

  • Symptoms of a failed headlight switch include:
  • Headlights and taillights failing to turn on or off
  • Interior lights flicker, or fail to turn on or off
  • Gauge cluster lighting off or flickering with headlights on
  • Parking light malfunctions  

This issue is well known with General Motors Trucks and SUVs, and is solved by testing and, if needed, replacing the headlight/dimmer switch. Bad grounding wires at the tail-lights, and dirty/corroded tow package wires can also lead to some of these issues. 

Popping sounds from the rear of the vehicle may be heard moments after starting the engine, or when slowing to a stop. This noise is from the leak detection pump filling the fuel tank with air, and releasing to retest the system when it finds a fault. The sequence of faults identifying this issue are as follows:

  • Succession of loud pops from rear of vehicle
  • Pops go away, and fuel economy decreases 
  • Check engine light illuminates
  • OBD trouble code P2404 and/or P0441 is stored
  • Engine will not start after refueling (must crank for over 30 seconds)
  • Vibration when slowing to a stop

The cause is a valve which is mounted on the front of the intake manifold, commonly called the N80 valve, or EVAP system purge valve. The valve is designed to open under specific circumstances, but a worn valve will remain open at all times, preventing the pressurization of the fuel tank. 

Correction of the issue is to replace the N80 valve with the latest revision. 

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. 

The MAF sensors are prone to failing and turning on the Check Engine Light.

The fuel pump may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart. Our technicians recommend replacing the fuel filter every 30,000 miles to help prevent undue strain on the fuel pump.