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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 fuel level sensor can fail causing erratic or inaccurate fuel gauge readings. The Check Engine Light may also illuminate. Nissan has recalled 2006 - 2008 vehicles only for this fuel gauge issue. For more information on the recall, please click here»

The catalytic converter closest to the cylinder head can fail causing illumination of the Check Engine Light. Prompt repair of this problem is recommended because the catalyst material can be sucked into the engine and cause internal damage.

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 timing chain tensioner may bleed off oil pressure after the engine is shut down. This can cause a rattling noise when the engine is started cold and a revised timing chain tensioner and guide are available to correct this issue.

A knocking noise while turning and/or a banging noise when driving on rough roads may develop in the front suspension. This type of noise is commonly caused by a front strut thrust bearing damaged due to water intrusion. Our technicians tell us revised thrust bearings are available to correct this concern.

The engine in the R350 is known by Mercedes Benz to have issues due to a poorly manufactured gear on the balance shaft (also known as the counter-rotating assembly). Since the balance shaft gear is driven by the timing chain, which keeps the engine rotating synchronously, when it fails, the timing of the engine will change causing:

-Illumination of the Check Engine Light

-Rough Running Conditions

-Stalling

-Loud Rattle or Slapping Noise

-OBD Trouble Code P1200 and P1208

Correction for this issue is replacement of the balance shaft, or balance shaft gear. Replacement of the timing chain and tensioner should be done as well. The Mercedes Benz dealer may cover some or all of the repair cost on select vehicles as a result of a class action settlement.

The Mercedes Benz C350 may have engine oil seeping or leaking from the back of the cylinder heads. This is commonly misdiagnosed as leaking valve covers.

On the back of the cylinder heads there are three, in total, plastic expansion plugs that plug access ports to the camshafts. These plugs are well known for seeping oil, and leaking if left unattended. The oil will run down the back of the engine and eventually make it to the ground. 

Replacement of these three plastic plugs is extremely simple, and should be done as regular maintenance. The recommended interval for replacement is every 60,000 miles.

Rear air springs (bellows) may develop leaks, which causes the air pump to run more often to maintain ride height. Our technicians recommend that leaking air springs be replaced.

The IMA light coming on is usually caused by a battery pack that is no longer charging correctly. Replacing the battery pack will turn off the IMA light.

Bulletin 13N02 - This program extends the coverage of the brake booster to ten years of service or 150,000 miles from the warranty start of the vehicle, whichever occurs first. This is a one time repair program.

In some of the affected vehicles, it is possible for the brake booster to develop a small tear in the diaphragm under certain driving and environmental conditions. If this occurs, the driver may hear a hissing noise while depressing the pedal and may also experience a "spongy" pedal feel without a noticeable effect on braking performance. If the vehicle is not serviced, the tear will eventually expand and the pedal effort required to stop the vehicle will gradually increase. However, in all cases, the fundamental vehicle braking system remains functional.

Sagging suspension can be a result of air suspension struts and/or drier leaking air. These type of air leaks can lead to failure of the air suspension compressor.

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.

Owners have reported a number of prematurely worn rear wheel bearings. As the bearing fails, a rotational humming or grinding noise may be noted from the rear as vehicle speed increases. Replacement of the rear hub assembly, which includes the bearing, would be necessary to remedy this condition.

The starter motor used on the 1990-1997 Honda Accord V6 frequently fails on vehicles around 125,000 miles.

It may help prolong the life of the starter to service the starter to ensure the connections are clean and tight at the 100,000 mile mark.

The high pressure diesel fuel injection pump may fail, resulting in a "no start" condition.

A coolant leak from the radiator can be caused by a defective thermostat bypass. This can cause pressure spikes in the cooling system, which leads to radiator failure. The thermostat assembly and radiator should be replaced.

An illuminated Check Engine Light could indicate that one or more of the ignition coils has failed due to excessive spark plug gap. To fix this problem, the ignition coils that have failed, the spark plugs, and all coil boots should be replaced.

A cosmetic crack may develop on the plastic liftgate trim panel. Ford has released a service procedure to replace the applique without damage the the liftgate glass.

The composite (plastic) intake manifold may crack near the thermostat housing and cause a coolant leak. Ford released an updated manifold that was reinforced to prevent a recurrence. No recall was issued for this problem but Ford did extend the warranty to seven years on some models from the date of purchase.

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

Our technicians tell us the spark plugs in this engine can be very difficult to remove. Ford has issued a service bulletin (08-7-6) to address this issue, which includes a recommended procedure on how to remove the plugs. Failure to follow the recommended procedure can result in the one or more spark plugs breaking off in the cylinder head.

The recommend procedure is as follows. Using this procedure will greatly reduce the chance of breaking a spark plug.

1. Break the spark plugs loose when the engine is warm.
2. Turn each plug 1/8 to 1/4 turn and soak the treads with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of Motorcraft Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner or a quality penetrating oil. Do not try to remove the plugs at this time.
3. Let the threads soak for at least 15 minutes.
4. After the soak period, tighten and loosen each spark plug, working it back and forth until the turning effort is reduced. Then, you can remove the spark plug.

There are special tools available to remove the broken spark plugs and repair shops will often charge additional labor time, over and above the quoted spark plug replacement cost, for the removal of each broken spark plug.

Catalytic converters can go bad and potentially plug the exhaust, hurting engine efficiency and performance.

The engine may develop oil leaks from the lower crankcase portion of the engine block. Our technicians tell us that the engine must be removed from the vehicle to properly repair this oil leak.

The ignition coil inside the distributor may fail. Our technicians tell us this may result in a hesitation on acceleration, especially when the vehicle is warming up on cold, rainy days. The pickup coils inside the distributor can also fail and cause a no-start condition. There have also been some failures of the radio noise suppressors inside the distributors, which can short out. Our technicians recommend replacing the whole distributor with a complete, genuine Toyota distributor if any of its components fail.

If the engine will not crank over, the most common problem is the starter. These will tend to go out at about 100,00-125,000 miles. Sometimes it is only the starter solenoid, but often the complete starter (including solenoid) needs to be replaced.

The serpentine belt tensioner pulley may wear out. Our technicians tell us that in order to get a new pulley from General Motors you must purchase a complete belt tensioner assembly.

 

An automatic transmission fluid leak may develop from the rubber section of a transmission cooler line. In some cases the rubber section of hose can be replaced. In others, the complete cooler line must be replaced to correct this type of leak.